Shih Tzu - Types of Dog Shows


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There are two types of dog shows licensed by the American Kennel Club. One is the all-breed show. The all-breed show includes classes for all the recognized breeds, and groups of breeds such as all terriers, all toys. The second dog show is the specialty show for one particular breed that also offers championship points.

A benched show is one where the dog show superintendent supplies benches (cages for toy dogs). Each bench is numbered and its corresponding number appears on your entry slip that is sent to you prior to the show. When you enter the show, take your Shih Tzu to the bench. Your Shih Tzu should remain on the bench until it is time to groom him before entering the ring to be judged. After judging, your Shih Tzu must return to the bench until the show is dismissed.

At an unbenched show the club makes no provision for your Shih Tzu other than an enormous tent if outdoors or an area in a show hall where all crates and grooming equipment must be kept if the show is inside.

When you enter the show grounds, whether it is a benched or unbenched show, you are expected to keep your Shih Tzu under complete control. You should use a short lead in crowded aisles or getting out of cars. At a bench show, a “bench chain” is needed. A bench chain should allow your Shih Tzu to move around, but not off the bench.

There is always at least one professional photographer who will take your Shih Tzu’s picture along with the judge and whatever is won, the ribbons, etc. These photos make excellent advertisements in the various dog magazines.

Some shows also offer Obedience Trials. Obedience Trials are always considered a separate event. There are three obedience titles. First, the Companion Dog or C. D. title; second, the Companion Dog Excellent or C. D. X. ; and third, the Utility Dog or U. D. You can receive detailed information in a booklet entitled Official Obedience Regulations from the American Kennel Club.

Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:


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