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Showing Your Yorkie

Yorkshire Terrier Dog Shows

Are you interested in finding out about Yorkshire Terrier dog shows? Maybe you want to learn more about Conformation events, in which judges will determine how close your Yorkie matches the official breed standards. Or perhaps, you want to learn about Agility events, which can be so much fun for both dog and owner....Your Yorkshire Terrier will jump over hurdles and navigate an obstacle course...all, of course, after being trained by you and coached during the show.
Yorkshire Terrier at dog show
By Dagur Brynjólfsson from Hafnarfjordur, Iceland (Hundasýning 2009 554) via Wikimedia Commons
What is Needed to Enter a Yorkshire Terrier Dog Show

In the United States, if you wish to show your Yorkshire Terrier in a Conformance Event with the AKC, your dog will need to be AKC registered. For other events, such as Agility, you may enter your CKC or other registered Yorkie.

4 Types of Dog Shows

Conformation Event: Your Yorkie will need to be 6 months old, or older.

The dog is judged on how closely he or she matches the physical characteristics of the official Yorkie dog breed. It is important that your dog is groomed precisely. One of the most important elements will be the dog’s coat; which must be long and flowing…in a “Show dog” style. Other features will be judged as well such as: Bite, paws, bone structure and their gait (the way in which they walk).

Each element is graded on a number scale. The coloring and the placement of those colors will be judged as well.

Some owners choose to hire a handler to be the one who enters the ring with the dog...Others choose to do this themselves. In many cases, an owner will hire a handler for the first few shows...and then once they feel that they have the confidence to do it themselves, they will. Dress code is business casual.  
Agility: These events can be a wonderful way to bond with your dog, to train your Yorkie to listen to commands and to have a lot of fun. Your Yorkie will compete against others to run through an obstacle course. Each is allowed to run the course alone without will allowed to coach them with commands...and he or she will be judged on completion of obstacles and, of course, time. The dogs will be judged on how fast they complete the course and if they do what is required at each obstacle. Courses are set up different at each event, but usually contain hoops to jump through, a balance beam, teeter-totter and more! You run beside your dog, giving commands to help them navigate!
Obedience: This is an event in which you can show off just how well you have your Yorkie trained. Yorkie dog obedience shows will have you giving commands to your dog and be judged on how well you dog listens to you! One of the most challenging elements in these events is the “Stay” command. You will command your dog to walk away...and then your dog must say where they are without chasing after you!

Free Style (Dancing with Dogs): This is a truly wonderful event that is both entertaining to watch and very fun for both dog and owner to enter into. You and your Yorkie will “dance” together. You choose the choose the movements! You usually have complete control on your “set”. You may have your dog jump, twirl, ride on your leg as you slowly spin and so much more. In the United States, regional shows are held all over the country and then the nationals are held once per year in Pennsylvania. Each show has different rules... some will allow for clothing or costumes...others will not. 
Yorkie at show
Dog Show Matches

Before you enter into an official event, you may wish to practice. This can be done at "Matches". Matches are events in which the outcome will not become part of your dog's official dog show record.  

The environment will be very similar to what is experienced at official events. This is a perfect opportunity for both you and your Yorkie to become used to the show ring. It is also a great way to network with other owners, who are just starting out as you are. 

There are 5 types of show matches:

B & OB: These are relaxed events that will not be as strict as sanctioned AKC dog shows and are the true starting point for anyone who wants to practice with their Yorkie and dip their toes in the water. These are held in various types of places, including schools, dog clubs and other venues that are not usually sanctioned by the AKC to hold events; this is a fun event purely for practice . Many are indoors, however some are held outside if the weather is nice. Since there is no pressure to place, you'll find the vibe is very relaxed and the majority of people (and their dogs) are just as new to this as you are. 

You'll find that some are AKC sanctioned Dog Matches which often means that the judges may AKC handlers; but again this is just for practice and will not count against you if your dog does not win in any categories. 

OC: These are very similar to the above B and OB and are the next step up. These events are held by established clubs that are already qualified to hold a show. Since these shows are a scaled back version of the 'real thing' there may not be many dogs of any certain breed, so your Yorkshire Terrier will not generally have a lot of competition. It's a great way to learn if the show world is something that may interest you. As with B and OB shows, the judges may have a connection to the AKC as handlers or other.
Yorkie show dog coat
A & OA: All the show rules and regulations apply and things are run quite seriously. Judges are often the same ones that are at AKC shows. The reason that these are held is because clubs must hold at least 2 per year to demonstrate their knowledge and handling of all that happens at a show. 

As with sanctioned shows, dress code is business casual and you will want to have your Yorkie styled and groomed per your club's standards.

Watching Shows

You can also learn a lot by being a see how things work and what is expected. Many aspects make more sense when you can watch it in person as opposed to seeing it aired on TV. 
At many of these events, tents will be set up that offer everything from micro-chipping, discounts for pet supplies, rescue clubs may have a stand to spread the word about the work that they do, etc.
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