The PVKC Match Is Taking a Break

We were unable to find a suitable site for the match in 2022 and are seeking a new venue. Ideas welcome!

What is a Match?

Matches provide people who are new to or interested in getting involved in Conformation. Matches provide a great introduction for puppies to get comfortable in the ring and exposure to the noise and stimulus of an event. Handlers receive guidance and feedback from their peers and more seasoned handlers and judges.

Matches are as enjoyable to watch as they are to participate in! If you are a first time participant you could easily come and observe. If you are coming to participate, then you may need your dog’s registration information to enter.

The other benefits AKC matches offer is that you are meeting other people that are trying to learn about their dog. You can meet different breeds and ask questions. Matches are an excellent point of public education for the new participant, but most important giving you and your dog a relaxing fun no pressure environment to come and learn.

Matches are less formal than conformation shows so there is no need for anxiety about competitive pressure. It's meant to be fun. PVKC makes it easy by allowing you to register on the day of the show!

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PVKC's Ten Minute Match Guide

  • Register your Dog With the AKC: 
    In order to participate in AKC conformation shows and other events, your dog needs to be registered with the AKC and have a registration number. Dogs that can compete in conformation are purebred dogs for breeds that are recognized by the AKC. Registration numbers are used on entry forms.

  • Walking on a leash:
    Your dog should be comfortable wearing a collar and walking on a leash.

  • Meet me:
    Young dogs love people so be prepared for them to meet lots of new people at the show! You may want to get them ready to meet people by taking your dog to a park or other public spaces.

  • Looking their best:
    Don’t forget to groom your dog as part of the preparation. At minimum, bathe and brush your dog. A judge will not be impressed by a smelly dog! Make sure they are brushed and free of dirt, debris and any tangles in their hair. Also, if it’s been a while since you trimmed toenails, you may want to give them a quick trim too.

  • Show Lead:
    Regular collars and leashes are not used in the ring. Instead, a show lead is used. There are different types of show leads and they take a bit of practice to get used to. They range from simple to fancy. They are available in many different varieties for different size dogs and different materials such as leather, nylon, cotton or other materials. Slip Leads are an all-in-one lead and a good choice to start as they are inexpensive. PVKC members can show you other types of show leads at the match.

  • Attend a PVKC Handling Class: This can be a real confidence booster and prepare you and your dog for matches and conformation. It's also good practice for using a show lead. You can get advice on what type of show lead and length of show lead is right for your dog or puppy.

Morning of the Match
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Arriving at the Match
  • Arrive Early: 
    PVKC allows “day-of-show” entries, in which case you can enter your dog at the show site on the day of the show. If you are interested in competing, make sure you arrive early in the morning so that you can have your dog entered in the show before judging begins for your breed and entries close.

  • Enter at the Right Time: 
    There are two times listed in the Match flyer. The time that judging begins is for spectators! You need to enter well in advance of that time so be sure to check the time that is listed when entries open and close.

  • Walk your dog around to get used to the people and other dogs. 

Ringtime
  • It is not possible to pinpoint exactly when you and your dog will enter the ring. The breeds and classes are judged in a certain order so be ready at ringside as soon as the breed that is judged before your breed is finishing up. Judges won't wait!

  • Before judging for your breed begins, ask the Ring Steward to give you your armband number. It is sometimes a little congested and hectic at ringside so make sure you get the right number. This number is placed around your left upper arm and secured with a rubber band also available at ringside.

  • Listen carefully to the judge so you don't miss any of the judge's instructions. 

  • The winner of each class goes on to be judged in best of breed. So, if you have won first place in the class you were entered in, don't disappear as you will be re-entering the ring soon enough. The steward will call the winners of each class back into the ring for the best of breed competition.

Preparing for The Match - Homework

Get up early!
The morning of the match, feed your dog earlier than usual so your dog can do his/her business before you get on the road. 

What to Pack:

  • Water and water bowl

  • Brush for last minute grooming

  • Treats to give your dog after a job well done

  • Clean-up bags for potty breaks

  • Collar and leash

  • Show lead

  • Chair for yourself

  • Comfortable walking shoes so both you and your dog move your best

  • Dog crate (optional but useful if your dog needs a safe space to rest)

On the Road:
Remember traveling in a crate is the safest form of transportation for your dog. Plus, having the crate at the show will give your dog a place to rest in a safe space both before and after the fun.

For more information contact Catherine Berardelli, Match Chair

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