All puppies like to play. As you will see from your first match and show experiences, puppies in the ring will lick the judge's face, lie down when the judge comes to examine them, and show other creative attitudes towards life. This is part of learning to be a show dog and with training, patience and a good sense of humor, they will outgrow it.

Books you may find helpful in getting started are

  • How To Show Your Own Dog by Virginia Nichols (T.F.H. Publications, 1976)
  • The Forsyth Guide to Successful Dog Showing by Robert and Jane Forsyth (Howell Book House, 1975).

For your dog to compete in conformation it must be registered with the AKC and not have been altered, surgically or otherwise, to change its appearance. To succeed in obtaining a Championship of Record (Ch.) or Grand Champion (GCh.) title, he should be as close to the Standard Bulldog as possible. Since no dog is perfect and each has different strengths and weaknesses, there is opportunity for many dogs to compete successfully in the ring.

There are special events for Youths to show in AKC Events.  Junior Showmanship classes are open to children from 9 to 18 years old.


The following is what your dogs should learn to show in conformation. The rest depends on your dog (how well he matches the Bulldog Standard and how he looks that day), on you (how well you handle him in the ring), on the judge (how he interprets the Bulldog Standard), and on the other dogs and exhibitors in the ring competing against you that day (how they compare to you and your dog). Two dogs can compete against each other and one will win one day and the other the next. That's what keeps people coming back.

  • Point shows are events where non-Champions are judged in 'the classes' first, with dogs shown separately from bitches.

  • The classes to earn points towards a Championship are set within the AKC Rules.

  • The best representative of each gender in each class as evaluated by the judge is then evaluated against the other class winners.

  • The best dog and bitch on that day according to the opinion of the judge is awarded Winners Dog and Winners Bitch.

  • These are the only two dogs to earn points towards their AKC championship on that day. A Reserve Winner for both dogs and bitches is also chosen.

  • Then the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch compete against all the Champion & Grand Champion dogs and bitches for Best of Breed and Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed.

  • One of the two non-champions competing will be awarded Best of Winners.

  • THE AKC also permits the judge to award points towards the Grand Champion title.  These two awards are the Champions chosen as Select of each sex.