Matches are informal shows, usually for puppies, at which points towards an AKC championship may not be earned. Judges at matches are usually not licensed by the AKC and may be anyone that the club believes has the appropriate understanding of the breed. Judging at matches may be viewed as training for becoming a licensed AKC judge.
Most Bulldogs are owner/handled. In other breeds professional handlers are used more frequently. A match is a chance to give a potential show dog experience in ring procedure in a real life setting. It also provides training for those new to handling dogs and helps relieve anxiety of new handlers about entering in the show ring. It should be a fun experience for both the dog and the handler.
The classes in matches, divided by sex, are usually:
In the puppy competition
- 2-3 months
- 3-4 months
- 4-6 months
- 6-9 months
- 9-12 months
Adults compete in Open.
Each of the puppy class winners competes for Best Puppy Dog or Best Puppy Bitch. These two then compete for Best Puppy in Match. The best Adult Dog and Best Adult Bitch compete for Best Adult in Match.
Specialty Matches, conducted by the local Bulldog Clubs, are especially fun to attend. Everyone has a laugh watching the owners try to get the 2-3 month old puppies to walk around the ring and you can see how your puppy stacks up against the ones the breeders kept. Matches start for puppies at two or three months, the announcements usually tell which. Just be sure your puppy's shots are current and he's not sick when you go. You don't want to bring or come home with any disease.
A Futurity, sometimes called a Breeder’s Stakes, is a non-profit activity to encourage breeding better quality Bulldogs.
The Futurity get its name from the fact that breeders are betting on the future, since you enter puppies before they are whelped.
- Any breeder who is a member of the club holding the Futurity may enter in the Futurity any AKC registered litter produced by their dam or sired by their stud.
- Eligible puppies sold may compete in the Futurity provided all eligibility requirements are fulfilled by the person nominating the litter or by the new owners with the nominator’s consent.
Each entry requires a fee for the litter prior to whelping, a second fee per puppy kept eligible when the puppies are two months old, and a final fee per eligible puppy one month before the Futurity. These fees are pooled into prizes which are awarded to each of the top four placements for dogs and bitches. After 10% is deducted for administrative expenses, and any monies the Club adds, the pot is divided in half for each sex. Within each sex, first place gets 40%, second place get 30%, third place gets 20% and fourth place gets 10% of the total available.