5 Essential Ingredients to Making a Show Dog

by Samantha Meyers October 10, 2016

5 Essential Ingredients to Making a Show Dog

When I was a kid I would drag my parents to every dog show that came within a 60-mile radius. While my understanding of dogs has grown since then, I still love seeing all of the unique breeds, watching them be groomed and readied and then cheering them on as they strut their stuff around the ring.

In my adult years, I have been lucky enough to go behind-the-scenes of the most prestigious dog shows in the country, speaking to owners and handlers from all over the world, learning about the time, effort and care that goes into making a great show dog. So what is it that sets them apart from the rest of the pack?

1.   Pedigree

Although a great bloodline is only part of what makes a show dog, there is no denying that it plays a major roll. It’s not uncommon to see generations of special dogs making their way to the Best in Show circle, year after year.  This is a result of years of careful breeding, selecting dogs that are in optimum health and physical condition to carry on the best traits of the breed.

2.   Diet

Feeding a healthy diet is essential as it contributes not only to the inward health of the dog, but also to their outward appearance. Essential oils and vitamins in food and treats can keep a dog looking and feeling their best. From a shiny coat and bright eyes, to an appropriate amount of weight and muscle, diet is an important part of every show dog’s life.

3.   Grooming

There is nothing quite as beautiful as a dog whose coat is in show condition.  Long or short, there is a certain amount of shine and luster that you don’t see everyday. By using high quality shampoo and conditioners that contain essential oils and are gentle on the skin, show dogs can be groomed often without the fear of their coats and skin becoming dry. After bath products also help to protect the hair for blow drying and repeated brushing that longer-haired dogs require to be show ready. 

4.   Exercise

We all know we look and feel better when we are physically active and dogs are no different. Dogs in a show ring are athletes and it shows. Many not only walk and run regularly, but it’s not uncommon for working dogs to spend time doing the jobs they were bred to do. This keeps their muscles and their minds in tip-top-shape.

5.   Attitude

When all is said and done, a dog’s personality, spunk and desire to win is what can lead him to first place. The Best in Show ring is a collection of seven dogs who have been judged on that day as being the best example of their breed, from body type, to coat, to health, they are the best of the best. Sometimes all that separates the best is a quality that can’t be taught, groomed or bred for. If you’ve ever watched a dog show, it’s not hard to spot the dogs who soak in the applause, are thrilled to be there and have a spark about them that just says, look at me, I’m here to win.


Samantha Meyers
Samantha Meyers


Samantha is the former web editor for DogFancy and Dogchannel.com and has enjoyed years of sharing her passion and knowledge for pets with the world. A lover of all things dog and an avid baker and crafter, she regularly contributes dog-friendly recipes and projects to Dogster and Lucky Puppy magazines. Sam lives in Southern California with her husband and their two dogs Huggs the Frenchie and Quinn the Aussie-Poodle. 

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