First, locate an event approved by the American Kennel Club using the AKC's event calendar or your local breed club's information. Contact the show secretary to get a premium list and entry forms, and then submit the completed forms with any required fees.
Most shows are organized by local breed organizations, but the AKC approves them and allows them to grant points that count toward titles, year-end awards and other types of AKC recognition. To compete, you must register your dog with the AKC, and dogs that are spayed or neutered cannot compete in conformation classes. However, they can still compete in other events, such as rally, herding, agility and obedience.
Preparation is important. Your dog needs to be trained well in advance, and you must know how to present the dog to the judges. It is also important to read all the rules so that you don't accidentally disqualify your dog. Your local breed club can help you find experienced trainers to help you learn. Your dog also needs proper grooming to show off its best qualities, especially for conformation shows.
It is a good idea to attend a show as a spectator before entering one. This helps give you get a feel for the environment and lets you observe how shows operate without the added stress of trying to prepare your dog.