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Start a Dog Show in Your Neighborhood
Start a Dog Show in Your Neighborhood

Start a Dog Show in Your Neighborhood

You don't need a big arena, expert judges and breed-perfect dogs to have a fun, neighborhood dog show. All you really need is a bunch of furry tail-waggers and an audience of dog lovers. That's because we're talking about a do-it-yourself dog show that's inclusive, inviting, and informal — the kind of event that welcomes all types of dogs.

Ready ... Set ... Let’s Get Started!


The idea behind this type of all-dogs-are-welcome, bring-your-own-pooch dog show is that every dog is a winner. So, consider awarding prizes for a wide range of fun categories. For example:

  • Smallest dog with the biggest personality
  • Eyes that make your heart melt
  • Most unusual bark
  • Wettest nose
  • Most likely to make strangers stop and pet … etc.

And since this is a neighborhood event, you don't need solid-gold trophies. Simple award certificates will do nicely. Better yet, have your kids design them, for a quaint, homemade look.


Choose a place that can accommodate all the dogs and their families (human and canine) and friends (again, human and canine). If you're planning a small group, someone's home may work. Larger groups can get together in dog-friendly venues in your town, like the local dog park. (Make sure you have the town's permission first.)

Tickets & Fees

Of course, you don't have to charge an admission fee for your local dog show. But this might be a good way to raise some much-needed funds for your local animal shelter. Just charge a low fee at the “door,” and make sure people know your show will help the local shelter. Likewise, you can charge a low, affordable fee for doggy parents who want to enter their pets in the show. This can also go to the animal shelter.

Getting the Word Out

There are lots of easy and affordable ways to create buzz about your pooch show. This includes:

  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • Facebook posts
  • Tweets
  • Old-fashioned word of mouth.

A friendly, welcoming dog show — like the one described here — is a great way to make even more two-legged and four-legged friends in your community. Have fun!

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