Events at the Show
For event times & locations, see the Shows-at-a-Glance event schedule.
Conformation & Breed Judging
Conformation is one of the most popular American Kennel Club (AKC) events, and it’s more than just a beauty pageant for dogs. While the dogs have to be groomed impeccably, the competition lies in how well each individual dog conforms, or matches up to, the breed standard as established by the AKC.
The event is open to all breeds recognized by the AKC, and can range from specialty shows focused on a particular breed or class of dog, to a more general show where dogs of any recognized breed can enter.
Why is conformation important? Because the closer a dog’s appearance to the breed standard, the more likely that dog is to produce puppies that also meet the standard and have other desirable genetic traits. It’s also the reason mixed breeds, and spayed or neutered purebreds are ineligible to compete in this event.
Meet the Breeds
Looking to get a canine companion for yourself or your family? Meet the Breeds is a valuable resource to potential pet owners who are searching for the right kind of dog for their particular lifestyle. Experts present scores of breeds from the common to the exotic. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of owning certain breeds before selecting a dog for you and your family.
This is a public education event open to anyone who wants to meet good quality dogs within a given breed, as well as talk to breeders, exhibitors and specialty club representatives about different breed characteristics and care. Information regarding local breed clubs, rescue programs and other activities will be available.
Approximately 100 breeds will be scheduled to appear at various times during Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The schedule will be posted on Monday of the show week. Be sure to check the schedule daily as the day/time for appearance of some breeds may change throughout the week.
Meet the Breeds Ring Times
10 am – 4 pm, Friday & Saturday
10 am – 3 pm, Sunday
"MAN'S BEST FRIEND" Student Art Show
Kids in grades K through 12 express in art their unconditional love for the family pet in this always surprising competition, the Dr. Mari Jon Filla Student Art Exhibit, among Houston area schools.
Students within the Houston Metro and Surrounding Areas begin their projects each spring, each creating their personal point of view on “Man’s Best Friend.” The artwork is made up of drawings, paintings and mixed media works, depending on the artist’s preference and style.
After submitting their projects, each grade has its winners selected and a Best in Show artwork is given the top award. As well, approximately 20-30 additional artworks are given a Committee Choice award. All artwork entries, in the hundreds, are displayed at the Shows for visitors and exhibitors to admire.
To view the winners' artwork from this year, as well as years past, please visit the Dr. Mari Jon Filla Student Art Exhibit website.
To get more information about the next art competition, please contact the art show committee.
AKC's My Dog Can Do That!
AKC’s My Dog Can Do That! is a lively event intended to give new dog owners a taste of dog training and companion dog sports.
Owners can bring their dog and try out an Agility or Rally course with assistance from a professional trainer.
At the Houston World Series of Dog Shows, this is an event where you can bring your own dog from home to participate.
Entry is free with the purchase of a Show ticket.
C.A.P. Designer Dog House Competition & Silent Auction
Citizen’s for Animal Protection’s (CAP) “Best Little Doghouse in Texas” competition is located in Hall B’s Designer Dog Houses Ring.
Dog show attendees can see some of the most luxurious dog houses available, designed by Houstonians, to be auctioned off for charity. Auction proceeds benefit Houston’s CAP.
This beloved event joined the HWSDS in 2006.
A popular, independent sport that is quickly growing across the country, Barn Hunt trials are meant to test the proper working drives of dog breeds whose traditional roles were to rid homes of damaging vermin. Dogs win points for the number of rats they scent in the course and for overcoming obstacles such as tunnels and climbs.
In Find the Rat, the course is a modified Barn Hunt Instinct Course with three tubes: one with a rat, one empty and one with litter. The dog will have one minute to indicate which tube has the rat. If he completes the task, the dog will receive a “We Found the Rat” ribbon. Dogs participating in Find the Rat do not need an official BHA registration number.
The BHA is devoted to creating a fun and safe sport for dogs and also holds rat care at the highest level of consideration.
Barn Hunt Trial entries must be made prior to the Shows, while Find the Rat registration is available at the event.
AKC Scent Work
& Sniff Fest
In AKC Scent Work trials, the dog puts his favorite pastime of sniffing to work and leads the owner to a hidden scent. Once the dog indicates he's made the find the owner calls it out to the judge.
Participation in Scent Work is a great way to build a dog's confidence and offers an excellent opportunity for teamwork between he and his owner.
At the Sniff Fest, which is open to the public, you can introduce your dog to Scent Work... Come play and check out your dog's ability to “FIND THE SCENT”. Let your companion speak to you and show you their sense of smell that is up to 100,000 times more than yours!!
Get a mini introduction to Scent Work by playing a game of “Better Than the Treat” to introduce your dog to the odor Birch. The dog learns quickly that choosing the scent is better than the treats.
Next play a game of “Find the Scent”. Progress up to finding the odor placed in one of three boxes.
Let your companion be the STAR of the show! An experience and chance to allow your dog to speak to you.
Creative & Breed Standard Grooming
Breed grooming focuses on making sure a dog is flawlessly groomed to highlight its conformance to breed standards published by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Creative grooming is a very different competition from breed standard grooming, and it’s more than adding a cute bow or bandana to complement your dog’s appearance. Many creative groomers create works of art out of their dogs using stencils, chalk, temporary and animal-friendly dyes, and creative haircuts to showcase eras or tell a story.
Dog groomers who are interested in competing can register by visiting the Groom Texas website.
Click Here to view a detailed schedule.
Canine Frisbee™ Exhibition
In this athletic event, dogs perform acrobatic leaps, rolls and jumps to catch a Frisbee™ disc.
Canine Frisbee, AKA Canine Disc, became popular in the 1970s, as Frisbee™ lovers took to beaches and parks to enjoy some fun with their canines. This soon led to widespread competitions on both the national and world stage. Still popular today, it is an amazing demonstration of the intense bond between man and dog.
Don’t miss this chance to see what dogs of all different breeds can do as they work for applause, cheers and of course, treats!
Flyball is one of the most exciting events at the Shows. It’s a competitive canine relay race in which two teams, comprised of four dogs (and two substitutes), compete side by side against one another over a 51-foot-long course.
As soon as the signal goes off, each dog dashes over a line of low hurdles to reach a box. Once there, they use their paws to push a spring-loaded pad and release a tennis ball into the air that they catch and bring back to their handlers. Once back to the starting line, the next dog takes his turn.
Once each dog has completed its run, the team with the fastest time wins!
HPD Narcotics K-9
The Houston Police Department Narcotics K-9 Detail, with their dogs present, discuss duties and police dog training for finding narcotics. They are at the Shows in support of Assist the Officer (ATO) retirement dogs.
Life Flight K-9 Care
Memorial Hermann Life Flight demonstrate canine first aid, CPR, wound packing, and the proper way to assess canine injuries. Life Flight is the first civilian air medical to establish guidelines for the transport of injured operational canines in the line of duty. This program was established in the memory of DR. James “RED” Duke.
Metro Police K-9
The Metro Police Division K-9 officers bring their dogs and discuss duties and police dog training.
These presentations periodically occur at the Meet the Breeds Ring on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 9am-4pm. Be sure to drop by their booths next to the MTB Ring to chat with the officers and see their amazing dogs.
Click Here to see the HPD Narcotics K-9 Detail & Memorial Hermann Life Flight Photo Gallery.
Canine Musical Freestyle
Canine Musical Freestyle is a choreographed musical program performed by both dogs and their handlers.
The object of musical freestyle is to display the dog and handler in a creative, innovative and original dance, using music and intricate movements to showcase teamwork, artistry, costuming, athleticism and style in interpreting the theme of the music.
Canine freestyle is a showcase that truly demonstrates the joys and fun of bonding with your pet.
Farm Dog Certification
Ever wonder if your dog has what it takes to be a good farm dog? The HWSDS is now offering the Farm Dog Certification Test, open to all dogs at least 9 months of age.
In the FDC test, a dog is given the opportunity to perform in a series of 12 exercises typical to a farm environment. These exercises are designed to assess his aptitude for self-control, confidence and trust with his handler--all traits vital to a working farm dog.
This test includes such exercises as being in close proximity to a holding pen of livestock, jumping and staying on straw bales, walking on varying terrain and jumping over objects. No herding is involved.
This event takes place Friday-Sunday and is hosted by the Texas Farm Dog Training Group.
AKC Temperament Testing
In AKC Temperament Testing, a dog is exposed to 6 different stimuli to assess how it responds to sights, sounds and surfaces.
A dog's owner may apply for an ATT title upon passing two temperament tests under two different evaluators. For more information on this title, visit www.AKC.org/akctemptest/.
Two ATT trials will be held at the Shows on Friday, starting at 9:00am and 1:00pm, hosted by the Frontier Leonberger Club of the Southwest.
Obedience trials are one of the oldest AKC events dating back to the 1930's. As such, most dog lovers are familiar with the training involved in bringing out the best in their beloved canines. This is a classic event which demonstrates a dog's willingness to work with it's owner and learn behaviors that make them good companions and well-behaved around their fellow canines.
In 2005, AKC Rally® was add to the AKC platform as an introduction to the Companion Events. It is an excellent opportunity to develop and strengthen obedience skills and teamwork between dog and owner. In this event, the dog and handler team navigates through both novice and advanced courses of 10-20 signs displaying skills that are to be performed.
For more information about these and other AKC Companion Events, visit www.AKC.org/companion-dog-sports/.
AKC Breeder Symposium
The AKC Breeder Symposium is an amazing opportunity to attend classes on a variety of topics important to dog breeders. With more than 25 courses on the schedule, the knowledge and wisdom shared is invaluable to any breeder wishing to enrich their breeding program, as well as to those wishing to obtain an understanding of what it takes to be a successful breeder.
These classes are offered Thursday-Saturday at the Shows. For more information on the topics offered and how to attend, visit www.AKC.org/akc-breeder-symposium-event/.
Events any dog can enter
AKC’s My Dog Can Do That! – To register, bring your dog to the AKC’s My Dog Can Do That! ring in Hall B. Spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are no additional fees after you have purchased a ticket to the Shows. This event is held Friday-Sunday.
Barn Hunt Trials – To register, dogs must have a Barn Hunt number and complete the registration online prior to the event. For more information regarding eligibility requirements, visit https://www.akc.org/sports/title-recognition-program/barn-hunt/. No registrations will be accepted at the event. Entry fees vary depending on class type. Click here to register. Click here to obtain a Barn Hunt number. Click here to download the Barn Hunt Event Flyer. This event is held Friday- Sunday.
Barn Hunt’s “Find the Rat” – Open to the public, registration for “Find the Rat” will be available at the event. Just head over to the Barn Hunt ring in Hall A. The estimated start time is 1:00pm on Saturday & Sunday. There is a fee of $10 per run (subject to change).
AKC Temperament Testing – To enter, a dog should already have either an AKC or FSS registration number, a Canine Partners (CP) Listing number or a Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) Number. For more information, visit https://www.akc.org/akctemptest/. Click here for the premium list and entry form. Entries will be open until the limit of 30 per trial is reached. On Site, Day of Trial entries are accepted from 9:00am–9:30am until full (1st Trial) and from 1:00pm-1:30pm (2nd Trial). Please note that Day of Trial entries will only be accepted if the limit of 30 per trial is not met. Click here to download the AKC Temperament Test Flyer. This event is held on Friday.
Farm Dog Certification – To participate, all dogs must be registered with the AKC, listed in the Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) program, or enrolled with Canine Partners (CP). For more information, visit https://www.akc.org/sports/herding/farm-dog-certified-test/. Click here to pre-register. Click here to download the FDC Event Flyer. This event is held Friday-Sunday.
AKC Scent Work Trials – To enter, a dog should already have either an AKC or FSS registration number, a Canine Partners (CP) Listing number or a Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) Number. For more information, visit https://www.akc.org/sports/akc-scent-work/. Click here for the premium list and entry form. Saturday & Sunday - On Site, Day of Trial entries are accepted. Start time is 8:00am both days.
Sniff Fest - Find the Scent – Open to the public, registration for “Sniff Fest” will be available at the Shows. Head over to the Scent Work rings in Hall A. Play a game of “Find the Scent” – Introduce your dog to the odor birch and progress up to finding the odor placed in one of three boxes. The estimated time is 10:00am-3:00pm on Saturday & Sunday. There is a fee of $10 per run (subject to change).
AKC Obedience & Rally Trials – To enter, a dog should already have either an AKC or FSS registration number, a Canine Partners (CP) Listing number or a Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) Number. For more information on AKC Obedience, visit https://www.akc.org/sports/obedience/. For more information on AKC Rally®, visit https://www.akc.org/sports/rally/. Entries for both events are handled by the show superintendent, Jack Onofrio Dog Shows, LLC. Entry Information and forms can be found in the HWSDS premium list once posted to the Onofrio website. Entries may be submitted through Onofrio's Online Entry System. These events are held Thursday-Sunday.
Join us for a stroll through the McScotty Market, a treasured show attraction with vendors offering a wide variety of goods and services for every dog enthusiast.