AKC: Altered Dog Classes at Conformation Shows

The AKC doesn’t offer “Altered Dog” classes at its conformation shows. According to the AKC site, “Spayed or neutered dogs are not eligible to compete in conformation classes at a dog show, because the purpose of a dog show is to evaluate breeding stock.”

I think that if the objective is to evaluate breeding stock, it is beneficial to see as many dogs from a particular line as possible, whether or not they are intact.

For example, when I look at a prospective stud dog, I like to see as many puppies from previous litters as possible. Looking at litters as a whole gives you a much better idea of the genetic makeup of the dogs involved. For example, if I only look at 2 puppies (intact, sold to show homes) from a litter of 10, I may think that the parents of these dogs are good producers. While this MIGHT be true, it might also be that most of the dogs had bad bites, moved incorrectly, or any number of other faults.

AKC, if the “purpose of a dog show is to evaluate breeding stock” then we must update our definition of “evaluation” to include not just the actual breeding animals, but also the animals that are a display of breeding stock.


I know there are a lot of other great reasons to add these classes, but this is just my take on the AKC’s own “justification.” If you show in Alt. classes, why do you think it’s important?

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About BredByBitch

Hello! My name is Dani, and I've been in the "dog world" since I was 8 years old. My mother raises and breeds Irish Wolfhounds, which was my introduction to the show ring. I showed in Junior Showmanship for many years before aging out and getting my first German Wirehaired Pointer. I live in Tucson, AZ with my German Wirehaired Pointer, Luke. Luke is my man, from my first home-bred litter of wires.

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5 Responses to “AKC: Altered Dog Classes at Conformation Shows”

  1. Cedars Says:

    In the equine world, altho a class is not available as yet for spayed mares (just not enough of them), gelding classes are offered. The more animals with champion behind the name makes the parents more valuable.
    I would think the AKC would consider altered classes for revenue alone.
    With the spay and neuter enthusiasm, and myself just not wanting to deal with the mess of intact males or females, the AKC is losing a lot of revenue.


  2. Melanie Coronetz Says:

    It’s time for AKC to wise-up … garner more entries, make more money, expand the realm of pure bred dogs. Establish an Altered Class in conformation. UKC has it, so why not compete?


    • Marci A Says:

      I agree with Melanie. At times for health reasons, an animal has to be spayed or neutered. If the dog has attained an AKC grand championship with several BOB’s and Group wins, that should speak on breeding stock, especially if it has produced nice pups. The an altered class could have an age limit set, as there is for the Veteran Class. It’s a shame that a beautiful dog or bitch cannot continue to show in AKC Conformation when they clearly meet the breed standard and qualify as a breeding animal.

    • Ann K. Says:

      People were all in favor of the UKC Altered classes, but the entries ended up being really low. I get the feeling that it’s a drain on the clubs that are already struggling to stay afloat because they need to order separate ribbons/rosettes?

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