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How Much Do Dog Show Winners Make?

How Much Do Dog Show Winners Make?

Showing a dog is a prestigious but extremely expensive affair.

Anyone looking to splurge money to showcase their canine friend must have deep pockets.

Dog parents spend thousands of dollars annually to enter their pets in dog show events.

Popular and high-flyer shows such as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show are the most expensive and the most sought after.

Regardless of the cost of showing a dog, pet parents continue to enter their dogs into events.

Ever wondered what’s in it for them? Do they get monetary compensation in the process or do show their pups for the fun of it?

How much does it cost to show a dog, in the first place?

We answer these questions and so many more in this post.

Let’s get started…

How Much Does It Cost To Enter A Dog Show?

Entering your four-legged friend into a dog show is the easy part.

A former AKC professional dog handler and event manager, Michael Canalizo, spoke to CNBC on the whole topic of showing dogs.

According to him, entering a dog into a competition usually costs $25-$30. This is the cost of one event.

If you are crazy about having your doggie participate in shows all year long, the costs will rack up at the end of the year.

However, if you do it occasionally, this cost is pretty much reasonable. Most people can easily afford it.

With that said, the actual cost of getting your doggie show ready is what makes the business expensive.

For one, buying a show dog is not cheap at all. We will tackle this in the next section but if you have been a pet parent for a while, you know these fur babies cost a pretty coin.

 Secondly, grooming the pet months prior to the event can also set you back a lot. This is especially true if you own a long-haired puppy that needs delicate grooming to make them stand out from the crowd.

How about travel, food, and hotels? That is also very expensive.

Often, you’d have to travel across states and counties where the shows are held.

That means booking a hotel for you, the dog, and the handler and paying for transportation and food costs for all.

 Speaking of handlers, they are also pretty expensive. There’s no standard groomer cost but the pros cost hundreds (or thousands) of dollars per show.

If your doggie wins the competition, you may have to give something to the handlers as well.

Finally, you also have to factor in the cost of campaigning for the dog to get them the attention they deserve prior to the competition.

All these costs can cost between $50,000 and $100,000 annually according to Cheatsheet.

So, even if entering isn’t that costly, getting your dog ready to compete is.

How Much Are Show Dogs Worth?

Purebred dogs are generally expensive regardless of the breed, looks, and temperament among other factors.

Dr. Jerry Klein, a chief Veterinary officer at the AKC puts the price of a show dog at $1000-$5000.

The cost depends on the rarity of the breed. The rarer it is, the higher the price.

 If you want a show dog with training, prepare to pay even more to purchase the dog. It is not uncommon for such dogs to cost upwards of $8000 for a single puppy.

The breed largely determines the price here. Some breeds such as the Tibetan Mastiffs, Samoyeds, Chow Chows, and Canadian Eskimo dogs are the most expensive for one reason or another.

Some cost more because they are rare. Others are cuter than most while some have the best temperaments in the world.

Read:  30 Dog Breeds with Pictures and Prices

It is worth mentioning that some show dog breeders have a habit of holding on to the ownership of their pups.

They don’t sell the canines unless they write up a contract stating that they are co-owners of the dog. This may give them future breeding rights to the dog.

In such a case, the breeders might be willing to negotiate the price downwards a bit.

Do You Get Money For Winning A Dog Show?

With all the amount of money dog owners spend to show their pets, one would imagine that there’s a monetary reward for the winners.

However, the truth is that dog events don’t really pay except for a few exceptions.

One is AKC’s $50,000 offered during its 2017 National Championship event.

Often, dog owners get no compensation whatsoever for showing their dogs.

Some compare it to investing in their kids’ academia. There’s absolutely no prize for that but the feeling of seeing your kid excel academically is worth it.

The thrill and excitement deserve every penny the owner pours into the dog.

How Do You Make Money From Show Dogs?

It is clear that showing your dog in a competition doesn’t guarantee a return on investment.

Nevertheless, there must be a way one can mint good dollars from the whole thing.

Well, there is. For one, when a dog wins, the handler is often given a silver bowl while the dog receives fame, especially if the competition is popular enough.

 Even if there are rarely monetary rewards, such fame can catapult you and the dog into riches.

You can attend television shows, celebrity events, and other income-earning opportunities that other dogs will never have access to.

For a handler, being famous earns you sky-high dollar-breeding fees. As long as you have a good reputation and good dog-handling skills, you will get ahead in your game.

Reinforce things by taking part in apprenticeship programs and attending Professional Handler’s Association seminars.

Some of the opportunities you can pursue include brand sponsorships, charging for training and consulting, and breeding for profit.

 Building a good portfolio as a professional dog handler will take time and effort but if you play your cards well, you will emerge victorious.

How Much Do Dog Show Handlers Make?

Dog handlers are the individuals that make more in the dog show business.

The professional ones smile all the way to the bank after dog competitions.

New York Times claims that professional handlers cost $100-$125 for small-time shows and over $1,000 for big shows.

CNN puts the figure at anywhere from $75 and $700 depending on the number of wins the handler provides at the end of the event.

This figure is mostly exclusive to handlers that show a variety of dogs. Those that specifically work with a single pup are even more expensive.

A handler can make $24,000 annually if he works with a dog that wins many competitions.

Parting Thoughts

When you watch a dog show event, you must wonder if there’s any cash to be reaped for the winners.

Well, for the most part, such rewards are absent.

However, if you are a handler, you can position yourself for greatness and wealth in the dog show business.

This is also true for dog parents whose dogs win lots of events.

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