Spectator Info

General Show Information
Buy advance tickets here
Learn More About Dog Shows
Purebred Dogs
Admission, Location, and Schedules
Meet the Breeds

General Show Information
Rose City Classic is fun for the whole family. Plan to come early and stay all day. Breed judging and agility start at 8 am and depending on the size of the entry and the particular event, the shows can run until 6 pm or later.

The best days for spectators to attend are Thursday through Sunday, the days of the all-breed shows. That’s when the1R4J3129 largest number of dogs will be in attendance and spectators can watch agility, obedience and rally trials as well as their favorite breed.

If you are interested in purebred dogs this is the show to attend! It is one of the biggest dog shows in America and attracts top dogs from virtually all breeds and varieties. If you want to see a particular breed or locate a breeder, these are great shows to visit.

If you are looking for a specific breed, watch for information on this year’s Meet the Breeds ShowcaseIt’s an exciting attraction at the Rose City Classic that provides the public with a great opportunity to meet experienced local AKC breeders and receive information about a breed they are considering for their family. It will also give them a chance to interact with a breed.

Meet the Breeds is offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Click here to see the times scheduled for the breeds you are interested in seeing. Last year more than 70 breeds participated.

Still more to see! The Rose City Classic hosts great AKC agility trials. On Saturday the RCC holds try-outs for the AKC-USA World B-W-209-x-209Agility Team that competes annually at the World Agility Championships. This means that some of the fastest canine athletes in America compete at these shows.

The Rose City Classic values AKC obedience and offers a premier venue for competition at all levels. This year we’re proud to host the AKC Obedience regionals. Come watch some of the best trained dogs in America do what they love best! Whether your dog competes in dog sports or simply shares your home, dogs benefit enormously from basic obedience training. Training and competing in obedience builds a lifetime bond between dog and owner. That’s why we think that obedience is so important and that’s why we have given it such a prominent position in our show.

Agility and obedience start early each day and continue until at least early afternoon.

AKC Rally® is a recent addition to the AKC obedience format, promoting fun for dogs and owners alike, and serving as a link between non-competitive events and competitive dog sports such as obedience and agility, and the AKC Canine Good Citizen® Test. In Rally, unlimited communication from the handler to the dog is encouraged. Stop by the obedience rings and watch Rally and obedience.

On Friday and Sunday, in addition to the major competitions already mentioned, there will be an AKC Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) test. CGC promotes responsible dog ownership and basic good manners for dogs. Passing dogs get a Canine Good Citizen® Certificate, which some county animal control agencies and many landlords and insurance companies recognize and reward.

Each year, the Rose City Classic offers a student art contest featuring a theme about dogs. The competition is sponsored by Eukanuba Dog Food. The contest encourages youngsters to develop their artistic talent and promotes responsible dog ownership. About 500 pieces of artwork by local students are presented at the Rose City Classic  each year.

In addition to the events and contests, RCC attracts a huge number of top dog product vendors from all over the US. From dog photography to dog bedding, jewelry, fine art and toys, it’s all at the Rose City Classic!

Learn More About Dog Shows
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the largest purebred dog registry and sanctioning body for dog events in the United States. Today, nearly 5,000 AKC affiliated clubs host over 20,000 annual events for more than 175 breeds and varieties of purebred dogs that are recognized and registered by the American Kennel Club.

The events offered by AKC clubs vary considerably. The best-known events are conformation dog shows where dogs are evaluated against a breed standard of excellence established by the official AKC parent club for that breed. Breed standards describe elements of breed type, including overall appearance, structure, gait, temperament and many other important characteristics of the breed which are to be preserved. These standards describe many traits including, the proper size, weight, color, coat texture, eye color and expression, structure and movement for a given breed. Most televised dog events feature conformation shows.

AKC clubs also host companion events where people can have fun with their dogs by competing in agility, obedience, and tracking; and performance events for coonhounds, field trials, hunting tests, lure coursing, herding and Earthdog events.

The Rose City Classic is one of the premier events for dogs in the US, hosting conformation shows, obedience and agility trials and a Canine Good Citizen Test. The shows at the Classic are among the largest as well as the best in the US, some years bringing nearly 4,000 dogs to Portland in January. Most of these dogs compete in conformation, but the Rose City Classic is also home to first-rate obedience and agility trials.

Conformation dog shows focus on evaluating breeding stock for the purpose of preserving and improving purebred dogs. Conformation dog show competition comes in 4 varieties based on the types of kennel clubs that host them. There are national breed specialty clubs focusing on a single breed, like the American Bloodhound Club; regional single breed specialty clubs such as the Dalmatian Club of Northern California; group clubs for breeds belonging to one of 7 AKC groups (Sporting, Hounds, Working, Terriers, Toys, Non Sporting and Herding Groups), such as the Terrier Association of Oregon; and all-breed dog clubs like Dog Fanciers Association of Oregon and the Tualatin Kennel Club.

The underlying goal of all AKC purebred dog events is to preserve and advance purebred dogs.The best known AKC dog events are conformation dog shows where breeding stock is evaluated. In this venue, dogs are graded according to how well they conform to individual breed standards that have been established over many years by breed experts and approved by the AKC parent club for each breed. Breed standards describe distinctive elements of breed type, including overall appearance, structure, gait, temperament and many other important breed characteristics.

Dogs with a high degree of conformance are awarded points toward their championships. Ones that earn 15 championship points including two major wins (major wins are ones earned at shows where there is significant competition in the breed) are awarded the title of AKC Champion. Dogs that earn a championship are considered for use in breeding programs aimed at breed improvement, the goal of breed enthusiasts who participate in dog shows.

Dog show judging doesn’t end with the awarding of championship points, however. The highest award given in breed competition is to the dog or bitch awarded Best of Breed. This can be awarded to a class dog that is entered in the show in order to win points toward a championship, or to a dog that is already a champion and entered in the Best of Breed (sometimes called specials class) with the hope of winning Best of Breed and being able to compete in his Variety Group and perhaps, even in Best-in-Show. Here’s a diagram to help explain how dog show competition works.

Road to Best in Show

As you can see, dog show judging is a series of elimination rounds. There are many exciting wins along the way, but at the end of the day, only one dog can be named Best in Show. This is the highest honor that can be won in breed competition at an AKC dog show, an accomplishment that many dedicated breeders spend a lifetime working to achieve. Best in Show not only recognizes outstanding breed type and overall quality and soundness, but it also recognizes the working partnership between handler and dog and the special presence some dogs have called showmanship.

When people refer to dog shows, they are usually referring to the conformation part of the show. That makes sense because breeding for high quality, sound, and healthy purebred dogs is the basis for every other aspect of the sport.

Purebred Dogs
The history and development of distinct dog breeds is a fascinating study and one that modern purebred dog fanciers appreciate and revere.

Today, most dogs are family pets, valued more for their companionship than for any of their other working abilities or historic roles. But it wasn’t that long ago that most dogs worked for their keep; herding sheep or reindeer, driving cattle, guarding property, pulling carts or sleds, hunting birds or other game or rooting out pests.

As Americans began leaving the farm for city life in the mid to late 1800s, however, some of the old jobs that dogs had performed throughout history vanished. Rural Americans still relied on their dogs for numerous jobs, but landed gentry and urban Americans, just one generation off the farm and with no such jobs to offer, turned to their dogs for leisure pastimes. Dog sports began to flourish.

A critically important chapter in the history of modern purebred dogs began in 1884 when sportsmen from 12 dog clubs met in Philadelphia to form a club of clubs. Each of the delegates had hosted dog shows or run field trials in the recent past and believed that the sport of purebred dogs needed a central organization. The result of this meeting was the birth of the American Kennel Club (AKC). Within months the AKC was founded and soon thereafter the AKC established a stud book and began publishing the AKC Gazette, a magazine that it still publishes today.

Many of the early purebred fanciers were wealthy, so to this day, purebred dogs are often associated with snobbishness. But today’s purebred dog fanciers don’t fit that stereotype. They are dog lovers from all walks of life who have come to value the predictable traits that specific breeds have to offer. They like the fact that they can jog with their Dalmatian; that their Golden Retriever will fetch a ball or a Frisbee; that their Fox Terrier is feisty, or that their Whippet is a clean and calm couch dog. They like knowing that their puppy will grow up to be a certain size, have a particular coat, temperament, and energy level. They like to know that the dog they are bringing into their lives will be able to live with them for its entire life; that it won’t get too big for them to handle; that its energy level won’t wear them out; or that its coat won’t demand more care than they have time to give it.

These are not snobby reasons for choosing one dog over another. They are essential factors to consider when getting any dog. The predictability of purebred dogs enables people to choose the right dog for their family’s lifestyle, an important key to successful dog ownership. This is what keeps dogs in homes for life, and out of shelters.

In the United States, the American Kennel Club is the leading organization helping dog lovers preserve, improve and enjoy purebred dogs. AKC recognizes more than 170 breeds and varieties and classifies them according to their abilities and historic role, placing them in one of 7 different variety groups: Sporting, Hounds, Working, Terrier, Toys, Non-Sporting, and Herding.

Pure breeds were developed by purposely crossbreeding dogs with desired traits in order to fix or consolidate those traits in a particular bloodline. Many purebred dogs perform numerous jobs so well that they easily could fit into more than one group, so the group designation should be considered instructive, not limiting. The German Shepherd Dog, which AKC places in the Herding Group, for example, excels in police, rescue, herding and guide dog work. The Golden Retriever’s keen retrieving ability places him in the Sporting Group, but he is also highly regarded as a service and therapy dog.

Some dogs still maintain their traditional jobs. Others have acquired new jobs, such as sniffing out contraband, performing search and rescue work, alerting deaf owners to the sound of a crying baby or to a smoke alarm, or comforting a lonely senior in a nursing home. The wonderful thing about dogs is that they are never happier than when they are working side by side with their human companion, and this is true whether assisting in a life-and-death search, on a weekend outing with the family or competing in an obedience or agility trial.

Today, most dogs are pets. In order to choose the best family dog, people need to take the necessary time to learn as much as possible about the breeds that interest them. They should familiarize themselves with proper breed appearance, structure and temperament, and they should be aware of the breed’s historical function. They should seek out responsible and dedicated breeders by visiting AKC dog shows and by contacting local kennel clubs or AKC parent breed clubs.

Good breeders match sires and dams with care, not only for appearance, structure, temperament and health, but also to maintain intelligence and specialized breed abilities. A conscientious puppy buyer will provide the appropriate food, veterinary care, socialization and training necessary to develop their puppy’s inherent abilities to assure that he meets his full potential.

Admission Price
$10 per person
$20 per family [up to 5)]
$15 Two-day pass, individual
$30 Two-day pass, family
Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult
Seniors [62+] are free on Thursday and Friday, full price ($10) on Saturday and Sunday

Location: the Rose City Classic is held at the Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center (Expo) at 2060 No. Marine Drive, Portland, Oregon 97217.  Click here for directions to Expo, then click on directions for a map.

Transportation: Drive your car, take a bus or ride Max. Light rail will now take you all the way and deliver you right into the parking lot at Expo! To plan your trip, go to the  Tri-met website.

Show dates: Rose City Classic will begin on Wednesday, January 16 with numerous individual breed shows, and the 4 all-breed shows run Thursday through Sunday, January 16-20, 2019. Conformation (breed judging) and obedience and rally competition happen all five days; agility, Thursday through Sunday.

Show hours: The Expo is open to the public at 7:30 am each day. The official show hours are from 8 am until 6 pm.

Schedule of events: Owners can enter their dogs in the Rose City Classic shows until January 2, 2019. After that date the show is said to be closed. Scheduling the various show events cannot take place until then. To see the schedule, please check back about January 12, 2019 and the schedule will be posted near the top of the menu bar to the right.

Vendors and Sponsors: Rose City Classic is blessed with many excellent sponsors and vendors. Take a moment to see who is supporting Rose City Classic and to plan on the supplies you will be getting for your pooch!