Have you ever played that game “Would You Rather”? If not, it’s rather simple, and when I think about big dog shows and little ones, a lot of “Would You Rather” questions pop into my head.

A win at an extra-big show, like Westminster, is always meaningful. Photo by Rudy Raya.

First off, would you rather go to big shows or little shows? They have a lot of similarities and differences, but, either way, I like to remember that no matter the size, it’s a dog show. Right?

In these past couple of weeks, I’ve realized that mixing the two makes a great combination. Big shows are fun, and a lot of great people show up, maybe some you haven’t seen in a while, and the wins are always meaningful. On the other hand, little shows give you a sort of break from the chaos that can sometimes come along with bigger shows.

Smaller shows, such as this one at Valley Forge, give exhibitors a break from the chaos. Photo by Dan Sayers.

Another thing I’ve noticed is the different energy at shows, depending on their size. At smaller shows, everyone, even the handlers, seems to be relaxed and having a good time, while continuing to be professional and eager. At larger shows, where the points are higher and the pressure is on, everyone seems a bit more tense and focused.

On average, a normal show usually pulls in an entry of about 1,000 dogs, and smaller shows in the 400 to 500 range. And the bigger shows are around 2,000, not including the extra-big shows that are often televised, such as Eukanuba, Westminster, the World Show and Crufts.

So, what would you rather? Sound off below, and tell me what suits you the best: big shows or little shows?

Just in case you forgot…Dogs Freakin’ Rule!