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Showing Information


A beginners guide to Showing…..just some basic rules and things to remember but most importantly have fun…. it’s a hobby we are doing it because we enjoy it and we love being with our dogs. The dogs must enjoy it too. It must be fun for them too and with this combination what a magical Team you would be.

Go and enter those shows and have fun, strut your stuff and win those classes.

If we don’t win on some days always remember there are plenty of days to have another go.

Social media is a great tool to be proud of your dog’s achievements but always remember to write positive things and never negative things.

Resources and Tips: Resources and Tips

What is Showing

What is Showing?
Showing is showing a KC registered pedigree dog (unless showing in Companion shows). It is assessed to the Breed Standard of each breed and is awarded in its suitability of the Standard.
We have many types of Shows.
Companion Shows- These are fun shows and a great way to introduce you to the world of showing. They have 2 sections -a pedigree section and a novelty section. These shows do not need any entries to be paid in advance. They are payment on the day. The do not qualify you for Crufts or any points for JW
Limit Shows- These are limited to members of a Canine Society or geographically. If your Dog is Champion or have a CC or CACIB or CAC, any award that counts towards a Champion title they cannot compete in these shows.
Open Shows- These can be either a Breed Club or Canine Society. They are open to all KC registered dogs and can be a brilliant place to practice your skills, as the atmosphere is very relaxed and a lot of fun. It’s a good place to get know people in your breed and breeds around you. If you win Best in Show, Reserve Best in Show or Best Puppy In show you qualify for Crufts.
Premier Open Shows- Open to all KC registered dogs. These are a larger scale to the Open Shows, but the same format and some winning dogs will have the opportunity to qualify for Crufts. Please look at the Schedule of the show and will show classes eligible for qualifying for Crufts. These are pre entered in advance
Championship Shows- Open to all KC registered dogs. These are the Biggy. They can be either Breed Club or Canine Societies. They are the show we thrive to dream to win. Most breeds will have Challenge Certificates on offer not all breeds but most. Commonly known as the Ticket.. or CC. A CC is awarded to the Best Dog and Bitch. The Judge will only award a CC if they think the dog is of such outstanding merit to deserve the title of Champion. Also, if you win 1st. 2nd, 3rd in certain classes you qualify for Crufts. The normal Classes are Minor Puppy, Puppy, Junior, Yearling, Post Grad, Limit and Open. But the KC do change this so please refer to the Crufts Schedule for updated classes. There are some classes you automatically get your Stud book number and will have to check the KC site for clarity. Thus, qualifying for Crufts for life.
Challenge Certificate- If you win one of these you will automatically get your stud book number and if your dog wins 3 of these they will become a Champion. Some breeds of dogs are on the Cat 3 List and if one of those breeds they will need a KC vet check at a show to confirm Champion Title.

What should I do in the Show Ring.

What should I do in the ring?

At some shows you will find your ring number on your bench, however at others you will get your ring number in the ring. Your ring number is a piece of card. which will have a number on it. All exhibitors have their own unique number, and you will see this in the catalogue. Make a note of your number before you enter the ring but if you cannot do not worry as the steward will have a catalogue on hand. Attach your ring number to your ring clip.

The Judge and Steward will let you know what to do in the ring. The usual process is to line up with all other exhibits and then in order the judge will assess the dog. This will either be on the table, ramp or floor depending on the breed. The judge will then move your dog to assess movement and then will place in order. Please spend time before your class and watch the judging to see what the judge is doing and then will give you an idea when it’s your turn to go into the ring.

There are usually 5 placing and they will be picked from 1st to VHC. The placing is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Res, VHC-Very Highly Commended. Sometimes the judge will short list before they pick their winners. After this the judge may want to move you all again. But remember all exhibits have to treat the same…if one goes up and down, all have to up and down. If you are not lucky enough to be selected, please leave the ring quietly and with pride.

The Kennel Club expects all exhibitors, judges and stewards that take part to in their licensed events to behave in a polite and courteous nature with a sports like manner, never interfere with another dog in competition or try to distract a dog. Please be careful with exhibitors who will run their dogs up your dog bum on the move and may over crowd you. Give yourself lots of space and you can always move to the back of line but please tell the steward you are doing this. Do not hem yourself in the corner of a ring. Stand your dog diagonally across the corner.

You should never handle a dog harshly or use punitive correction. The Kennel Club likes positive friendly training methods only and no harsh lead training. Loose lead at all times.

What do I do to get ready for a Show

Pick up your schedule or print off on website and select your classes you wish to enter, pick if you would like to buy a catalogue. (These are great to keep tabs on dogs in your breed and their pedigrees, which is great if you intend to breed) and check whether you need a parking ticket.

Post entry form along with payment to the secretary or make sure you apply online correctly and on time.

Record details of entry etc, you may need these for your JW etc.

Decide on what outfit you are going to wear. Smart is always a good option and something that will compliment your dog. Do not wear the same colour as your dog otherwise your dog will just blend into the background. We want to be able to see your dog. Wear something you can put any treats in and also display your ring number. Please wear comfy shows that are not too high or make too much noise. There is nothing like listening to someone’s shoes clopping around the ring. plus, you do not want to slip when walking/running your dog around the ring.

If you dog is showing any signs of illness, please leave your dog at home. KC rules that no dog suffering from an infection or contagious disease or having been exposed to such disease during the period of 21 days prior to the show or suffering from a visible condition which adversely affects its health or welfare may be exhibited.

Groom and prepare your dog for the show.

Prepare a show bag containing your grooming Kit, leads, water bowls, poo bags, kitchen roll, wet wipes, talc, towels.

Remember to take your passes if appropriate.

Always go with a friend if your first time, but you will find plenty of friends when you get there

Pattern Work in the Ring

Pattern work is what the judge asks you to do to assess your dog’s movement.

The Triangle

The most common shape used in showing. As it shows the front, rear and side movement. Start with your dog in front of the judge with your dogs lead in your left hand., make sure your dog is in the line where you are going, move off in a right diagonal line towards the right-hand corner of the ring. When you reach the corner turn neatly left and follow the back edge of the ring, when you get to corners do not stop at the corners but slow down to create a slow flowing turn, always encourage your dog with voice commands, when you get to the left corner turn back straight to the judge, stand in front of the judge with your dog’s head facing to the right if possible

The straight up and down

This is another commonly used shape. Position your dog in front of the judge. And you will be just on the right, with your dogs lead in your right hand. Look directly in front of you and fix your eyes on something ahead of you. Move in a straight line to the end of the ring, turn around and move straight back. Towards the judge, stand the dog in front of the judge with their head facing to the right, if possible.

The Circle

This can be asked at any time during your time in the ring but normally at the beginning or at the end to compare dogs.

Move off to the right of the ring in an anti-clockwise direction with your dogs lead on the left. Follow the ring all the way around, the judge may ask you to do this more than not go close up to the dog in front and stay back so you can move your dog at its correct speed. If the dog in front stops for some reason, gently continue behind the dog do not go in front of the dog.

Things to take to a Dog Show

Water bowl and water

Food for yourself and your dog

Any treats you want to entice your dog in the ring. These should be kept in a small bag out the way when showing in the ring.

Bedding, Benching Chain or crate. You will have bench at general Championship shows and some breed championship shows. The schedule will tell you if unbenched or benched and this is a place where your dog can have rest from showing and people. An average size bench is 24 inches. Crates or Show trolleys are ideal to keep your dog safe and comfortable. Please be careful with the soft crates as these can roll over or the dog can rip them with their claws. All crates need to be identified with your ring number if not on a bench.

Show lead and Walking lead.

Cleaning/grooming kit

Waterproof clothing if show outside- We don’t get good weather in the UK.

Show Clothes for the ring, Ring clip

A fold up Chair as not all societies provide them

Proof of entry if posted or printed confirmation if done online. Just in case you are not in the catalogue or have any mistakes in the catalogue. All mistakes need to be reported to the secretary so they can take a note of them.

Removal Pass if applicable

Make sure you have made a note of your classes, so you are prepared for the day.

What to do when I get placed by the Judge.

The Judge will write a critic on the first two winners of the Class and some shows will go down to 3rd place.

The stewards will let you know if you are required to stay for a critique. Critiques will be available in Our Dogs. Also always congratulate the winners of the class.

If you were not placed, do not question the judge. You paid for the judge’s opinion and if you were not placed it’s their choice, but this does not mean it will happen at the next show. Different Judge and different opinions so don’t be disheartened. Always stay in line until the Judge has picked all the winners and then leave the ring nicely and happy.

Remember to treat these how you would like to be treated.

How do I compete for Best in Show at Championship Shows?

At Championship and breed shows, dogs and bitches are judged separately. When the judge has finished judging all the dog classes, all unbeaten dogs will go against each other to compete for Best Dog and the Challenge Certificate The same procedure applies to the Bitches for Best Bitch and the Challenge Certificate. after both have been judged then they go against each other for Best of Breed.

There are 7 groups, Terrier, Gundog, Utility, Toy, Hound, Working and Pastoral. All best of breed of each group will compete with each other. This is normally a different judge and there are 4 placings.1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or can be called Group 1, group 2, group 3, group 4. Once all groups have been judged. The winners of each group will compete together for Best in Show and Reserve best in Show

Special Beginners Class at Championship Shows.

Once you start competing there will be no stopping you. There are events up and down the country giving you loads of opportunity to meet up with like minded people the same as you.
One class very useful to all beginners is the Special Beginners Class. The class in the breed class section and you compete with both sexes to win the Best Special beginners of your breed. You will then compete with other Best Special beginners from all the other breeds in your group. This judging will be judged in the Main Ring or if time is short will be prejudged in another ring but the final decision presentation will be in the main ring. The Kennel Club sponsors these classes with Rosettes and if you are lucky enough to win the Group up the 4th place there is prize money. Group 1 £40, Group 2 £30, Group 3 £20 and Group 4 £10.
The criteria for this is that owner, handler or exhibit not to of won a CC or RCC.
Happy Showing and the Best of Luck x

How to compete at Best in Show at Open Shows

How do I compete for Best in Show at Open Shows?

At Open shows there are 2 different ways to compete for Best in Show

On the group system

Exactly the same way as the Championship show. The only difference is one is licensed for an Open Show and one a Championship Show.

Not on the Group system

This is where all the Best of Breed compete in the ring together. There is no group competition, The stages are 1st in your class, best of sex, best of breed and then Best in Show.

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