SO - You've found the breed for you & you want to give Dog showing a 'go' but don't know where to start?
Here you will find some information on where to find show schedules & info on how to complete them & enter you dog for a dog show in the UK. Further down the page is also some information on classes & abbreviations.
Most of this information applies to Championship Shows unless stated otherwise.
Show Schedule – a printed booklet which includes a classification for each breed and also shows details of venue etc. The schedule will also contain an entry form. There are 7 Groups & your dog will come under one of these. Working, Pastoral, Hound, Terrier, Gundog, Utility & Toy. It is published approximately 3 months in advance of the show date. These are automatically sent to potential exhibitors by post or if you exhibited your dogs the previous year; or, they can be picked up at other shows; or, by contacting the appropriate Show Secretary; or, on-line at www.highampress.co.uk, www.fossedata.net, www.cidweb.co.uk or http://www.penneypine.co.uk. Also the Dog newspapers such as Our Dogs & Dog World list both Open, Championship, Limit & Club shows.
Making an entry – filling in an entry form with details of the dog to be entered, date of birth, owners/breeders, and classes entered. The fee must accompany the entry form and it is sent to the Secretary. Dogs have to be a minimum of 6 months of age on the first day of the show; there are certain classes which depend upon the age of the dog (e.g. Minor Puppy – 6 to 9 months, Puppy – 6 to 12 months & Junior 6 to 18 months of age) Dogs normally compete within their own age group but once they are older than 18 months then the class they are entered in depends upon their previous wins. Entries are normally made by post and the closing date has to be adhered to and is normally referred to by the date of postmark, not the date the entry reaches the Secretary. Entries can also be made for some shows on line. e.g www.dog.biz www.fossedata.net or www.cidweb.co.uk Please note than only dogs entered for competition can be admitted within the precincts of the show and this includes the car park. Dogs should not, in any circumstances, be left in cars. If they are it can have fatal results for the dog and may result in some form of disciplinary action. Dogs can, however, be entered “Not For Competition” or “NFC”. This means that you include them on the entry form, paying a reduced fee but they are not eligible for competition at the show. You can then take the dog into the show.
Exhibitors Pass – This is sent to your home address usually 2 weeks prior to the show. Printed upon it are all the details relating to you; your dogs; and relevant show documentation. You must show the Exhibitors Pass to gain entry into the Showground. If it is mislaid you need to contact the Secretary at the Showground. The exhibitors pass will also show the following details:
Bench number – at Championship shows all dogs are benched. This means that a steel/wooden type structure is provided by the show. Your dog should be put in this (apart from when he/she is being exercised). Most small breeds will be put in a cage or travelling box before being placed in the bench. All dogs of the same breed are normally benched in the same area. Large dogs do not have boxes or cages; they are secured in the bench by means of a benching chain. At an Open or Limit show there are NO benching areas for dogs.
Show Catalogue – this is available only on the day of the show and provides a complete listing of Exhibitors, dogs and classes. A map of the showground; start times etc. and all relevant information for the show is included in the catalogue. It is quite normal for catalogues to be ordered (and paid for) in advance at the time the entry is made. Your exhibitor’s pass will include a slip which enables you to collect your catalogue on arrival at the show. You should always check that your details are shown correctly in the catalogue and if they are not you should speak to someone in the Show Secretary’s office.
Day of the Show – you should always make sure you know which day of the show your breed is being judged. Different groups of dogs, e.g. Terriers or Hounds can be judged on different days. Take a water bowl and food (the latter for both dog and human!)
Start time – you should always allow plenty of time for your journey, there are very often queues of traffic going into the show. You do not register when you get there but the first thing you should do is to find your bench and settle your dog. Judging usually begins at 10 am but for larger breeds it can start at 9 am. See your schedule for more information.
Order of Judging – this is printed in the catalogue and sometimes enclosed on a leaflet with your ‘Exhibitors Pass’. This will show when and where your breed is to be judged. Judging takes place in a...
Ring – this is an area of ground cordoned off which contains a table on which the judge will examine each dog. At outdoor shows there will always be a separate ring under cover where judging can take place if the weather is unkind. You should make sure you know where to find this. This ring is often called the “wet weather accommodation”. Before you go to the ring you should make sure that you have your…….
Ring Number – you will find this at the top of your bench. It will be the same as your bench number. This is to be displayed on your person so that spectators can identify your dog and look it up in the catalogue. (The judge does not have access to the catalogue until after the show!!) At Open, Limit or Club Shows your number will be given to you as you enter the ring to show your dog.
Judge – a person who is qualified to judge your breed and, for Championship Shows, is approved by the Kennel Club to judge at that level.
Ring Stewards – are present in every show ring and will instruct you where to stand. They will also make sure that you are displaying the correct ring number.
Showing your dog – the normal procedure is for all dogs to enter the ring, not in any particular order, but they all stand in a line. Dogs are normally shown on a slip lead, this is a nylon lead used specifically for showing and can be bought at the shows, or some use a metal chain collar & seperate lead. The judge will sometimes ask the first exhibitor to lead all the exhibitors around the ring, once or sometimes twice. By doing this, the judge makes his or her first assessment of the dogs in the class. Always make sure that you walk with the dog nearest the judge, i.e. do not position yourself between the dog and the judge (or the judge will not be able to see your dog properly).
The judge will then examine each dog on the table. You will hold the dog in position to make it easier for the judge. The judge will then ask you to move your dog, usually by walking it in a triangle shape so that he/she can get a view of the dog’s back, front and side movement (gait). You will then return to the line of exhibitors. When the last dog has been walked you should have your dog ready to look its best before the final decision is made. Sometimes a tit bit will help your dog look more alert. Some breeds are shown on a loose lead, some are “stacked” (held by the exhibitor with the dogs head and tail placed to show off the dog’s outline).
In classes where there are a lot of entries the judge may select several dogs from the class for a closer look. This is known as “being pulled out” or “making the cut”. The judge will then place normally 5 dogs, 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. When the judge is satisfied with the placings, he or she will tell the steward who will hand out the prize cards. If you are not placed you may leave the ring, but you should wait until you are satisfied that the judging is finished.
If you win 1st, 2nd (sometimes 3rd) place the judge will ask you to stand and continue to show your dog for a little while whilst the critique is done. He or she will make brief notes and will enlarge upon this after the show. These critiques are sent to Dog World and Our Dogs for publication.
When all the classes of one sex have been judged the unbeaten winning dogs will be called back into the ring to challenge for the……….
**Challenge Certificate (C.C. or sometimes known as the ‘ticket’). This is a certificate which the judge signs stating that in his or her opinion the dog is worthy of becoming a Show Champion. These certificates are awarded by The Kennel Club (the dog world’s governing body who licence all shows) and a special certificate is posted to the exhibitor by The Kennel Club at a later date. Your dog will need three of these awards, given by different judges before he/she becomes a Champion. This status is also awarded by The Kennel Club. The judge has the right to withhold the CC (and RCC) if he does not think any dog entered in any class is worthy of being a Champion.
**The Reserve Challenge Certificate - All unbeaten winning dogs then challenge for this award. This certificate states that the dog given this award is worthy of being awarded the CC should the certificate winner be disqualified. This doesn’t happen very often! It is at the judge’s discretion to call into the ring the dog place second to the CC winner.
Best of Breed – the Dog CC winner and the bitch CC winner then compete for Best of Breed. This exhibit then enters the group for his breed i.e Working, Pastoral, Hound, Terrier, Gundog, Utility &Toy. This is judged towards the end of the show and is very often judged by a different judge to the breed classes. Normally it is an experienced judge who judges more than one breed at Championship show level. The winner of the group then challenges the other winners of the other groups and eventually the Best in Show award is made.
Best Puppy - The unbeaten Bitch Puppy & Unbeaten Dog Puppy 'challenge' each other after Best of Breed has been awarded. The winning puppy is then awarded 'Best Puppy in Breed' & will go onto compete in the 'Group' against all other unbeaten puppies. Not all shows schedule a Puppy Group & you must check this before leaving the showground.
** CC's are not always allocated to a breed at many championship shows & certainly are not awarded at Open or Limit shows. In these cases a BEST DOG & RESERVE BEST DOG are awarded**
Secretary (office) – the Show Secretary has an office on the showground to deal with any queries.
Show Manager – deals with the organisation of the showground.
Veterinary Surgeon – is present on every showground.
Crufts Qualifications – you have to qualify your dog at General Championship shows before you can show at Crufts Dog Show. For a list of qualification criteria click here Crufts & How to Qualify
Not for competition (NFC) – dogs may be entered ‘not for competition’. This means a bench will be provided for your dog but it cannot compete in the show. At shome Championship shows there are 'Unentered dog' areas. This is where ANY dog not entered NFC or for competition must stay whilst you attend the show.
Other Awards – There are two other significant awards that can be added as a suffix after the dog name:
JW – for Junior Warrant & Sh.CM – Show Certificate of Merit
Show Certificate of Merit
Different types of Dog Shows
Championship Shows - Challenge Certificates are on offer for most breeds. They are normally large shows, lasting a few days. Your dog does not, however, have to have done any previous winning to attend these shows. Some Championship shows do not have Challenge Certificates for all breeds that are being shown & infact there are some breeds that have not been granted 'CC' status yet by the Kennel Club.
Open Shows – a smaller type of show, open to all. Champions can be entered but not many are. Quite often dogs and bitches of one breed are judged together.
Limited Shows – these are limited to 75 classes and any dog that has won either a CC or any win that counts towards the status of Champion is ineligible for entry.
Breed Club Shows - these are limited to a specific breed i.e St Bernard, Bullmastiff etc & are run by the breed clubs themselves. They often schedule Championship shows yearly along with Limit & Open shows & are only open to dogs of that breed for competition.
Match meetings – locally run training classes for the show ring. CC winners cannot enter.
At Championship shows Dogs are always shown before bitches, in the case of open shows it is usual to find that dogs & bitches are in the same class & sometimes there maybe only a few classes scheduled. Not all shows shedule all the classes listed below at any one show. Not all shows have a Best Puppy in show competition
If a show is judged on the 'Group System' it means that ALL the dogs declared Best Of Breed or Best Puppy in Breed compete in their respective 'group' i.e Working, Pastoral, Terrier, Hound, Toy, Utility, Gundog. Each Group winner then goes on to compete for Best In Show or Best Puppy In Show!!
Where there is NO group system, ALL Best of Breed & Best Puppy winners compete in one BIG 'class' for Best In Show or Best Puppy in Show
BOB - Best Of Breed - Awarded to the Best Dog or Bitch of any breed whether there are CC's on offer or not.
RBOB - Reserve Best of Breed - Usually awarded to the dog that did not get BOB
BOS - Best Opposite Sex - Awarded to the opposite sexed dog of the Best of Breed winner (i.e if the Male was awarded BOB then the bitch is automatically awarded BOS)
BOSP - Best Opposite Sex Puppy - Awarded to the opposite sexed dog of the Best Puppy in breed winner (i.e if the Male was awarded Best Puppy then the bitch is automatically awarded BOSP - or Reserve Best Puppy in Breed) Not all shows have these awards.
BP - Best Puppy Dog/Bitch- An award given to both the Best Puppy dog and Best Puppy Bitch who then challenge each other after Best of Breed is declared for Best Puppy in Breed.
BPIB - Best Puppy in Breed - Awarded to the Best Puppy of the breed. Both Best Puppy Bitch & Best Puppy Dog compete after Best Of Breed has been declared to win Best Puppy in Breed.
CC - Challenge Certificate - An award given, in the Judges Opinion, to the Best Dog or Bitch out of all the class winners. The judge declares by signing the card that the CC winner "is of such outstanding merit as to be worthy of the title of Champion" of its breed. Any dog must gain 3 CC's under 3 different judges to become an English Champion. There is usually a CC for each sex of dog. The 2 CC winners (i.e Dog CC & Bitch CC winner) go on to compete for BOB who then goes on to compete in the respective Group(Best Of Breed - See above)
Res CC - An an award given in the Judges opinion to the 2nd Best Dog or Bitch in their respective line ups. The judge declares by signing the card that the Res CC winner "is of such outstanding merit as to be worthy of being awarded the Challenge Certificate should the Challenge Certificate winner be disqualified" .
Best Dog/Bitch - Where Championship shows are scheduled WITHOUT CC's for a breed, or an Open show, an award for Best Dog & Best Bitch must be given, these then go on to compete for Best of Breed, and the Group.
Res Best Dog/Bitch - As above, but awarded to the 2nd best dog & Bitch in the respective breed.
Class Definitions & Abbreviations:
MINOR PUPPY Dog/Bitch (MPD/MPB) - For dogs of six and not exceeding nine calendar months of age on the first day of the Show.
PUPPY Dog/Bitch (PD/PB) - For dogs of six and not exceeding twelve calendar months of age on the first day of the Show.
JUNIOR Dog/Bitch (JD/JB) - For dogs of six and not exceeding eighteen calendar months of age on the first day of the Show.
YEARLING Dog/Bitch (YD/YB) - For dogs of twelve and not exceeding twenty-four calendar months of age on the first day of the Show.
BEGINNERS Dog/Bitch - For owner, handler or exhibit not having won a first prize at a Championship or Open Show.
MAIDEN Dog/Bitch (MD/MB) - For dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or a First Prize at an Open or Championship show (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, Puppy and Special Puppy classes excepted, whether restricted or not).
NOVICE Dog/Bitch (ND/NB) - For dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or three or more First Prizes at Open and Championship Shows (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, Puppy and Special Puppy classes excepted, whether restricted or not).
TYRO Dog/Bitch (TD/TB) - For dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or five or more First Prizes at Open and Championship Shows (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, Puppy and Special Puppy classes excepted, whether restricted or not).
DEBUTANT Dog/Bitch (DD/DB) - For dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or a First Prize at a Championship Show (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, Puppy and Special Puppy classes excepted, whether restricted or not).
UNDERGRADUATE Dog/Bitch (UGD/UGB) - For dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or three or more First Prizes at Championship Shows (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, Puppy and Special Puppy classes excepted, whether restricted or not).
GRADUATE Dog/Bitch (GD/GB) - For dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or four or more First Prizes at Championship Shows in Graduate, Post Graduate, Minor Limit, Mid Limit, Limit and Open classes, whether restricted or not.
POSTGRADUATE Dog/Bitch (PGD/PGB) - For dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or five or more First Prizes at Championship Shows in Post Graduate, Minor Limit, Mid Limit, Limit and Open classes, whether restricted or not.
MID LIMIT Dog/Bitch (MLD/MLB) - For dogs which have not won three Challenge Certificates or Five or more First Prizes in all at Championship Shows in Mid Limit, Limit and Open classes, confined to the breed, whether restricted or not, at shows where Challenge Certificates were offered for the breed.
LIMIT Dog/Bitch (MLD/MLB) - For dogs which have not won three Challenge Certificates under three different judges or seven or more First Prizes in all, at Championship Shows in Limit and Open classes, confined to the breed, whether restricted or not, at Shows where Challenge Certificates were offered for the breed.
OPEN Dog/Bitch (OD/OB) - For all dogs of the breeds for which the class is provided and eligible for entry at the Show.
VETERAN Dog/Bitch (VD/VB) - For dogs of not less than seven years of age on the first day of the Show.
CHAMPION Dog/Bitch (CHD/CHB) - For dogs which have been confirmed a Champion, show Champion or Field Trial Champion. Champion classes may not be scheduled for individual breeds or varieties of breeds.
PROGENY For a dog or bitch, accompanied by at least three of its registered progeny. The dog or bitch not necessarily entered in another class however, all progeny having been entered and exhibited in another class. The dog or bitch and the progeny need not be registered in the same ownership.
BRACE For two exhibits (either sex or mixed) of one breed belonging to the same exhibitor, each exhibit having been entered in some class other than Brace or Team.
TEAM For three or more exhibits (either sex or mixed) of one breed belonging to the same exhibitor, each exhibit having been entered in some class other than Brace or Team.
BREEDERS For dogs bred by the exhibitor.
BRACE For two exhibits (either sex or mixed) of one breed belonging to the same exhibitor, each exhibit having been entered in some class other than Brace or Team.
RARE BREEDS Confined to those breeds not granted Challenge Certificates in the current year, with the exception of those breeds whose registration is confined to the Imported Register.
IMPORTED REGISTER For breeds confined to the Imported Breeds Register and only when an Interim Breed Standard has been published by The Kennel Club. Such breeds may be exhibited in this class only, and are ineligible for any other competition whatsoever.
ANY VARIETY NOT SEPARATELY CLASSIFIED - For breeds of dog for which no separate breed classes are scheduled.
NOT FOR COMPETITION - Societies may at their discretion, accept Not for Competition entries. Societies may accept such entries from breeds of dog not included within the title of the Society and at Shows held over more than one day, such entries may be accepted on any day from any breed.
Y.K.C. STAKES - For dogs exhibited and handled by a fully paid-up member of the Young Kennel Club, registered either solely or jointly in the member's name or in the name of a member of the family and under these circumstances the dog must be resident at the Young Kennel Club member's address. This is NOT a handling competition.
Y.K.C. HANDLING CLASSES: Exhibitors may handle any dog provided it is fully registered on the Kennel Club Breed Register and is eligible to be exhibited at Kennel Club licensed events. The 1st placed exhibitor from each handling (including J.H.A. if scheduled) class will be invited to take part in a Y.K.C. Handling Competition at Crufts , provided as from the 1st December xxxx they are fully paid-up members of the Y.K.C. Please Note: Handlers do not need to be Y.K.C. members to enter the handling classes, but must become a Y.K.C. member to take part in the Y.K.C. Handling Competition at Crufts xxxx
SPECIAL LIMIT Similar to an Limit class except that it is restricted as to weight, colour, height, etc. as appropriate.
SPECIAL OPEN Similar to an Open class except that it is restricted as to weight, COAT TYPE, colour, height, etc. as appropriate.
Pedigree Masterfoods SPECIAL VETERAN STAKES For dogs of not less than seven years of age on the day of the Show, except that a dog will not be eligible for entry if it has already won a similar class for the same event during 20XX
Pedigree Masterfoods SPECIAL CHAMPION STAKES For dogs which have been confirmed a Champion or a Show Champion, except that a dog will not be eligible for entry if it has already won a similar class for the same event during 20XX.
Purina Pro Plan/Dog World PUPPY STAKES Open to all puppies of six and not exceeding twelve calendar months of age on the first day of the Show. Dogs which have already qualified for the Purina Pro Plan/Dog World Pup of the Year final are not eligible to compete.
Petplan JUNIOR STAKES 20xx For dogs of 6 months and not exceeding 18 calendar months of age on the first day of the show.
GOOD CITIZEN DOG - For dogs that have achieved their GCDS Bronze SCHEME CLASS Award Certificate or above.