At a dog show

At a Dog Show © Heidi Hudson

One of the delights of dog showing is watching the judging, and most exhibitors take a keen interest in what the judge is doing. Following the judging will not only give you an idea as to what the judge is looking for, but by watching other seasoned exhibitors it should give you a much greater insight into how to handle your dog more professionally, how to behave in the ring and to become familiar with the actual mechanics of showing your dog.

At larger multi-breed shows you will also have the chance to see all sorts of other breeds in the show ring. Strolling around the showground provides a good opportunity to talk to other dog owners and learn about other breeds of dog. At larger shows there are also likely to be plenty of trade stands selling all manner of dog paraphernalia, from dog food to coats, leads, grooming equipment and kennels. There may also be book stalls, stands selling clothing and all sorts of arts and crafts for sale.

Grooming and preparing your dog for exhibition

Short-coated breeds do not require too much preparation before they go into the ring but if your breed has a long coat, or is usually presented in a certain style it could take you some time to prepare your dog to perfection. Most grooming and clipping should be completed before you set out for the show but most people give their dogs a quick brush and final trim just before going into the show ring. You will need to make yourself aware of the Kennel Club regulations regarding preparing dogs for exhibition - this information should be included in the schedule.

Qualifying for Crufts

It is surely every exhibitor's dream to qualify their dogs for Crufts - the most famous dog show in the world! To be able to show at Crufts however, your dog must qualify through one of the various qualification routes. For further information on how to qualify for Crufts, click here.


  • Before The Show: Request schedule from Secretary.
  • Send your entry form together with your entry fee to the Secretary before the closing date!
  • Groom and prepare your dog.
  • Prepare a show bag containing your grooming kit, leads, water bowls, poop scoop etc.
  • Remember to take your show passes (if appropriate).

At the Show:

  • Arrive at the showground in plenty of time.
  • Purchase a catalogue.
  • If at a Championship Show, find your bench and show ring.
  • Finish off grooming.
  • Keep your eye on the judging and do not miss your class!
  • Look around the show - you will find that there is so much to discover and learn.

Suggested Reading

The following Kennel Club publications may be a further source of useful information:

  • Kennel Club Journal - The Kennel Club's monthly journal providing the complete show diary list.
  • The Kennel Club Year Book - Contains a list of the Members and Associates of the Kennel Club, a list of Breed Clubs and Societies with the complete Rules and Regulations. 
  • Regulation Booklets - A range of personal organiser sized booklets on the different canine regulations, which include Agility and Flyball, Field Trials, Heelwork to Music, Obedience, Show and Working Trials.
  • Breed Standards - A detailed description of each Breed Standard is listed within their Groupings.

To order any of the 'Suggested Reading' literature call the Publications Hotline on 020 7518 1016 or order from the Online Shop.

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More Information
Qualifying for Crufts
Show 'F' Regulations

Related Topics

Dog ShowingDog Shows

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