Organising a Companion Dog Show

Dogs have a special place in our hearts and are a vital part of any community. What better way to raise funds for your charity or cause than by holding a dog show, where the dogs and owners in your neighbourhood can join you in raising money as well as enjoying a great day out. Always popular events, Companion Dog Shows attract hundreds of hounds and generate millions of pounds every year for countless important and worthy causes.

Why not unleash the fundraising potential of the dogs in your community by holding a Companion Dog Show?

Who can tell me more?

If you would like to discuss your event in more detail, or would just like some advice please contact the relevant number below.

For Show’s held at Venue’s in England & Northern Ireland contact the Canine Activities Services Team on 01296 318540 or email

For Show’s held at Venue’s in Wales please contact the Welsh Kennel Club on:

Welsh Kennel Club
Mr I F G Williams
10 Gosmore Road
New Brighton
Flints CH7 6QN

For Show’s held at Venue’s in Scotland please contact the Scottish Kennel Club on:

Scottish Kennel Club
Mrs E Harrison
Paterson House
Eskmills Park,
Station Road
Musselburgh EH21 7PQ

What are Companion Dog Shows like?

Sometimes forming part of a village fete, or as events in their own right, Companion Dog Shows are great fun events at which all dogs, great and small, pedigree and non-pedigree, take part.

The mainstay of many Companion Dog Shows are the fun or 'Novelty Classes' like 'Dog most like its owner' and 'Dog with the waggiest tail'. Use your imagination and schedule some classes that everyone attending can have some real fun with. As there is nothing like a bit of healthy competition to get people coming along to a show, Companion Dog Shows can also schedule classes which allow pedigree dogs to compete head to head in classes such as 'Any Variety Terrier' or 'Any Variety Puppy'. Many people like to bring their new puppies along to Companion Dog Shows to get them used to other people and dogs and to see if they have the makings in them of the next Crufts Champion.

Please note that puppies under six months old are not permitted to take part in Companion Dog Shows

Sounds great, what do I need to do?

You will need to fill in a Licence Application Form and send it to the Kennel Club with supporting paperwork from the charity of your choice and a fee of £10. 

Before sending in your completed form, you must inform your charity, or cause, in writing that you are intending to hold a Companion Dog Show on their behalf. The charity's acknowledgment and agreement to your letter (this must be the original letter and not a copy) should be sent to the Kennel Club, along with your completed application form. It is not possible for us to issue the licence without this information.

Why do I need a licence?

Holding a Licensed Show means that all dogs, including pedigree dogs, can compete and join in the fun. Licences are only granted to properly organised events so that all those attending the show know that the money is going to charity and that the show is being run under the high standards set by the Kennel Club.

One of the ways the Kennel Club makes sure that a licensed show is of a high standard is that licences are only issued to shows that are held in accordance with the Kennel Club's regulations and have a published schedule. The regulations are not complex and are fully explained in this pack.

How long does it take to receive the licence?

You should not have to wait longer than two weeks to receive your licence (although in the very busy 'show season' of April to August it might take slightly longer. We state 42 days prior to the show date in our regulations, but endeavour to process sooner). The earlier in the year you apply for a licence, the earlier you will receive it.

Are there any other safety tips I should bear in mind?

Companion Dog Shows are most typically held over the summer and dogs suffer terribly if they are left in hot cars - even for short periods of time. Please refer to the information on page 2 of the Specimen Schedule. This notice must be included on your Schedule and Entry Form, to make all competitors aware of this.

What sort of classes can I hold at my show?

It is possible to hold both pedigree and novelty classes at your show. For detailed information of the Regulations for a Companion Dog Show, go to the Show Regulations page. This information forms the basis for your schedule, as shown in the Specimen Schedule.

For a successful show which includes all the dogs in the community, you must schedule some pedigree classes. We can only licence shows that include these classes.

How do I find a suitable judge for my show?

Why not get in touch with your local dog club and see if they can recommend a good local judge? Making contact with your local clubs may mean that you can get the support of their members for your event.

Contact the Kennel Club to get a full list of clubs in your area - see below for details.

Can I hold a Companion Dog Show as part of another dog show?

Yes, Companion Dog Shows are often held as part of other Kennel Club licensed events, but a separate licence must still be applied for.

The Kennel Club has no jurisdiction over Hunt Terrier and Lurcher Shows, however, if these shows are scheduled they must be held as a separate event and not as part of the Companion Dog Show.


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