Taking Part in a Companion Dog Show

Companion Dog Shows are fundraising events held throughout the year and the shows are mostly organised in conjunction with fetes, charity open days or other similar events to raise money for a charitable cause of the show organiser's own choice. The shows are very relaxed so they are ideal for all dog owners at all levels to enjoy a fun day out with their companion.

Tips on preparing for the show:

  • Due to the growing popularity of Companion Dog Shows, it is important that you get to events in plenty of time to register your dog for the classes you wish to compete in.
  • Take such as a brush or other relevant grooming equipment, as well as some of your dog's favourite treats.
  • Please also remember to bring plenty of poo bags and clean up after your dog at the show.
  • Take a bowl and some water for your dog. If it looks as if it is going to be a very hot day then you might also want to take a towel soaked in cold water for your dog to lie on, which will help keep him cool while you are waiting to go into the ring.

Competitors taking part in a Companion Dog Show

On arrival at the show, visit the entries table where you can select the classes you would like to enter. If you need help with making your entry, or deciding which classes to enter then just ask, as the people organising the show will be more than happy to help you.

When you enter the show you will be given a ring number which you need to take into the ring with you. We recommend you take a safety pin, or what is called a 'ring clip', to secure the ring number to your clothes as you will need both hands free to handle your dog.

Listen to the ring steward as he or she will announce when each class is due to be judged.

Follow the steward's instructions as they will tell you where to stand with your dog. If you have a breed of dog which is judged on a table then some stewards like to have these breeds at the front of the class. But do not worry, as the steward will guide you and you will not be in trouble if you stand in the wrong place!

Remember to make sure that both you and your dog enjoy the day. Companion Dog Shows are often the first taste of competition for many people and once you are hooked you may decide that you want to go on to greater things.

Top 10 Tips on showing your dog at Companion Dog Shows

  • Team Effort - Train together and play together so that you build up a real partnership with your dog.
  • Back to School - Find out from the Kennel Club about Ringcraft classes in your area where you can learn how to present and train your dog for the show ring.
  • Look and Learn - Talk to the experienced people at the Ringcraft classes - they will be more than happy to help a newcomer. Watch how they present their dog to show off its finer points.
  • Be Prepared - Try to visit one or two shows without your dog so that you have an idea of what is required.
  • All Mapped Out - Plan your journey to the show well in advance and make sure that you arrive at the show in good time.
  • Go Walkabout - Make sure that your dog has a chance to stretch his legs before you go into the ring.
  • Keep Watch - Keep an eye on the judging - you can familiarise yourself with what the judge is looking for and what he or she will ask you to do.
  • Mind Your Manners - Always be polite and considerate to your fellow exhibitors.
  • Have Fun - Win or lose remember to praise your dog - he will no doubt have given his best for you. Owners like to win rosettes but praise and a cuddle from you will mean far more to your dog than a rosette does!


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