Exhibitors' Show Regulation FAQs

We hope these FAQs will help to resolve some of the common queries that are asked about dog showingwhich we receive from Exhibitors.

1.Question: Is there a minimum age that a dog can compete at a dog show?

Answer: Only dogs of 6 calendar months of age and over on the first day of the Show are eligible for exhibition at Kennel Club licensed shows. However, societies may accept 'Not for Competition' entries at their discretion for dogs aged 4 calendar months and over. Furthermore, dogs aged four calendar months and over are eligible to enter Match competitions. (Regulation F1.c.)

2. Question: My dog is a year old on the first day of a two day show. Can I enter him/her in Puppy?

Answer: Yes - A Puppy Class is for dogs of 6 and not exceeding 12 calendar months on the first day of the show.

3. Question: Can I enter any shows while my Import application is being processed?

Answer: A dog must, at the time of entry for a Show, be registered as required by Kennel Club Rules and Regulations in the exhibitor’s name (or registration or transfer applied for).’ (Regulation F(1)9.f.). Therefore, if at the closing date of entries, the import has been applied for but the Kennel Club document has not been received, the dog may be entered and the name should be followed by the letters N.A.F (Name Applied For).

4. Question: Can I enter a show while my Authority to Compete (ATC) is being processed?

Answer: You may not enter any competitions in the UK until you have your ATC number, and this number must be quoted on all entry forms.

5. Question: Can I enter a show prior to sending in the registration forms?

Answer: You are not permitted to enter a show with either NAF or TAF, unless you have physically applied for Name or Transfer.

6. Question: Do overseas wins count when calculating eligibility for classes at UK Kennel Club licensed shows?

Answer: In the class definitions, a Challenge Certificate (CC) includes any show award that counts towards the title of Champion under the rules of any governing body recognised by the Kennel Club.

Therefore a Green Star, CAC and / or CACIB, when considering class eligibility, will be the equivalent of winning a CC. We would further advise that if the dog is a Champion, it will only be eligible to enter the Open Class (unless it is eligible for a ‘Special’ or age restricted Class e.g. Yearling where eligibility is based solely on age and not on awards). This applies to all UK Kennel Club licensed Shows. The ‘First Prizes’ sections of the Class definitions refer to those First Prizes gained at UK Kennel Club licensed shows.

7. Question: My dog is a Junior Champion. Does this count when calculating eligibility?

Answer: The Kennel Club does not recognise the title of Junior Champion. However, exhibitors should take into account any award (which we recognise) which counts towards the title of Champion as it will be the equivalent to a Kennel Club Challenge Certificate (CC) (e.g. CACs, CACIBs, Green Stars). If the dog has not been awarded a prize which counts towards the title of Champion then it has no previous CCs.

8. Question: My dog is an overseas Champion. Can it enter an AV Champion Class?

Answer: Yes. Dogs which have gained an overseas Champion title awarded by any governing body recognized by the Kennel Club are eligible to enter AV Champion Classes. However, exhibitors should check the Show Schedule as some definitions, specified by the Show Society, may state otherwise.

9. Question: I have entered Junior, Maiden and Novice at a show coming up this weekend, I've just realised that my dog is overqualified for Maiden and Novice. What can I do?

Answer: The dog cannot enter the classes for which it is overqualified and must be transferred to the open class by the secretary at the show. Therefore it should compete in Junior (for which it is eligible) and Open, in lieu of the two ineligible classes. (Regulation F(1)9.k).

If you are uncertain whether you have overqualified please note that when estimating the number of awards won, all wins up to and including the seventh day before the date of closing of entries shall be counted when entering for any class. The specific date for calculating awards is also published in each schedule. Please note that wins in Variety Classes do not count for entry in Breed Classes. (Regulation F(1)9.i.).

10. Question: When entering a Show online, do I calculate the awards won up to and including seven days before the online or postal closing date?

Answer: The awards won should be calculated up to and including the seventh day before the postal closing date. The specific date for calculating awards is also published in each schedule.

11.Question: I haven't seen a copy of the critique for a show I entered - what should I do?

Answer: First of all you need to report it to the Kennel Club by writing to the Breed Shows Team (Clarges Street, London Piccadilly, W1J8AB or email breedshows@thekennelclub.org.uk ), who will write to the judge and request a copy of the critique. Once we have received it, we forward a copy onto the exhibitor. If a judge isn't able to provide a critique, the matter may be referred to the Committee for consideration.

12. Question: What is the difference between Any Variety / Stakes Classes?

Answer: A Variety Class is one in which more than one breed or variety of a breed can compete. For the purpose of Kennel Club Show Regulations, the term “Variety Class” also applies to “Stakes Classes”. (Regulation F(A)1.)

13. Question: My dog is in co-ownership with the scheduled Judge, can I enter it at the Show if I handle the dog on the day?

Answer: No. Judges may not exhibit a dog for competition or handle a dog in the ring at a Show at which they are officiating (vide Regulation F(1)30.(9)). (Regulation F(1)21.e).

14. Question: I want to enter a Show but the scheduled Judge handled my dog in the ring at a previous Show. Can I enter under the Judge?

Answer: A dog may not be entered under a Judge that has handled the dog at a Show within the previous twelve months. This does not apply to a Judge appointed in an emergency. (Regulation F(1)30.a.(11))

15. Question: My breed is scheduled at a Show. Can I enter AVNSC?

Answer: No. Any Variety Not Separately Classified (AVNSC) Classes are for breeds of dog for which no separate breed classes are scheduled.

16.Question: If I miss the first of the two classes that I am entered into, is it ok to go into the second class?

Answer: If a dog misses a class(es) it may continue to compete in all subsequent classes for which it was entered. If in any of these classes, the dog becomes eligible to challenge for any other prizes or awards at the show, it can continue to challenge for these awards.

Where a dog misses a class (or classes) a post show report must be forwarded to the Kennel Club, where the reason(s) for missing class(es) will be investigated. This information will then be considered by the relevant Sub-Committee and if the reason(s) given was not acceptable, it is likely that any awards gained at the show will be disqualified.

17. Question: I withdrew my dog from a class and was not subsequently allowed to compete (with the same dog) in the next class. Was this correct?

Answer: Generally if a dog has been withdrawn it must not compete further at that show. Exceptions to this include a dog which has become eligible for Best of Group, Best Puppy in Group, Best Puppy in Show and Best in Show, which may withdraw from all other competition other than Breed Classes, Best of Breed or Best Puppy in Breed in order to remain unbeaten. Dogs may also be withdrawn from Any Variety classes when judged before Breed Classes.

18. Question: Can the winners of AV (Any Variety/ Stakes) Classes compete in the Group? 

Answer: Not unless they have also been declared either Best of Breed or Best AVNSC. 

19. Question: What should I do if an incident occurs at the show?

Answer: Incidents should be reported at the show and forwarded by the Secretary to the Kennel Club in the Post Show Report, for follow up as appropriate. Show reports can be scanned over email to breedshows@thekennelclub.org.uk

20. Question: Can I show a docked dog?

Answer: The term 'docked' includes dogs which have their tails shortened for medical reasons. After the relevant dates - these count as having been docked and therefore such dogs are not allowed to be shown at events where the public are admitted on payment of a fee.

Dogs which were docked before 6th April 2007 (28th March for shows held in Wales) If your dog was docked either in the UK or in a foreign country before 6th April 2007 (28th March for shows in Wales) then it may compete at all Kennel Club licensed events. Dogs which were docked on or after 6th April 2007 (28th March for shows held in Wales).

If your dog was docked on or after 6th April 2007 (28th March for shows held in Wales and irrespective of where it was docked) it will not, under the law, be permitted to be shown at any show in England or Wales where the public are admitted on payment of a fee.

However, if your dog was legally docked either in the UK or in another country on or after 6 April 2007 (28 March for shows held in Wales), you will be permitted to compete with it at:

(a) all shows held in Scotland

(b) those shows held in England and Wales where the public do not pay to be admitted.

Shows held in Northern Ireland - The Kennel Club would like to inform exhibitors in Northern Ireland that dogs docked in the country after 1st January 2013 are no longer eligible to be shown at events where the exhibitor pays an entry fee or members of the public pay an admittance fee.

Dogs docked before this date may still be shown under current legislation.

For more information or clarification on the updated legislation, please contact the Northern Ireland

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development by visiting http://www.dardni.gov.uk, emailing

dardhelpline@dardni.gov.uk or alternatively telephone 0300 200 7840.

Shows where the public are admitted on payment of a fee - All shows which charge the public for admission must state this on the show schedule and entry form - but you should check carefully whether or not your dog is eligible before entering.

Permission to show

If your dog has had an operation you are required to write to the Kennel Club to seek permission to continue to show your dog. Applications must be put in writing and accompanied by veterinary documentation, and addressed to The Kennel Club, Breed Shows Team Clarges Street, London, W1J 8AB, UK or scanned over email to breedshows@thekennelclub.org.uk For further information please see question below.

21. Question: My dog requires/has had surgery. Do I need to request 'Permission to Show' and if so how do I go about it?

Answer: Yes, You need to write to the Breed Shows Team at the Kennel Club (Clarges Street, London, Piccadilly, W1J 8AB or scanned over email to breedshows@thekennelclub.org.uk ) requesting 'Permission to Show' and outlining your dog’s Kennel Club registered name. In addition you will need to include a letter from the Vet confirming the surgery undertaken. This request will then be placed before the Committee for consideration and you will be informed of the outcome shortly thereafter.

Docked Dogs

The owner of any dog, from any country, which was docked on or after 6th April 2007 (28th March 2007 for shows in Wales) must apply to the Kennel Club for permission to show before competing. Applications must be put in writing to The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London, W1J 8AB, UK or scanned over email to breedshows@thekennelclub.org.uk.

22. Question: Can I show a dog with cropped ears?

Answer: No dog with cropped ears is eligible to compete at any Kennel Club 

23. Question: Which puppies are eligible to compete for BPIG and BPIS at Championship shows?
A. The puppies which are eligible to compete for BPIG and BPIS at Championship shows are:

  • Those Puppies which have been declared Best Puppy in Breed.
  • Best AVNSC Puppy.
  • Best Imported Breed Registered Puppy.

24. Question: Now that eligibility for groups at all types of show is the same which dogs are eligible to complete for the group and best in show?
A. All Best of Breeds, Best AVNSC and Best AV Imported Breed Register dog can compete for the group and the best from each group will be eligible for best in show.

Q. Why is Best AV Imported Breed Register now eligible for the group when previously the dog was only allowed to do a lap of honour?
A. The initiatives brought forward by the Dog Show Promotion Working Party have in the main been as a response to extensive consultation with exhibitors and others, and are intended to to open up competition and to make as many dogs as possible eligible for awards.

General FAQs 

25. Question: If my dog is declared BIS and Best Puppy in Show can I go on to compete further at the show?
A. Yes, dogs declared BIS and Reserve BIS (including Best Puppy in Show) need not be withdrawn from subsequent competition, it was agreed that competition should not be overly restrictive.

26. Question: If my dog wins a breed class but is subsequently beaten in another breed class can it challenge for best of sex?
A. No, BOB, Best AVNSC and Best Imported Breed Register can only come from unbeaten dogs within the breed (or AVNSC / Best Imported Breed Register). Therefore only all unbeaten dogs in Breed, AVNSC and Imported Breed Register can challenge for best dog or best bitch.

27. Question: My dog is declared BOB and I would prefer that it remains unbeaten to challenge for Best in Group, can I still withdraw from AV classes in which it has been entered?
A. From feedback received from exhibitors it was noted that some would prefer their dog to be unbeaten when competing for the group, despite the fact that beaten dogs can now compete in the group.  The regulations still allow for exhibitors to withdraw from variety classes to remain unbeaten.

28. Question: I own a breed on the Imported Breed Register and previously I have only been allowed to do a lap of honour before the Group Competition, is it correct that dogs registered on the Imported Breed Register can now compete in group competitions?
A. Yes the winner of AV Imported Breed Register classes can now compete in the relevant group or puppy group competitions.

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