Attending your first heelwork to music competition

Girl kneeling while dog goes through leg
BeatMedia © / The Kennel Club

After you have attended training sessions, you may like to take the next step into entering.

Below explains more information about the schedule and entry form. 


A schedule is a small booklet of information detailing the competition information and includes the entry form. It will list all the classes available, the judges who are judging the classes, the secretary’s information, the class definitions, the venue address and much more. 

Entry form

To enter a competition, you will need to find your way to the right part of the schedule, which has the entry form. From there you will need to select which class, or classes, you would like to enter - the schedule will always offer detailed definitions of each class. At the discretion of the competition organisers dogs may be entered in eligible classes in both categories, however a different routine must be worked. However, as someone who is new to heelwork to music, it might be worth just entering one class so you can get used to the ring and not overdo competing with your dog.

Signing the entry form is important as it forms the contract between yourself and the competition society. If the dog is jointly owned, both owners should sign the entry form unless one of the parties has the written permission of the other to sign on their behalf. By signing, you are declaring that your dog is fit and healthy to take part in the competition, and that you will abide by The Kennel Club's rules and regulations.

Before you attend your first competition

Before you attend the competition there are a number of things you should remember to do. 

Checklist of things to do
  • Request a schedule from the secretary or take a look at an online entry system to preview a schedule there and select the class(es) you wish to enter
  • Post your entry form together with your entry fee to the secretary before the closing date or enter your dog online via an online entry system
  • Record details of the show(s) and class(es) entered
  • Decide on your outfit and make sure your shoes are comfortable!
  • If your dog is showing any signs of illness, do not take it to the competition
  • Groom and prepare your dog
  • Prepare a bag containing your leads, water bowls, outfit, props, music, back-up music, poop scoop and bags etc.
  • Remember to take your passes (if appropriate)
  • If you have made a friend at training or know someone who has competed before, ask them to attend with you, so you can ask them any questions you may have
Things to take to the competition
  • Water bowl and water
  • Food for yourself and your dog
  • Walking lead
  • Waterproof clothing 
  • Clothes for the day
  • Money
  • Music and back-up music
  • Outfit 
  • Props
  • Car park pass, if applicable
  • Entry ticket and pass, please be aware that not all competitions issue tickets or passes so you will need to check the schedule to find out
  • Make sure you have made a note of what classes you have entered so you are prepared on the day

What to expect at the competition

When you arrive at the competition, you'll step into a whole new world filled with heelwork to music enthusiasts.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of the day:

  • Arrive at the venue in plenty of time to find your bearings
  • Familiarise yourself with the venue
  • Book in at the secretary’s table
  • Submit your music and back-up music
  • Keep an eye on the timings so you don't miss your class or running order
  • Speak to fellow competitors and learn more about heelwork to music 
  • Look around the event - you will find that there is so much to discover and learn
  • Always clean up after your dog
  • Always leave venues clean and tidy

Next steps - competing in heelwork to music

Now you've attended your first competition, you're officially an HTM competitor. Find out more about competing in heelwork to music.