Attending your first obedience competition

Dog sat with head looking up
BeatMedia © / The Kennel Club

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

Once you are ready to begin competing in obedience, the first step is to fill out an entry form from a schedule. Find out more below.


A schedule is a small booklet of information which details the show 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 show, 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. The schedule will let you know how many classes you may enter your dog in at the show.

Signing the entry form is important as it forms the contract between yourself and the show 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 show, and that you will abide by The Kennel Club's rules and regulations.

Before you attend your obedience show

Before you attend the show 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
  • If your dog is showing any signs of illness, do not take it to the show
  • Prepare a bag containing your leads, water bowls, poop scoop and bags etc.
  • Remember to take your show 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 show
  • Water bowl and water
  • Food for yourself and your dog
  • Retrieve article, if needed
  • Waterproof clothing (if the show is to be held outdoors)
  • Clothes for the day
  • Money
  • Car park pass, if applicable
  • Entry ticket and pass - please be aware that not all shows issue tickets or passes so you will need to check the schedule to find out
  • Make sure you have made a note of what class(es) you have entered so you are prepared on the day

What to expect at the show

Here are our tips for ensuring you make the most of the day:

  • Arrive at the venue in plenty of time to find your bearings and book in
  • Keep an eye on the timings so you don't miss your class or running order
  • Speak to fellow competitors and learn more about obedience
  • 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 obedience

So you've attended your first show and now you're a competitor. Learn more about competing in obedience.