Handling of Dogs at Shows

The Kennel Club wishes to remind exhibitors of its policies regarding the handling of dogs whilst in the show ring, particularly in relation to the moving of dogs around the ring.

The Kennel Club is aware that some breeds are shown with a tighter lead as a matter of constraint or to emphasise the outline of the dog’s neck, which does not cause the dog distress. However, there have been instances where dogs have been moved around the ring in a manner which could potentially cause distress to the dog.

Exhibitors are therefore reminded that it is not acceptable to handle a dog in a manner which causes its feet not to touch the ground when on the move. Exhibitors should note that such practices could constitute harsh handling and reports of such practice will be referred to the committee under Kennel Club Show Regulation F11.

The same applies to the practice of picking up dogs, often terriers, by their necks and/or tails when lifting them to and from the table during judging. Such practice is both undesirable and unnecessary.

If a judge feels that a dog is being handled in an unacceptable manner which may cause discomfort to the dog, they should remind the exhibitor that this practice is not allowed and ask that it cease.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Exhibitors, judges and show officials all have a duty of care to the dogs present at the show and it is therefore important that they ensure the welfare of the dogs both whilst in the ring, and during the day within the precincts of the show.”