The Kennel Club invites dogs and owners to 'Have a Go' show in Staffordshire

For a chance to qualify for a special competition at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts

The Kennel Club, the organisation behind Crufts, is inviting dogs and owners to its ‘Have a Go’ training day and special show, hosted by the Manchester Dog Show Society, on Sunday 22 January at the Staffordshire County Showground, Stafford.

Owners can find out what it’s like to compete in the show ring with their dog and have a chance to qualify for a special place at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, in 2024.  

The Kennel Club’s ‘Have a Go’ training days are designed for people of any age and any ability, with a pedigree dog, and are the ideal opportunity for owners to develop a new skill, hobby and social circle alongside their four-legged friend.

Complete beginners, with no prior experience or knowledge of dog showing, are welcome, with just interest and enthusiasm needed. All owners and their dogs can reap the rewards of the socialising experience, unite with other dog-lovers over shared interests and ambitions, and become part of a close-knit community. 

For those who have ever watched the variety of dogs showing their best side at Crufts, and perhaps wondered how their own canine companion could ever be crowned ‘Best in Show’, The Kennel Club’s ‘Have a Go’ dog shows could be the first step. At the end of the training session, a competition will take place, with the winner qualifying for a place in a special competition at Crufts 2024.

Joanne Horton, 52 from Cannock, Staffordshire, and her Large Munsterlander, Morgan, were newcomers to the hobby of dog showing, but they quickly found themselves part of a new community, and even made it to their first Crufts in 2022.

Joanne shared: “Morgan first and foremost is our family pet, but I had a desire to try showing. With no ring classes available, I attended our first Munsterlander Open Show feeling extremely nervous. I had no experience whatsoever having never been anywhere near a show ring! I persevered and we went on to place first and then qualify for Crufts!

“We have gone on to compete at more shows which would not have been possible without the fantastic support of my fellow Munsterlander owners who have helped me along the way and taken me under their wing. What a fantastic group of people they are!

“Me and Morgan love our new hobby, and although we were nervous attending our first Crufts competition, I felt extremely proud to be able to show him and take part in such a prestigious event. We went on to place first in the Post Graduate Dog class and will be returning to Crufts again this March!”

Booking a place at the ‘Have a Go’ show, taking place as part of the Manchester championship show, costs £10 for the day, including free parking, and all participants will receive a beginners’ dog showing pack and training which covers:

  • Getting ready for taking part
  • Basic skills required for participating
  • What to expect when participating
  • What to do once you have participated

The Kennel Club’s ‘Have a Go’ dog shows are being held across different regions in the UK in 2023 at various all-breed championship dog shows.

Debbie Deuchar, Head of Canine Activities at The Kennel Club, commented: “For anyone looking to try something new this year, the ‘Have a Go’ dog shows have always proved to be an energetic and fun-filled day for everyone involved. It’s wonderful to be part of and watching newcomers discovering and learning the skills of dog showing in a laidback yet educational environment is so inspiring. I have no doubt there could be future Crufts stars in our midst!”

Find further information on all of The Kennel Club’s ‘Have a Go’ shows, and book a slot on The Kennel Club website. Bookings for the event are due to close on 12 January, subject to availability. Further details about the Manchester championship show and the society can be found here.

The Kennel Club stand will feature at the show, where experts from the organisation can answer questions and provide more information about dog showing and Kennel Club activities and services.

A specially-made video for owners interested in getting started in dog showing can be found on The Kennel Club website.