A beginner’s guide to dog shows

Is your dog suitable to enter a dog show? There is only one way to find out, have a go! Here are a few tips to get you started:

The best way to begin is at the local shows, which are usually just a bit of fun where you can just show up on the day, then there are open shows where pre-registration is required and there will be different classes. The championship shows are for real enthusiasts; in most cases winners will be given Challenge Certificates, which can eventually lead to the likes of Crufts.

The local shows offer good opportunities for practice and for getting to know how your dog is likely to react to being in a show situation. Not every dog has the right temperament for showing. Judges may want to handle the dogs participating; some will not take kindly to that.

Make sure that your dog obeys a minimum of commands; he or she will not get a very good result if obedience to voice commands is nonexistent! Some basic dog training is a must to avoid embarrassment on the day.

You will want your dog to look their best for the show, that means grooming before the show and again before they go into the ring so take your grooming kit with you.

Finally, relax and enjoy yourself, dog shows are a great way to get out and about with your dog and to have a fun day and meet like minded people.