Companion Shows

What are they?

What is a Companion Dog Show like?

Sometimes forming part of a village fete, or as events in their own right, Companion Dog Shows are great fun events at which all dogs, great and small, pedigree and non-pedigree, take part.

The mainstay of many Companion Dog Shows is the fun or ‘Novelty Classes’ like ‘Dog most like its owner’ and ‘Dog with the waggiest tail’. Use your imagination and schedule some classes that everyone attending can have some real fun with. As there is nothing like a bit of healthy competition to get people coming along to a show, Companion Dog Shows can also schedule classes which allow pedigree dogs to compete head to head in classes such as ‘Any Variety Terrier’ or ‘Any Variety Puppy’. Many people like to bring their new puppies along to Companion Dog Shows to get them used to other people and dogs and to see if they have the makings in them of the next Crufts Champion.

Please note that puppies under six months old are not permitted to take part in Companion Dog Shows

Sounds great, what do I need to do?

You will need to fill in a Licence Application Form and send it to the Kennel Club with supporting paperwork from the charity of your choice and a fee of £10.

Before sending in your completed form, you must inform your charity, or cause, in writing that you are intending to hold a Companion Dog Show on their behalf. The charity’s acknowledgement and agreement to your letter (this must be the original letter and not a copy) should be sent to the Kennel Club, along with your completed application form. It is not possible for us to issue the licence without this information.

Why do I need a licence?

Holding a Licensed Show means that all dogs, including pedigree dogs, can compete and join in the fun. Licences are only granted to properly organised events so that all those attending the show know that the money is going to charity and that the show is being run under the high standards set by the Kennel Club.

One of the ways the Kennel Club makes sure that a licensed show is of a high standard is that licences are only issued to shows that are held in accordance with the Kennel Club’s regulations and have a published schedule. The regulations are not complex and are fully explained in this pack.

How long does it take to receive the licence?

You should not have to wait longer than two weeks to receive your licence (although in the very busy ‘show season’ of April to August it might take slightly longer. We state 42 days prior to the show date in our regulations, but endeavour to process sooner). The earlier in the year you apply for a licence, the earlier you will receive it.

Are there any other safety tips I should bear in mind?

Companion Dog Shows are most typically held over the summer and dogs suffer terribly if they are left in hot cars – even for short periods of time. Please refer to the information on page 2 of the Specimen Schedule. This notice must be included on your Schedule and Entry Form, to make all competitors aware of this.

What sort of classes can I hold at my show?

It is possible to hold both pedigree and novelty classes at your show. For detailed information of the Regulations for a Companion Dog Show, go to the Show Regulations page. This information forms the basis for your schedule, as shown in the Specimen Schedule.

For a successful show which includes all the dogs in the community, you must schedule some pedigree classes. We can only licence shows that include these classes.

How do I find a suitable judge for my show?

Why not get in touch with your local dog club and see if they can recommend a good local judge? Making contact with your local clubs may mean that you can get the support of their members for your event.

Contact the Kennel Club to get a full list of clubs in your area.

Can I hold a Companion Dog Show as part of another dog show?

Yes, Companion Dog Shows are often held as part of other Kennel Club licensed events, but a separate licence must still be applied for.

The Kennel Club has no jurisdiction over Hunt Terrier and Lurcher Shows, however, if these shows are scheduled they must be held as a separate event and not as part of the Companion Dog Show.

Taking Part

In a Companion Show

Companion Dog Shows are fundraising events held throughout the year and the shows are mostly organised in conjunction with fetes, charity open days or other similar events to raise money for a charitable cause of the show organiser’s own choice. The shows are very relaxed so they are ideal for all dog owners at all levels to enjoy a fun day out with their companion.

Tips on preparing for the show

  • Due to the growing popularity of Companion Dog Shows, it is important that you get to events in plenty of time to register your dog for the classes you wish to compete in.
  • Take such as a brush or other relevant grooming equipment, as well as some of your dog’s favourite treats.
  • Please also remember to bring plenty of poo bags and clean up after your dog at the show.
  • Take a bowl and some water for your dog. If it looks as if it is going to be a very hot day then you might also want to take a towel soaked in cold water for your dog to lie on, which will help keep him cool while you are waiting to go into the ring.

Competitors taking part in a Companion Dog Show

On arrival at the show, visit the entries table where you can select the classes you would like to enter. If you need help with making your entry, or deciding which classes to enter then just ask, as the people organising the show will be more than happy to help you.

When you enter the show you will be given a ring number which you need to take into the ring with you. We recommend you take a safety pin, or what is called a ‘ring clip’, to secure the ring number to your clothes as you will need both hands free to handle your dog.

Listen to the ring steward as he or she will announce when each class is due to be judged.

Follow the steward’s instructions as they will tell you where to stand with your dog. If you have a breed of dog which is judged on a table then some stewards like to have these breeds at the front of the class. But do not worry, as the steward will guide you and you will not be in trouble if you stand in the wrong place!

Remember to make sure that both you and your dog enjoy the day. Companion Dog Shows are often the first taste of competition for many people and once you are hooked you may decide that you want to go on to greater things.

Top 10 Tips on showing your dog at Companion Dog Shows

  • Team Effort – Train together and play together so that you build up a real partnership with your dog.
  • Back to School – Find out from the Kennel Club about Ringcraft classes in your area where you can learn how to present and train your dog for the show ring.
  • Look and Learn – Talk to the experienced people at the Ringcraft classes – they will be more than happy to help a newcomer. Watch how they present their dog to show off its finer points.
  • Be Prepared – Try to visit one or two shows without your dog so that you have an idea of what is required.
  • All Mapped Out – Plan your journey to the show well in advance and make sure that you arrive at the show in good time.
  • Go Walkabout – Make sure that your dog has a chance to stretch his legs before you go into the ring.
  • Keep Watch – Keep an eye on the judging – you can familiarise yourself with what the judge is looking for and what he or she will ask you to do.
  • Mind Your Manners – Always be polite and considerate to your fellow exhibitors.
  • Have Fun – Win or lose remember to praise your dog – he will no doubt have given his best for you. Owners like to win rosettes but praise and a cuddle from you will mean far more to your dog than a rosette does!