Bench sizes

At championship shows where you have benches for the dogs, each breed has a minimum size. This is supposedly enough room for the dogs (I will let you decide!) And the benches for your breed should never be smaller than this. 

If you get to a show and find they are smaller and you feel it’s too small, my advise would be to go a show official and speak to them about it to help resolve. 

The below lists were found on the Kennel Club website back in 2012. But I doubt much had changed. I hope this is useful for deciding on cage sizes etc


Rules and Regulations of dog showing

Rules and Regulations of dog showing

Very often you will see people refer to the “Red Book” which is the bible of rules for all activities run by the Kennel Club in the UK. All shows must have the Red Book at the secretaries table, should you want to look up any rule at any point during a show. Good secretaries will often be familiar with the rules and when the rules are updated

The sections are split alphabetically and the “f” regs are the show regulations. These can also be found online on the KC Website and the PDF link is here:

Many exhibitors keep a copy of the rules on them while showing, either electronically or a printed copy. They can often be useful when discussing rules with other exhibitors. I have seen and heard so many times where people are given incorrect information on the rules and regulations. The only correct answer is written in black and white, although some of the rules can be very grey and difficult to read and understand.

No-one can know all the rules – but it’s easy to look them up!

Not for Competition rules

Not for Competition rules at UK Kennel Club Breed shows
As of 2014

There has been much confusion in recent years of how old a puppy can be to enter Not for Competition at a UK Kennel Club Breed (conformation) show.

You can enter pups from 4 months NFC at single breed and sub group shows ONLY – all other shows (group and all breed) the NFC is from 6 months.

Some shows will allow spectator dogs and these can be of any age, there will often be a charge for this and you will need to see the secretary at the start of the show to fill a form in and pay (if the society are charging). This is open to spectators and not exhibitors technically

Rule F.1(c) states:

Only dogs of six calendar months of age and over on the first day of the Show are eligible for exhibition at Kennel Club licensed Shows.
However, societies may accept Not for Competition entries at their discretion. Dogs aged four calendar months and over are eligible to enter not for competition at Single Breed and Sub-Group Shows.
Furthermore, dogs aged four calendar months and over are eligible to enter Match competitions.

F(1) 11 states:

Animals Allowed in Show.
No animal other than an exhibit shall be brought into the precincts of a Dog Show during its continuance, except any dogs registered to assist the disabled, those brought for health testing (provided that the appropriate entry form declaration has been signed) or dogs required for educational or instructional purposes or by permission of the General Committee.

However, at the discretion of the show society, a dog brought to the show by a spectator may be admitted into the precincts of the dog show, with the proviso that those in charge of the dog sign a declaration confirming the dog is free from disease and that the dog will be kept under proper control at all times. In the case of General and Group Championship Shows,the show society must apply to the General Committee for permission to admit spectators’ dogs as described above, and the granting of such permission will be entirely at the Committee’s discretion.

I hope this helps clear the NFC rule up for you.

Preparing to show – by Geraldine Hatch

Geraldine Hatch is new to showing and has kindly written about her advise for starting to show. I would like to thank her for writing about her experience of preparing to show your dog – from a newbies perspective.

Preparing to show – by Geraldine Hatch
When I got Frankie, my Eurasier, I promised the breeder I would show her. As well as being new to this breed I am quite new to showing, so have been on a huge learning curve the past 6 months.

I wanted to write this article for Winning Paws to share my experiences and help others who are new to showing. So, here are tips from me, from what I have learnt on this journey:-

Attend a ringcraft
This is a great place to socialise you dog, learn how to present your dog and yourself in the show ring and make lots of friends. I also found it a really useful place to ask questions about how to find shows and which classes to enter.

Get your entry in on time!
I didn’t realise before I started showing that the entries have to submitted so far in advance. There are a few different websites who do show entries. These can be quite confusing with all the different classes, so ask for help if you are not sure.

Check the order of judging
This is a great tip. Using whichever website you used to do your entry, you can check the order of judging and get an idea of what time you will be on. It will tell you which ring you are in, and how many breeds are in before you.

Check your journey in advance
I have found that a lot of show venues do not come up on my navigation device. Some are on farm grounds which may not have a postcode. My advice would be familiarising yourself with the route the night before and making sure it works.

Aim to arrive at the show early, this will make parking easier and also help you secure a place by your ring – lots are venues have limited space. Arriving early will also settle you and the dog, give you time to find and use the toilets and have a practice!

Grooming your dog
If you haven’t had the breed before, find out from your breeder the optimum time for doing your show preparation. I started off bathing the day before, but found this left my dog with a coat which was too soft and fluffy and not right the texture so I now do it 3 days before my which works much better.

What to wear
This really worried me. Luckily I was able to ask at ringcraft, but I have also lived and learned. Lots of people wear suits at champ shows. Open shows can be more casual while still looking smart and I normally wear trousers and a shirt or blazer. I would definitely suggest making sure you have comfortable shoes which you can easily move your dog in. I remember buying some shoes in the perfect shade of purple to match my suit – only to find they slipped off when I tried to trot!. I would also recommend wearing layers, shoes venues can be extremes of temperature, and you can never really tell until you get there. It is a good idea to look at what type of venue you are going to.

I once wore ballet style flats (it was the summer!) to an equestrian centre and spent the day with feet full of sand and wood chippings!

Find a companion
Dog shows can make for long days and boring car journeys. If you can find a friend to share the experience (and travel costs!) with it will be much more fun.

It is easy to make friends at ringcraft and find somebody who shows in the same group as you.

Have fun!
There was a long wait until my first show – Windsor champ show – when Frankie was 6 months and a few days old. After finding my bench and ring and doing a bit of practice (these can be other posts altogether!) we were on! All the build up and nerves and our time in the spotlight was over in a couple of minutes. It was so worth it though as we came away with a Crufts qualification as well as being hooked and hasn’t looked back since.

My biggest tip would be to enjoy it.

Caromarda Lets Dance For Albionspitz

Caromarda Lets Dance For Albionspitz


A round of applause

A round of applause
A group of people clapping (and cheering) can be off putting for dogs, especially while they are in the ring and you are asking your dog to stand still.

It is important to get your dog used to cheering, clapping etc that may go on ringside. Normally you can predict the huge cheers for your own ring (when the class is being placed or when a ticket is being handed out). However, you can’t predict for other rings around yours, and it could happen before your judge has made their decision, while your dog is bring gone over, or while your dog is moving.

If you attend ringcraft, ask them to make an applause, and regulary clap and cheer around your dog.

Desensitising your dog to this sound may help you in the ring one day!