View Full Version : Dog Show Etiquette

11th October 2007, 02:27 PM
I have a question pertaining to dog show etiquette. I am trying to slowly introduce myself to the show ring. I am going to a dog show in town as a spectator. I have read all of the rules about approaching a dog, asking permission and keeping the children back and so fourth. My big question is… they are having a CERF clinic at the show and it clearly states Non-entered dogs should not be on the show grounds. How do you bring your dog to the clinic? In a crate? Leash? Is it only for the participants in the show? Sorry for the silly question but this will be my first dog show.
Thank you in advance-

11th October 2007, 05:04 PM
Not sure how it works in the US, but here in the UK you can enter a dog at a show as being "Not for competition" I.E not entered in any classes but allowed on the showground as he/she is entered. You would need to take a crate along to pop your dog in whilst you watch the classes and wait your turn to see the vet. Hope this helps? Enjoy your day at the show and good luck with the tests!! :thmbsup:

Bruce H
11th October 2007, 06:36 PM
I have been to a LOT of dog shows where they have the clinics and I have never heard of anyone being stopped for a non-entered dog. In fact, we use the clinics and always have non-entered dogs. No one ever questions all our dogs. I wouldn't worry about it.

11th October 2007, 07:12 PM
That is nice to know- I went to the website where you enter the dogs and the cut off was last month. So I am far too late for that. A friend of mine went to a clinic at the dog show this last year and they didn't question her. I just didn't want to be the newbie that went in there like I owned the place and end up getting kicked out :o) I am trying to straighten my self out and do right by my dogs... Thanks

11th October 2007, 09:10 PM
I'd probably call the organisers to see if you need to book a place in the clinic for your dog in advance though. They could then tell you if you need to do anything further. I know some clinics require bookings (going by the requests for people to sign up that sometimes appear on the various lists).

12th October 2007, 03:24 AM
Yeah the clinic is actually Saturday and the show starts tomorrow- Friday. I am going to head down there after work and feel things out. Make sure I do it right. I don't know why but I am SO EXCITED about going :-) Thank you everyone for your replys

Cleo's Person
12th October 2007, 05:56 PM
I hope you enjoy the show.:)

22nd October 2007, 07:05 PM
Thank you- I did enjoy the show. If anyone has any advise to offer on how to get started in dog shows, please feel free to let me know. I would love to learn. I know I have a long ways to go but I am eager to learn.
Following the advice from the wonderful Cavalier people that I had the pleasure of meeting at the show, I am going to begin by joining the CKCSC of Central Oklahoma. I expect that there are classes or something that I can take???
Thanks in advance-

Bruce H
23rd October 2007, 12:08 PM
Best way to start is to start going to shows, both CKCSC and AKC, and watching if you don't have a dog you can show. Talk to the people who showed after the show. Basically, you want to get your name and face known so that when you are ready to get a show potential, you can hopefully find a breeder that will sell you one. Ther more other breeders see you at shows, even as a spectator, the more likely you are to get a good dog.

As for classes, check with the training centers in your area. Most have classes on conformation. If there is more than one center, go to both and see which one helps you the most. Some instructors don't do much more than put your dog on a table and run your dog around the ring; others will genuinely work with you to teach you what you need to know. Even if your dog is not showable, it will give you the instruction and practice you need to show a dog when the time comes.

As you become known, you may find that someone who has brought multiple dogs that have won their class may need help. Every now and then Kris has other people help her when, for instance, she has 2 boys that both win their class and she needs someone to take one in for her because they both have to be in the ring at the same time; happened yesterday where she had another person bring a dog in for her.

Hope this helps a little bit. I'm sure others will come along for more advice.

23rd October 2007, 02:56 PM
I was so tempted to walk up to the folks actually showing the Cavaliers, but I am a VERY shy person. I have serious problems aproaching people. (that's why I enjoy chat forums) I had a cavalier person approach me at the show because I had my new puppy Jack with me. Everyone kept asking me to introduce my puppy. (he's 8 months old, that is a puppy to me) I thought it was cute!
I bought him in hopes of being able to show him. I bought him from a breeder that was intending to show him but decided she had too many Cavaliers and she wanted to focus on another breed that she was showing. Mastifs??? Big dogs... anyway...
I figured I would keep going to the dog shows. I looked some up on the internet and seen all of the shows in Oklahoma for this year. only 2 :-( Then I figured I would keep training Jack and trying to get him ready.
I was told by one person to start off in obedience and rally first? Then confirmation once I am comfortable in the show setting.
What is the best way to find out "where" the dogs shows will be other than the AKC website?
Thanks in advance

Bruce H
24th October 2007, 01:30 AM
The way that we find is easiest is the AKC Gazette & Events Calendar. It's a publication put out AKC. The downside is that it costs money. The AKC website is has all the same information, just not as easy (at least not for us); but the info is free. You can also look on the superintendent's web sites, such as Onofrio. With only 2 per year, you may want to start thinking about traveling a bit. For example, Kris drove 8 1/2 hours one way to a show this last weekend.

As far as starting out in obedience or rally, I guess it couldn't hurt, but I don't see that it would help a lot. Frankly, I think obedience or rally would be harder to start with, to me conformation is really pretty easy, comparatively speaking. We have never done anything in either, we just start working with the puppies when they are in puppy kindergarten. They teach everyone to put the dog in a sit when coming to a stop after heeling, but we train the puppy to stand correctly. Get some occaisional odd looks from other people in class, but they always understand when we explain.

So keep studying and good luck.

24th October 2007, 01:36 AM
I am co-owning Rosaalita with her breeder who is planning to show and breed her. We have started to go to handling classes that they have before the monthly CKCS Club meetings....maye they have something like that at your Club??

27th October 2007, 01:07 AM
I am coming to this thread somewhat late but here are some thoughts and links:

First, get the book called "Show Me" by D. Caroline Coile (sp?). It is a good introductory book to conformation. I do not show but about three years ago I started attending some dog shows and had a hard time figuring out what was going on. This book, recommended to me by a friend who does show, was very helpful. It is not overly complicated, meant for the beginner.

Second, I have listed below links to the major superintendents of dog shows which should help you find shows in your area, but Bruce is right, the AKC link to "Events" works well. When I went there and looked at Oklahoma there were quite a few shows, more than just two, in the next eight to ten months. When you go to the Events page, fill in the search criteria that you want "all future" shows in "conformation" for Oklahoma and you can search for surrounding states at the same time. When you look at the list, look for where it says "AB" or All Breeds. Those are the shows to attend. About a week or 10 days before the show you can usually go the the link for that show and it will tell you by breed how many dogs and bitches have entered. You should know, however, that frequently there are entries which do not show up for many reasons (some of them acceptable and some not). So if there is a low number of entries, say eight, you might go and only four or five will be there. The shows with the low numbers mean you do not get to see as many dogs but you may have a better chance of getting to talk to the owners or the professional handler.

Third and fourth, do sign up for conformation/handling classes and join your local breed club.

Here are the links to the AKC Events page and to the superintendents web pages:







Good luck to you!!!!

30th October 2007, 12:52 AM
Thanks so much for your help. Late comments are welcome anytime. I will find that book right now online, sounds like a great place to start. I found a K-9 university sort of place that has the classes I am looking for. The K-9 university is about an hour and a half away but I will figure out a way to get there. Maybe one of these days I will have some time to post some pictures of my new addition. We love him dearly and his training is coming along so well.