Companion or Pet Dog Shows offer a fun, relaxed alternative to competitive shows and there are various shows taking place throughout the Summer in Hampshire and Dorset.
These dog shows normally have an emphasis on fun, whilst competitive shows are based on faults or competing against other dogs of the same breed according to the Kennel Club breed standards. Mixed breed dogs are exempt from taking part in Pedigree Shows and rivalry is normally high but companion shows are much more relaxed.
Entering into a companion dog show is not always as easy as it sounds, but it can be fun for you and your dog can also get a huge amount of pleasure out of it too!
There are generally 7-15 categories ranging from any of the following:
- Best Puppy
- Best Senior
- Best Junior Handler
- Best Rescue
- Best Cross breed
- Handsomest Dog
- Prettiest Bitch
- Best 6 Legs
- Best Trick
- Most Appealing Eyes
- Waggiest Tail
- Best Fancy Dress
- Dog the Judge Would most Like to Take Home
- Best In Show
Here are a few tips when entering into your local family dog show:
First and foremost, regardless of whatever category you enter, the health and welfare of the dogs is always considered by the judges. Overweight dogs, those that have poor conditioned coats or very overgrown nails, for example, don’t really show a good example of responsible dog ownership.
Secondly, judges look at how the handler looks after the dog whilst in the ring. During the Summer shows, it can get quite hot and owners or handlers who show a commitment to keeping their dogs cool and well hydrated get a further thumbs up.
Lastly, judges always like to see owners taking pride in their dogs appearance. Having nice clean collars and leads, decorated collars with one or two fresh flowers or maybe a hair clip to keep long hair out of their eyes, can be an unassuming winner. If you do dress your dog up, make sure they are comfortable wearing it and are not too restricted.
The main thing about taking part in a dog show is that everyone has fun – both dog, owner or handler! Everyone wants to be a winner and unfortunately there can only be 1st, 2nd and 3rd in most categories so although not everyone can hold up a rosette, everyone can be happy that they took part. If you are a winner then Congratulations! If not then don’t be despondent. There are lots more shows to attend and enter. And don’t forget to be polite to your judge – because you may meet them in the next completion!
To follow up or make an appointment or find out more information about Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.
I look forward to meeting you and working with your dogs.
Happy dog training.