So. How do I start?
Assuming you have a dog, the best place to start is by visiting a few shows as a spectator. Take a chair, a hat, and a drink, and sit near the ring side and observe. Watch the way handlers handle the dogs. Look at what the judges choose for first place dogs. Talk to people of your chosen breed, read breed magazines.
Handling and/or ring craft classes are also advisable. Here you will learn the basic skills required for handling in a show ring. It may also start building up your confidence for the bigger shows. In summary, nothing beats having a good teacher, experiencing handling classes and observing shows.
Remember though that showing a dog is a very time consuming and expensive hobby. There is the travelling to and from shows, accommodation and entry fees. Most shows take place on a weekend, however some championship shows start on a Thursday or Friday and continue over the weekend.
At the end of the day it is just a fun day out so enjoy it whether you win or lose!
How do I Enter a Dog Show?
To enter a show an entry form has to be filled in giving details of the dog being entered and for which class, the forms can be obtained from your local ring craft classes, dog shows or directly from the show secretary. The forms have to be filled in and sent off with the entry fee some time before the actual show date. The form will have a closing date on it and any entries received after the closing date will not be allowed. Once the secretary has received the entries, a catalogue of all the dogs entered is compiled. This is made available to everyone on the show day. The dog has to meet certain conditions before it can be entered into a class. More than one class can be entered at one show. The number of placings per class is decided by the show committee and will therefore vary from show to show.