As 2019 begins, the countdown has already begun to the world-famous Crufts dog show, hosted annually by the UK Kennel Club at Birmingham’s NEC arena. This event is of course televised worldwide and watched by a significant number of UK dog owners, either on TV or at the show itself across the course of the event.
For owners of pedigree dogs of all types, the excitement of Crufts and seeing top quality show dogs strut their stuff can be very inspiring, and encourage participation in dog shows as a whole.
However, formal dog shows like Crufts require a very high standard of skill and presentation from dog owners, and knowing how to train and turn out a dog for the ring as well as how to handle and manage them on the day is a process that takes time to learn.
If you are interested in dog showing but don’t know where to start, or are rather daunted by the prospect of what formal dog showing involves, taking the first step towards showing can be challenging.
In order to encourage dog owners to get involved in showing, learn the basics and perhaps consider competing in future events themselves, the Kennel Club has just announced the introduction of nine “have a go” dog shows to be held in 2019 as a sub-section of prearranged formal breed-specific dog shows in various parts of the country.
These have a go dog shows are designed to introduce pedigree dog owners to the showing word, teach them the basics and enable them to develop the skills and confidence they need to exhibit their dogs in the ring, and in this article we will explain a little more about what these “have a go” dog shows involve, and how you can participate in them. Read on to learn more.
The Kennel Club’s have a go dog shows are being held as a sub-section of larger show events all across the country throughout 2019, which means that you will not only get to meet other newcomers to the dog showing world but also be able to watch and talk to experienced competitors too.
Have a go dog shows are a training opportunity for dog owners and they’re specially designed for first-timers and those with no dog show experience, so don’t worry if you’re concerned that everyone else present will be a lot more competent than you are!
Have a go shows are designed to instil dog owners with the skills and confidence that they need to show their dog in formal breed shows, whilst having fun and managing the dog comfortably throughout the day. They also provide an opportunity to speak to other dog owners and experts in the showing field to help to gain experience, and provide a taster session of what dog show competition is like.
Attendees of the Kennel Club’s have a go dog shows will receive a beginner’s dog showing pack to get them started, and on the day itself, will be taught the following skills:
Additionally, a mentor will be provided for each attendee on the day to offer support and advice, and so that you can ask any specific questions you may have.
Signing up for a have a go show costs £10, and some dog shows also charge for parking too. The exact dates of all of the nine have a go shows planned for 2019 have yet to be finalised, but they will be included within the following dog shows:
Full information for each show when it becomes available, including contact details for the organisers and directions on how to sign up can be found on this page of the Kennel Club website.
You can of course also visit any of these dog shows (or other formal Kennel Club dog shows) without your own dog as a spectator, which is another great way to get a feel for the dog show environment and what is involved on the day itself. Chatting to other competitors can provide you with helpful pointers and further info too, which can help you to get started if you are keen to begin showing your own dog in 2019.
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