How to start showing your whippet
Many people aquire their first Whippet with no intention of ever showing it. Then one sunny summers day they find themselves and their dog in the show ring at the local village fete. They do well and they are hooked. How then do they find out more about the world of showing dogs?
Firstly, it should be understood that apart from a few exceptions all pedigree dog shows in the UK are licensed and regulated by The Kennel Club.
It therefore follows that to enter your dog in a licensed show it must be registered with The Kennel Club.
When you purchase your pedigree puppy it will come with Kennel Club registration documents along with a form to send to the Kennel Club to transfer the dog’s registration into your ownership. It is possible to enter a licenced show before this procedure is complete but you should mark the entry form TFA (transfer applied for) Also your dog needs to be at least six months of age before the date of the show that you want to enter.
Dogs living outside of the UK will need to obtain an Authority to compete ATC) from The Kennel Club. Forms are available on the KC’s web site.
Where can you find information regarding upcoming shows?
There is now only one UK newspaper ‘Our Dogs’, a weekly publication that among its pages will list adverts for some of the UK dog shows. If you find a show in your area ring the secretary and request a copy of the show schedule. ‘Our Dogs’ is available at all good Newsagents.
Joining your local ringcraft society (A google search should produce something in your area) is a good idea as not only does it afford you the opportunity to socialise and train your dog to behave in the show ring, it also allows you to meet like minded people who will be able to help and guide you in your new hobby, Schedules for forthcoming local shows are often available here for you to take away.
Joining your closest breed club or canine society (again google is your friend) is also recommended. Contact with the club secretary should ensure that you get schedules for their future shows and entry for club members is often at a reduced rate whilst some breed club shows are limited to members only.
Social media is fast becoming a good source of information. Most Breed clubs and canine societies will have a face book page and information on forthcoming shows is usually available.
Dog show web sites such as Fosse Data Systems , Highampress. Here you will find most shows advertised and you have the added ability to search for shows by breed type, date and proximity to your address. There is also the benefit of being able to enter here and pay on line. Shows are normally listed by closing dates of entry. Dog show central is also useful for finding shows in your area.
What kind of show can you enter your dog in?
- Family dog show, unlicensed, open to all pedigree or not. No KC registration required. Enter on the day. Normally run alongside your village fete.
- Companion dog show, licensed, must be run for charity or a good cause and usually consisting of pedigree and non-pedigree classes. Enter on the day. No KC registration required.
- Match. Generally, run by clubs or societies. Licenced. Dogs, single or mixed breeds are shown against each other on a one against one basis with the winner going through to the next round. Entry on the day.
- Limited shows. Licensed and deriving its name from the fact that entry is limited to members of the club or society holding the event. Challenge certificate winners cannot be exhibited. All entered dogs must be KC registered, Postal or electronic entry required before closing date.
- Open Shows. Licensed, with the name being self-explanatory as these shows are open to all. Challenge certificate winners and champions are also eligible for entry. Usually run by Breed clubs, canine and agricultural societies. Not all breeds may be catered for at canine and agricultural open shows. Check that there are classes for Whippets. All entered dogs must be KC registered. Postal or electronic entry required before closing date.
- Group open shows. Licensed with entry restricted to a specific group i.e., Hounds, Gundogs, Toys etc. All dogs must be KC registered. Postal or electronic entries required prior to closing date of show.
- Championship shows. Licensed and shows where Kennel Club challenge certificates are on offer. A dog that wins three challenge certificates under different judges at different shows maybe granted the coveted title of champion. All entered dogs must be KC registered. Postal or electronic entries required prior to closing date of show.
- Group Championship shows. As paragraph 6 above except that challenge certificates will be on offer. All entered dogs must be KC registered. Postal or electronic entry required before closing date.
- Breed specific championship shows. Run by breed clubs and as the name implies restricted to only one breed. All entered dogs must be KC registered. Postal or electronic entry required before closing date.
- Crufts. The premier UK championship dog show. Licensed. Qualification required. All entered dogs must be KC registered. Postal or electronic entry required before closing date.
How do you qualify your dogs for Crufts?
There are many and varied ways to qualify your dog for Crufts but we won’t confuse you by listing them all here. Suffice it to say that if you get to a point in your new hobby when this concerns you, you will probably have worked it out for yourself.
So, your new puppy is KC registered and has reached six months of age and you have decided that you want to know if everybody else shares your enthusiasm for its beauty.
Lets suppose that you have found a KC licensed show within easy reach of where you live and wish to enter. First you should contact the club secretary whose details will be in the advert and request a copy of the schedule. (Or download it from one of the web sites mentioned above).
The schedule lays out what show classes will be available and also give you information as to which ones your dog is eligible to enter. It will also inform you as to the closing date for entries.
Don’t miss it! You will also find other information about the show and it will pay you to read all of it all closely.
In the centre of the schedule you will find a removable entry form for you to fill in and return to the secretary along with the required entry fee.
Many shows will not take online entries. Those that do will charge you a handling fee but you have the advantage of knowing that your entry has not been lost in the post.
Click here to see an old copy of a typical Whippet Club Championship show schedule.
Of course, all of the above can be carried out online if you wish to do so.
On the day of the show turn up with time to spare and if you are in any doubt as to what to do next, please ask to be pointed in the direction of a committee member who will be only to pleased to assist. Purchase a catalogue, (If possible, it’s best to order one when you enter to ensure that you get one) this will show you the names of the other dogs entered in your class, inform you as to your ring number and give you the ability to record show results. If, once you have looked at the catalogue you think you may have made a mistake on your entry form, please find the club secretary and tell him or her as soon as possible. Don’t panic the secretary is there to help not to punish.
Classes are normally announced in the ring so pay attention. Dogs and bitches are often shown in separate classes and sometimes separate rings. When your class is called enter the ring with your dog and pick up your show number which you should display prominently on your person. If its your first time in the ring it will pay you to take up a position close to the rear of the line up so you can take cues from what other exhibitors are doing. Follow the judges’ instructions and keep your fingers crossed.
If the outcome is not as you anticipated do not despair there will always be another show and another judge and you can always leave in the sound knowledge that you are taking the best dog in the show home with you. If you are lucky enough to win your class don’t rush off home to share the good news with your family, your dog will be needed to challenge for initially best dog or bitch and maybe even Best in show.
Enjoy your day.
Join the Whippet Club
Membership Of The Whippet club entitles you to up to date information on all forthcoming Whippet Club shows as well as two free issues a year of our great club magazine.