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'Only' a Companion Dog Show?

Having recently overheard these words, and as someone who has been involved with Companion Dog Shows as an organiser, judge, and for nearly 20 years as an exhibitor, I would like to discuss here why there is nothing “only” about these shows.

The Companion Dog Show (formerly known as the Exemption Show) is not the same thing as a “Fun Dog Show”. Companion shows are Kennel Club Licensed events, held under Kennel Club rules and regulations. From the organiser’s point of view, a great deal of work is involved in the setting up and running of these shows; the date and venue have to be selected, License and Insurance arranged, judges and stewards appointed, rosettes and trophies purchased, schedules printed and distributed, etc. As the proceeds from these shows are almost always for a charity, this all has to be done with costs kept to an absolute minimum, otherwise the cause will not benefit financially as much as it should – an added pressure for the organiser.

From the exhibitors perspective, there is much to be gained from these shows, whether you are in the category of the serious show person who attends Championship Dog Shows with a quality pedigree dog, or whether you just love your cherished family pet – be it pedigree, cross-breed or mongrel.

For those of us who fall into the first of these categories, the Companion Dog Show provides an excellent training and socialisation ground for the youngster, and provides the experience of proper competition in a real show environment. There is a choice of pedigree classes to enter, the most usual being AV Puppy, AV Junior, AV Gundog, AV Utility, AV Hound, AV Toy, AV Terrier, AV Working/Pastoral, and AV Veteran. Some shows will also schedule a Minor Puppy class as well, or will replace the separate Group classes with AV Sporting, AV Non-Sporting, and Open. Classes usually cost about £1 to enter, and as you can turn up on the day without pre-entering and park next to the ringside, this is an enjoyable, easy, and inexpensive introduction into the world of dog showing. Should you have the joy of winning, the rosettes and prizes are usually very good, and you have the added satisfaction of knowing that your entry fee has gone to a really good cause.

For people who just want an enjoyable experience with their family pet, there is also plenty of choice available at these shows. Some organisers will schedule two distinctive competitions – one for cross-breeds which is run with the same degree of serious competition as the pedigree classes, and the more usual “Novelty” classes. Novelty classes can range from Best Movement and Best Brace, through to Waggiest Tail – something for everyone. Classes for Rescue Dogs are extremely popular. Usually, but not always, two different rings will be running with a different judge for the pedigree and novelty, so that no-one is waiting too long for the their class.

the Companion Dog Show provides an excellent training and socialisation ground for the youngster

We must not forget our Junior Handlers. At the Companion Dog Show you will find competition for Junior Handlers, and quite often for Adult Handlers as well.

Companion Dog Shows offer lovely prizes –silver rose bowls, porcelain vases, etc., and there are usually lots of trophies and “specials” on offer for Best Brace, Best Junior Handler, Best Rescue, etc., etc. And all this for your £1 entry fee!

I have had several opportunities of judging these shows, and the quality of the entry has been outstanding. With over 120 dogs to go over in the pedigree competition on one occasion, I had to not place many exhibits that deserved better. To underline the quality, my RBIS winner was a pointer, which went on to win the Post Graduate Bitch class at the City of Birmingham Championship Show the following week, and my best puppy qualified for Crufts at it’s Breed Club Championship Show the next day. I think this illustrates that there really is nothing “only” about the Companion Dog Show.

It should be remembered, of course, that once you start to win well at Championship Shows you are no longer eligible for entry at a Companion Dog Show – a CC, RCC or Junior Warrant excludes you from pedigree competition.

More and more the Companion Dog Show is proving to be a really enjoyable day out for everyone, and with charities benefiting financially as well, my feeling is that these good natured events will continue to grow in popularity.

GENERAL NOTE

CC, RCC & JW WINNERS (OR ANY AWARD COUNTING TOWARDS THE STATUS OF CHAMPION) ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ENTRY INTO PEDIGREE CLASSES BUT MAY ENTER NOVELTY CLASSES

JACK RUSSELL TERRIERS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ENTRY INTO PEDIGREE CLASSES EXCEPT FOR PARSONS

PLEASE DO NOT BRING BITCHES IN SEASON TO ANY COMPANION DOG SHOW

Your comments and views:
Annestaff
Supervisor
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 27,471
Female  Diamond Supporter 
 
09-04-2006, 10:02 AM
Great article, a good insight to what Companion shows are all about!
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sutty
Dogsey Veteran
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,632
Female 
 
09-04-2006, 02:49 PM
Having a breed that isnt recognised by the KC, I think companion shows are great as they give me the chance to show my dogs ,if it wasnt for companion shows, i would only get to show my dogs at our breed show once a year!
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Shadowboxer
Fondly Remembered
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 7,358
Female  Diamond Supporter 
 
12-04-2006, 10:40 AM
An interesting and informative article - thank you.
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Anne-Marie
Dogsey Veteran
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 12,109
Female 
 
28-05-2006, 10:11 AM
Totally and utterly agree - these shows are often far more fun and enjoyable than the Open and Champ shows! What is more, there is much less stress!:grin:
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Morgandy
Dogsey Junior
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 156
Female 
 
30-05-2006, 01:56 PM
A great well documented article. Morgan's first show was a companion show where he won best puppy. He won two lovely cups which you keep, instead of having to give them back for the next show. Good for prospective new dog owners to learn about their intended dog.
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Oliverlurcher
New Member!
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 9
Female 
 
01-06-2006, 07:32 PM
A really good write up! I too attend Companion Shows, and also judge.The companion Dog Club have classes for members,so it is worth joining.Both Pedigree and Crossbreeds are eligable. We even have classes atDiscover Dogs at Earls Court every year! Well done for writing this article.
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Anne
Dogsey Senior
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 503
Female 
 
07-06-2006, 05:44 PM
Thank you for the information. I have a Daughter and grandchildren who have their first dog and I am sure they would learn a lot from one of these shows. As they were recently asking me (knowing I go on DOGWEB) how to go about starting to show their beautiful English Springer Spaniel (Tess). I am passing on this article! Best Wishes, Anne xx
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Cumbrian Lass
Dogsey Veteran
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,959
Female 
 
06-09-2006, 07:26 AM
Fantastic Article Donna and very informative too. As the owner of 2 beautiful crosses and a blue GSD, I will keep an eye out for one of these shows as your article has inspired me.
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megan57collies
Dogsey Veteran
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,174
Female 
 
22-11-2006, 12:39 PM
Lovely article and well put.
Find CS more relaxed than the Champ Shows and an excellent place to keep yours and the dogs hand (or paw in) in between larger shows.
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