Dog Show Classes

9th January 2013 - in Showing


There are lots of different classes to choose from. In open shows these are usually confined to 3 or 4. But championship shows will have many more. Some are confined to age and some to wins. I will try to define them all for you.

Age Restricted Classes

All these are restricted by age and not wins. Only the age of your dog will dictate the classes you enter. When working out the age a month is taken by calendar age i.e. born 01/01/11 will be six months on 01/07/11.

When working out the age of your puppy the date to work to is the first day of the show. Many champ shows are over 3 or 4 days, so if your pup is 6 months old on the fourth day of the show it still cannot be entered even if your breed is scheduled for the fourth day as it is classed as too young on the first day of the show.

Minor Puppy

This class is for puppies between the ages of 6 - 9 months old.


For dogs and bitches between the ages of 6 - 12 months.


For dogs and bitches between the ages of 6 - 18 months.


For dogs and bitches between the ages of 12 - 24 months. Sometimes there are "Special Yearling" classes and these may have specific entry requirement so do check.

Open Age Classes

Once your dog is over 2 years old it is no longer able to go into age related classes and moves on into those regulated by wins.

Novice or Undergraduate

This is the first class available for adult dogs. As long as you have not won a CC (Challenge Certificate) or 3 or more 1st prizes at open or championship shows (not counting wins in puppy classes but counting wins in junior/yearling) you can enter novice.


As soon as you have won those 3 1st places in novice or been awarded a CC then you need to step up to graduate.

Post Graduate

A maximum of 5 x 1st prizes at championship shows (with CCs on offer) in post graduate, minor limit, limit and open

Minor Limit

A maximum of 6 wins in mid limit, limit and open or a CC


A maximum of 7 wins in limit and open or 2 CCs


No restrictions, for all and any dogs or bitches including Champions

The Kennel Club website has all the information on the definitions of classes if you want to have a look. Likewise all the show schedules will give definitions of the classes they are holding as well so take a careful look before entering that your dog or bitch has not won his or her way out of a class.

Other Classes

You may find some other classes such as Good Citizen Class which is for dogs/bitches who have a bronze or above good citizen award (This is usually won at an obedience club and is just some basic training). Progeny class for dogs/bitches and their progeny, the definition of what is needed is in the schedule but usually needs the entered dog to be accompanied by 3 or 4 of its offspring.

All the entry restrictions are listed in the "Definition of classes" in the show schedule.

Next Week - Making up a Champion

Previous Article - An Introduction to Showing your Dog

  • 19th June 2015 17:47 - Posted by : qvxjhlvr

    Comment removed

  • 19th June 2015 18:16 - Posted by : jphautwl

    Comment removed

  • 12th January 2016 23:23 - Posted by : Alex

    This is what makes me confused: could you please explain WHICH class to enter and WHY would one need to enter the dog into two or three different classes? Perhaps, there is any tactics behind? But this is what has never been explained publicly (or I missed it somehow).
    Appreciate your detailed response with some examples :)

  • 28th July 2016 07:29 - Posted by : Susan

    My puppy was born on 7th August 2015.
    Can I enter her in puppy class at a show on 7th August 2016 please

  • 22nd March 2017 18:12 - Posted by : ajay

    I need classes related to dog breeds