Making up a Champion

16th January 2013 - in Showing

Time to send of for a schedule for a show you would like to enter... OK so you have got your schedule for the show what next. Well let's take a general open show for starters.

In the schedule will be a listing of all the breeds and classes available. Have a look for the classes scheduled for your breed, none there?

Any Variety Not Separately Classified

Many open shows do not schedule every breed so you may wish to enter under the heading of the group your breed is in. You will have classes for AVNSC (any variety not separately classified) this means that if your breed is not mentioned with its own classes then you can enter this class. There will often be 4 classes, puppy, yearling, graduate and open. In the schedule (often at the back) it will tell you the definitions of the classes. Choose the ones you want and fill in the entry form in the middle of the schedule.

There is often an AV Working/Pastoral/Toy etc. this means any variety of that group may enter (even if they have their own classes scheduled) and often is a puppy class. If your breed are classified separately then it pays to enter under this, if there is only an open class give it a try, it's all good practise for a pup. You can always enter under AV working puppy as well.

Winning your Class

If you are lucky enough to win your class then things move on a step. This is where some people get confused. Let's say for instance there were 3 classes: Puppy, Grad and Open. You enter the puppy class and you win. After the other 2 classes have been judged the next thing will be for the unbeaten dogs to compete against each other for the BOB (Best of Breed).

If your puppy wins BOB then he will be eligible to go on and compete for Best In Group. (More of that later) If he does not win but there is a prize for Best Puppy In Breed (BPIB) unless there was a puppy entered in another class that your pup has not competed against he will win BPIB. However if there was a puppy (under 12 months) in the graduate or open class and even if it was beaten by an older dog it will still be able to be judged against your pup for BPIB because they were in different classes and they had not been judged against one another. So as you see, it is a process of elimination to arrive at the BOB or the BPIB.

The same rules apply for championship shows but obviously there are more classes and they will be split into dogs and bitches. However they still run on the same lines. The main difference is that after all the classes and before BOB the winning bitches will compete against all the unbeaten bitches for best bitch and the dogs against the unbeaten dogs for best dog these two will then compete for BOB and the same with the puppies.

Group Winner

The next step is that the winners of the BOB and BPIB will be able to compete with all the other winners of BOB and BPIB from the other breeds in the your group The winner will then become the Best In Group. These are usually referred to as Working Group 1 , 2, 3, 4.(WG 1) Depending on placing or Pastoral Puppy Group 1, 2, 3, 4. (PPG 1).

Best in Show

The Group winner is then eligible to compete for Best In Show (BIS) or Best Puppy In Show (BPIS) Here it will compete against the group winners from the other 6 groups, terriers, hounds etc.. If you have entered under the "Any Variety" heading then these too will be judged and a best AV declared in the same way.


There are all sorts of awards you can compete for from the Kennel Club.

Junior Warrant

For dogs between the ages of 6 -18 months, points can be won at open and championship shows which go towards the title of Junior Warrant (JW). 25 points are needed and they can be amassed by wins. You will need some wins at both type of shows to gain the points and a claim form can be downloaded from the KC site or requested by phone from the KC which will explain the system for you. It pays to make a note of all wins your dog has so you can fill in the form correctly once you have it. The title of JW enables your dog or bitch to be entered in the KC Stud Book and gives him lifelong qualification to Crufts dog show.

Show Certificate of Merit

The other title available is the Show Certificate of Merit ( ShCM ) This also needs a form from the KC and again requires 25 points won at general and group open shows. The points system is explained on the claim form. The award of ShCM will not gain your dog or bitch entry into the studbook and will not allow entry into Crufts Champion.

Becoming a Champion

To gain the award of champion in most breeds, three Challenge Certificates (CCs) are needed. They need to be won under 3 different judges and at least one must be gained after the dog is over 12 months of age. The CCs can only be won at championship shows and usually but not always 2 will be available at each championship show, one for the dog declared the best dog and one for the best bitch. Occasionally only one will be available and will be won by the dog/bitch declared BOB.

Qualifying for Crufts

At some point, anyone who shows will turn their thought towards competing at Crufts. You will need to qualify your dog/bitch first, as entry is limited.

There are various ways to qualify. Puppies under the age of 8 months are not allowed to compete at Crufts. The classification which make a dog eligible are as follows.

  • The dog/bitch is a Champion
  • It has won into the KC stud book
  • It has won a 1st prize at Crufts the previous year
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in a championship show, which has CCs on offer in the following classes: minor puppy, puppy, junior, yearling, post graduate, limit open and veteran This must be won in the year preceding the Crufts you wish to enter.
  • If your dog/bitch has been awarded BOB at a premier open show in the preceding year and there were at least 3 classes for your breed this also qualifies your dog for Crufts.
  • A Best in Show or Reserve Best in Show or a Best Puppy in show at a general or group open show in the preceding year also qualifies for Crufts.

The World of Showing

The world of showing is a great place for you and your dog to enjoy a day out. You may become very competitive and travel from one end of the country to the other trying to gain enough wins to make your dog a Champion, or maybe the relaxed fun atmosphere of a companion show is more to your taste.

Whatever you do, please remember, the dog you live your life with and who shares your home is not always the latest Champion ( we can all dream...) but he is your baby and win or lose he is the one you want to take home at the end of the day. Have a good day out, enjoy yourselves, accept defeat honourably and rejoice in your wins. Who knows you may lose this week but win next...that's the uncertainty that keeps us on our toes.

Remember too that some days at a dog show can be very tiring for your dogs. Take plenty of shade if it's a hot sunny day shelter from the weather if it's raining, water and a bowl, some nice treats. Make arrangements for dogs left at home or not being shown. Never leave dogs in unattended cars without lots of shade, plenty of fresh air and water. Most show organisers will patrol the car parks and will break in and remove dogs found to be at risk in hot cars. An open window and a drop of water is not enough. Please do not add your name to those already shouted over the showgrounds who have left dogs to suffer in the heat. Oh and last but not least...a chair for will need it !

Previous Article - Dog Show Classes

  • 18th November 2013 21:13 - Posted by : mrs jackson

    i would love to show my 3 bloodhound but im in scotland and each time i check out the shows there are no classes for bloodhounds,would i enter an open or any variety im really not sure

  • 8th September 2014 05:24 - Posted by : Heather Ryan

    How do I get to know about shows in southern England before the show date.

  • 22nd April 2015 09:15 - Posted by : Ian HebworthPups

    The best way to get to know about shows I would have thought would to start by visiting one of the Clubs that represent your Breed

  • 4th November 2015 19:35 - Posted by : Woofstock

    thankyou for this article,beautifully written