Sh Ch Calvdale Softly Softly
& his sister
Sh Ch Calvdale Claire Blake
So, you want to show your English Springer Spaniel puppy?
Having acquired a puppy from a reputable breeder of the show type of ESS, where do you go from there?
This page will attempt to point you in the right direction.
First of all get as much help as you can from your breeder, who should be only too willing to help with things such as grooming and training.
When your puppy is fully inoculated, you will need to join your local ringcraft club. These are training classes that will help to train you and your puppy in the art of show handling and the control of your puppy in the ring. If you are not sure where your local club is, the Kennel Club will be able to help as they hold lists of all registered clubs and societies.
Your puppy will not be able to compete in a Kennel Club licensed event until it is 6 months old, but until then you can concentrate on socialising your puppy by introducing it to as many different environments that you can. The more you can do at this stage, the better able to cope with the ‘show scene’ your puppy will be.
There are different types of dog shows that you will be able to enter once your pup has reached 6 months of age.
Here is a brief outline of some of them:
Companion Dog Show
The Companion Dog Show is a lighthearted show that is held in aid of
charity. It is open to all dogs, pedigree and non-pedigree, those
registered with the Kennel Club and those that are not. These shows
are usually held on a Sunday afternoon, and can be entered on the day;
the price of entry will vary from show to show. There will be two sets of
classes scheduled, breed classes and fun, or novelty classes. The
breed classes are usually AV (any variety) puppy; this is for all pedigree
puppies from 6 to 12 months of age. AV Sporting, this class caters for all sporting breeds, Gundogs, Hounds & Terriers, AV Non Sporting, this class takes in all the other groups, and finally AV Open, which is open to all, irrespective of breed. The novelty classes are for fun, and can include classes such as Prettiest Bitch, Waggiest Tail and Best Mover etc.
The Open Show
Open shows are larger affairs and are put on by local canine societies; they are for Kennel Club registered dogs only. They can be held in a variety of venues from leisure centres to county show grounds. These shows will have classes for specific breeds, which will be listed in its schedule. You will be able to get a schedule from either your ringcraft club, or by ordering one from the advertisements that will be in the dog press – Our Dogs and Dog World, both of which can be obtained on subscription.
Once you have your show schedule, and you have checked that ESS classes are being held, you will need to fill in the entry form and send it to the secretary of the society by the closing date, which will be stated on the front cover. On the inside back cover; you will find the definition of the classes that are scheduled and the requirements of entry for each class. Here again, your ringcraft club will be able to help with this should you need advice.
On show day, set off in good time so that you and your puppy arrive with plenty of time to settle down. Find the ring that you will be in, a list is usually displayed near to the secretary’s table. If it is a nice day, you will be able to take all you need ‘ringside’ and have the chance to meet other people from the breed. When judging starts, the steward will call in the class, pay attention to what he/she tells you to do and if you’re not sure – ask! Try to remember all that you have learnt in your training classes and put it into practice. When all the dogs have been judged the judge will place them in order of 1st 2nd 3rd Reserve and VHC (very highly commended). If you are lucky enough to be placed first, you will need to stay in the ring so that the judge can write up a critique of your dog. This will then be published in the dog press a few weeks later.
These are the highest level of dog shows, from these shows; your dog can qualify for Crufts – the best dog show in the world!!
Entry at Championship shows is again for KC registered dogs only. The entry fees are a lot higher at around £20.00 per dog. Again these are entered in advance via the entry form within the schedule, but these shows are usually held over three or four days with different groups being shown on different days, so Gundogs may be on Friday and the Toy and Utility Groups on Saturday for example. As mentioned earlier, from these shows you can qualify your dog for Crufts, and to do this you must be placed 1st 2nd or 3rd in certain classes, Minor Puppy, Puppy, and Junior, Post Graduate, Limit , Open and Veteran. The classes at these shows are also divided between dog and bitch.
Show Champions are also ‘made up’ at these shows by receiving the Kennel Club Challenge Certificate or ‘ticket’ as it is more commonly known. To make up your dog into a Show Champion, he/she must receive three Challenge Certificates under three different judges – a feat that only the best achieve.
But, at whatever level you choose to show your dog, always remember, win or lose – you always take the best dog home.
Championship Show results can be obtained from the following links, or from the show results pages of this website: -