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Showing Dogs North of the Border

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114 – August 2019

by William Given

Most American exhibitors know little, if anything, about Canadian dogs shows and the pleasures to be had showing their dogs north of the border. Yet, many Canadian Kennel Club events have a certain charm that one finds lacking at too many of our shows here in the United States. They also have features that the American Kennel Club should consider implementing.

One can find a sports arena in almost every small Canadian city where hockey is played and curling events are held. Almost all are large enough for four to six rings, and have ample space for crating and grooming. These facilities are the perfect size for most CKC dog shows. And, since they are sports centers, they provide adequate parking and are easily accessible.


Compared to the size of an average dog show in the United States, Canadian shows are noticeably smaller. Many of their larger shows, in metropolitan areas, will have a total of 600 dogs or less. In the interior of the country, an entry of 300 is considered good. This, fortu- nately, provides for a level of intimacy which simply cannot be duplicated at most AKC dogs shows.

Dog shows in Canada look and feel pretty much the same as those held here in the United States. Class dogs compete for championship points and the maximum number of points a dog can win at any one show is five. All of the Best of Breed winners advance to the Group competition and all of the Group winners proceed to Best in Show.

Most show giving clubs host three shows over a weekend with the shows being held Friday through Sunday. If Friday or Monday is a Canadian holiday, there will (most likely) be four shows in the cluster. If the show is a low entry event, it is entirely possible that club will have two shows each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each of these shows have their own points for class dogs and bitches, Best of Breed, Group and Best in Show competitions.

Some specialties are stand-alone events and are held on the Thursday or Friday before an all-breed show. However, most Canadian specialties are held in conjunction with an all-breed dog show. The specialty club will have separate classes (with its own points) apart from the regular classes offered by the all-breed club. Entering a specialty is easy; when completing your entries, you simply check the box for the specialty and the all-breed show, or just one or the other.

Click here to read the complete article
114 – August 2019

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