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Want to Show?
What is a dog show?
If you are interested in showing your new puppy, the best idea is to go along to a show, see what goes on and chat to the exhibitors around the ring. If you live in Scotland, The Scottish Kennel Club can provide you with a Show Dates Diary, which details all shows in Scotland and the General Championship Shows throughout the UK. The breeder of your puppy, if they are regular exhibitors, will be able to advise you which Shows schedule basset hound classes. Details can also be found in the weekly publications of 'Our Dogs' and 'Dog World' Newspapers.
What is the purpose of a dog show? A dog show is a competition to determine the best representatives of a pure breed as judged using a BREED STANDARD written for each breed and approved by The Kennel Club. Dog shows encourage breeders to maintain those qualities of a breed that make it unique from all others and thus readily recognisable as that particular breed - and also the qualities of a sound and healthy animal.
A "breed club show" is limited to one breed, as opposed to an "general (all breed) show" where a lot of the KC recognised breeds will be entered. The largest general all breed show in the UK is Crufts where the judging of any one breed can take all day.
A definite help in following the show is a catalogue. It lists all the dogs entered in the show with sires, dams, breeders and owners. It also has a listing of prizes and trophies, and an index of exhibitors.
There are two types of judges. Breed Specialists and Non Breed Specialists also known as All Rounders. Breed Specialists are individuals who breed, own and exhibit Basset Hounds. Wins awarded by Breed Specialists are held in high esteem. Sometimes the judge will be an "all rounder" which means his experience in dogs is, or was, with a breed or breeds other than Bassets but has extensive knowledge and expertise in dogs to be qualified to judge Bassets.
There are different types of shows – Championship, Open, Limited (which means that entries are limited to members only) and Companion. There are different rules for each type of show and a Show Schedule is provided by the Club which will detail the type of show being held.
Before the show, dogs’ details must be completed on an entry form which will be enclosed with the Show Schedule. This should be sent to the Show Secretary by the closing date, which is as advertised on the front page of the schedule. All entered dogs must be at least 6 months of age on the first day of the show. Dogs and bitches are usually entered in separate classes, but there can be joint classes as well, especially in general all breed shows. At some shows, there are also classes for Junior Handlers – children aged from 6 years upwards are encouraged to take part in these shows. A description of each class is contained in the show schedule and these must be read carefully so that dogs are not entered in the wrong class. If in doubt, ask an experienced exhibitor to clarify the class definitions.
If all the excitement and enthusiasm you see at the show is rubbing off on you - if you've tried comparing your opinion with that of the judge - if you think your Basset is good enough to compete with the ones you have seen in the ring - you may be a candidate for exhibiting your basset. Most of us started our show careers with no experience of having owned a basset before. To be competitive, a lot of work has to go into the making of a show dog. The foundation, of course, is good breeding. Get acquainted with some of the breeders and exhibitors who attend shows. They will love talking to you. Read as much as you can about Bassets especially the Breed Standard. Attend breed club and general shows, and get involved with a local club as your first steps.