Beginners guide to UKC shows

JanS

DCF Owner
Administrative Staff
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I thought for anyone starting out this might be helpful.

United Kennel Club Dog Show Information For Beginners

This book is dedicated to my beloved Dobermans, past and present, without whom I would never have discovered the wonderful world of dog shows.
Feel free to spread the word! Pass the link to this PDF file publication on to anyone
seeking knowledge about showing in the UKC.
No part(s) of this publication may be copied for commercial use or purposes.

By Linda A Rusinko
Throughout history dogs have been bred and developed for specific purposes and functions, such as guardians, herding dogs, hunters, and cherished family companions. In serving mankind, dogs are trained for Search and Rescue operations, the military, police work, to lead the blind, and as Independence dogs for the disabled. They are trained as Therapy Dogs to visit nursing homes and local libraries for programs such as Paws For Reading, where children read to the dogs.

Is it any wonder that the many people who share their lives with these remarkable canines wish to become more involved in dog events? Sharing a common interest for dog sports, people gather nearly every week-end all over the nation to test the quality and working ability of their dogs against those from other breeders and hobbyists, and compete for the honor of taking home a new Champion or Performance Title.

There are various dog registries in North America that offer conformation and performance events. The one best known for promoting 'the Total Dog' philosophy is the United Kennel Club. The United Kennel Club was formed in 1898 and is the second largest canine registry (and the largest Performance Dog registry) in the United States. It is an international registry and currently recognizes over 300 separate breeds. UKC offers All-Breed, Multi Breed or Single Breed conformation shows, Obedience trials, Rally trials, Agility trials, Weight Pull, Dock Jumping, Lure Coursing and Terrier Racing as well as Coonhound Field Trials, Beagle and Retriever Hunting Trials, Water Races, Cur and Feist Squirrel and Coon Events, and Bench Shows in over 13000 licensed events annually.
Registering your dog with the United Kennel Club.

If you are considering showing your dog in the UKC, registration is the first step.
Even if your dog has no registration papers from another registry, or is a mixed breed, or has a breed specific disqualification in its UKC Breed Standard, you can still compete with your dog in UKC's performance events and Junior Showmanship.
UKC offers Full Registration to all dogs from UKC registered parents, providing the dog has no breed specific disqualifications.

Single Registration is for dogs who are registered in a UKC acknowledged registry [such as The American Kennel Club, any FCI registry, The Kennel Club (Great Britain), or The Canadian Kennel Club] that do not not have UKC registered parents. All dogs with Full Registration and Single Registration are eligible to enter Conformation, Junior Showmanship and performance events at licensed shows.
Check on the UKC's website, at http://www.ukcdogs.com/ for 'Registration Requirements' on all UKC breeds.

Limited Privilege Registration is for mixed breeds, or purebred dogs whose parents are unknown, or a purebred dog without registration papers from an acknowledged registry, or a dog with a breed specific disqualification as stated in the UKC's Breed Standards. All dogs accepted into the LP program must be spayed or neutered. LP registered dogs may be shown in UKC performance events, and Junior Showmanship at licensed events.

If you have purchased a puppy or adult dog from UKC registered parents, you should have received either an 'Application for Permanent Registration' form or Full Registration papers transferred into your name. These certificates must be completed and submitted to the UKC in order to permanently register the puppy or adult dog in your name. Late fees will apply to dogs over one year of age that are still only registered with an Application for Permanent Registration.
Forms and Fees for registration are listed on UKC's website. Registration Forms can also be downloaded from the site.

What type of registration application will your dog need? If you already have a puppy from a UKC registered litter, you will only need to send in its Application for Permanent Registration Paper that you should have received from the breeder. If you did not purchase a puppy from UKC registered parents, but it does have registration papers from another UKC recognized registry, you'll need to fill out a Single Registration Form. If your dog has a breed disqualification or is not purebred, then you need to fill out a Limited Privilege Registration Form. Dogs with AKC Limited registration may be eligible for UKC Single Registration, if no breed related or general disqualifying faults are present.

UKC "Application for Permanent Registration" serves as a temporary registration certificate confirming the dog has been registered as part of a UKC registered Litter. This certificate must be completed and submitted back to UKC in order to permanently register the dog and begin an active file on the dog. If this certificate is not redeemed with UKC, the dog can not compete in UKC events, UKC will not recognize competition points earned by the dog, and UKC will not register offspring produced by the dog. When submitting the "Application for Permanent Registration" be sure to: Step 1: Provide the color of the puppy on the front of the certificate, and variety if applicable Step 2: Obtain the Seller(s) Signature(s) on the back of the certificate. The signature(s) must match the name(s) as listed on the front of the certificate as "Registrant (owner(s) on record" Step 3: Provide the Date of Purchase (Month/Day/Year) you obtained the dog Step 4: Provide your name(s), signature(s), address, city, state and zip code, phone number and email. If the dog is being registered to more than one person, check the box indicating whether or not both signatures will be required to transfer the dog or register a litter. Step 5: Provide the color and the name of the dog. Dog name cannot exceed 30 characters and spaces, must include at least two words, and cannot be lewd, offensive, or inappropriate. UKC reserves the right to reject or change what it deems an offensive name. **Please note, any alterations (whiteout, cross out, erasures) will void the document and require an Affidavit form. Also, UKC is not responsible for errors caused by illegible handwriting. Step 6: Enclose the proper fees. Below is a list of our current registration packages and fees for transferring a dog into your name.

UKC "Permanent Registration Certificate" serves as proof of your dog's registration with UKC and confirms the dog is eligible for all registration, breeding, and event participation privileges. To transfer the dog into your name, complete and submit the original certificate to UKC so you will be recognized as the registrant of record for this dog. When submitting the "Permanent Registration Certificate" be sure to: Step 1: Obtain the Seller(s) Signature(s) on the back of the certificate. The signature(s) must match the name(s) as listed on the front of the certificate as "owner(s) on record" Step 2: Provide the Date of Purchase (Month/Day/Year) you obtained the dog Step 3: Provide your name(s), signature(s) address, city, state and zip code, phone number and email. If the dog is being registered to more than one person, check the box indicating whether or not both signatures will be required to transfer the dog or register a litter. Step 4: If changing the dog's registered name, provide the name of the dog in the area provided.

Name cannot exceed 30 characters and spaces, must include at least two words, and cannot be lewd, offensive, or inappropriate. UKC reserves the right to reject or change what it deems an offensive name.
**Please note, any alterations (whiteout, cross out, erasures) will void the document and require an affidavit form. Also, UKC is not responsible for errors caused by illegible handwriting. Step 5: Enclose the proper fees.
**A Late Fee will apply if your dog is over one year of age and still only registered with an Application for Permanent Registration. For a new owner the late fee is $20.00. For the original breeder (listed as Current owner of record on the front of the certificate) the late fee is $10.00.

UKC Limited Privilege Registration is offered by UKC to encourage all dog owners to be active and enjoy time with their dogs. This program accepts Mix Bred dogs (also known as American Mixed Bred dogs, or AMB), purebred dogs of unknown or incomplete pedigrees, purebred dogs registered with registries the UKC does not acknowledge, and purebred dogs with disqualifying faults. Dogs enrolled in the LP Program must be spayed or neutered and, if accepted, are eligible to compete in all Performance Events for which the breed is eligible; however, they are not eligible for conformation events. LP listed purebred dogs of the Gun Dog Group are eligible for Hunting Retriever events

Documents necessary for Limited Privilege Registration are as follows: Step 1: Completed Limited Privilege Registration Application, Step 2: Spay/neuter certificate, or if not available, then have a licensed veterinarian complete and sign the statement on the Application for Limited Privilege Application. Step 3: Pay current fee. (Optional) if you wish to have the dog identified as a specific breed, two color photographs (3 inches x 3 inches minimum) of the dog, one standing in profile and the other a close up of the dog's head must be submitted so that the dog can be compared to the given breed standard.
*

The term ‘Conformation’ refers to a dogs structure, and how well that dog conforms to its written UKC breed standard of perfection.
'Dog Handling' is the art of presenting a dog at its best for a conformation judging evaluation. If you are interested in obtaining your dogs United Kennel Club Conformation Championship, this guide will enable you to understand the steps towards completing your dogs title.
If you have ever watched a Dog Show on TV, you may have witnessed dog handling at its finest. It sure looks easy to run around the ring with a dog and win ribbons and trophies. But like in any other sport, a certain amount of talent and skill are necessary in order to bring home those ribbons and trophies. And make no mistake, your dog must be close enough to it’s breed standard to deserve those awards. Not all dogs are cut out for the conformation ring.
Some people love to spend their weekends showing their own dogs. Some prefer to pay others to show their dogs for them in conformation. Hired exhibitors who handle other people’s dogs in the show ring are known as 'Professional Handlers'. They are highly skilled and talented people who do this for a living. They have spent years earning their reputation and may have handled a variety of different breeds to their Championships throughout their careers. Being an owner/handler means you will be showing against these professionals at dog events. Don’t let this intimidate you because as you practice and learn your own skills you will be just as good as they are down the road. Even they started out as novices in the beginning. The one factor they will always have in their favor is the variety of high quality dogs they have access to and you will be showing only the one or ones you own. If your dog is not the quality that can compete with the best of the best, then you may have a challenge on your hands in finishing your dogs Championship. It takes dedication, patience, and skill to become a good dog handler. And this doesn’t happen overnight.
IN THE UNITED KENNEL CLUB, PROFESSIONAL HANDLERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO HANDLE DOGS THAT THEY DO NOT OWN OR CO-OWN.
UKC events are family oriented shows and prefer that exhibitors handle their own dogs in the ring. You may give another exhibitor (one that is not a professional handler in any other registry) permission to show your dog, but they cannot ask for, or be given, compensation in any form for their help. UKC is an owner/handler venue. Different registries have different rules.

Entering a UKC Dog Show:
UKC rules state that all dogs six months of age or older must have inoculations for Rabies, Distemper and Parvovirus to be eligible to compete at UKC events. Dogs under six months of age present on the grounds of any UKC event must have current inoculations for Canine Distemper and Parvovirus. Disciplinary actions will be taken for exhibitors that fail to comply with this rule.

Exhibitors are responsible for the behavior of their dogs at UKC events. Dogs must have stable temperaments appropriate to their breed and be trained well enough that they can be safely evaluated by the judge, and do not present a threat to other people or dogs in attendance.
When entering a UKC dog show, you will need to fill out an official UKC entry form and send it in to the club member who is in charge of that event (if pre-entering), or bring it to the show in person if 'Day of Show Entries' are accepted. These entry forms can be downloaded from UKC's website. Please read the entry form thoroughly. You are expected to fill it out completely and sign after reading the rules listed above your signature line.

All dogs, including puppies you intend to show in the Novice Puppy Class, need to be permanently registered with the UKC, or have a Litter Registration number, or a Temporary Listing number, in order to compete at licensed events. All Registration forms can also be downloaded from UKC's website.
Most United Kennel Club events are entered on the ‘Day Of the Show’, with the option to 'Pre-Enter’ by a certain deadline, with a reduced entry fee. Since total entries are not known ahead of time, show catalogs will not be available.

One other feature UKC offers that is different from some registries is that most clubs will host 2 shows per day on Sat and Sun, and some clubs offer one or two Friday shows as well.
Therefore, in the UKC, you can theoretically finish your dogs Championship in one week-end.
Each year, the UKC hosts its 'Premier Dog Show'. This is their largest yearly all-breed conformation event.
For the Premier, all entries must be pre-entered and a show catalog will be available. It's best to pre-order a show catalog
and pick it up when you arrive. UKC will have a limited number of catalogs available at the show site, for those that don't order one ahead of time.

Where do I begin?
1. Register your dogs with the UKC.
2. Joining a local UKC Kennel Club is always a good start.
3. If you have a purebred dog without registration papers, or a mixed breed dog, you may still register him/her with a Limited Privilege registration and show your dog in working events. Your children may also enter Junior Showmanship with a Limited Privilege registered dog. All dogs must be spayed or neutered in order to be Limited Privilege registered .
4. Prepare yourself ahead of time: Read books on showing dogs, and breed specific books. Go to UKCs website and search for your specific breeds Standard of Perfection. The UKC's breed standards may be worded differently than the Breed Standards from other registries. Which means that a UKC judge may be looking for different attributes or disqualifications than you would find from a Judge in another registry.
5. Attend handling classes.
6. Take a chair, and sit ring side at a dog show and observe how people handle all breeds of dogs. You will see some good things and some bad things. Take notes so you can remember later.

Expenses
On top of the money you have spent to purchase a suitable show dog and normal everyday expenses for food and vet fees, grooming supplies, toys, training classes, etc…you will need a vehicle capable of holding large enough crates, for your dogs comfort and safety, during the trip to the show. Many exhibitors travel in Vans and some in Motor Homes. Some shows offer camping facilities, or electric and water hook-ups.
Expect to pay between $15.00 and $30.00 to enter your dog at a licensed event.
If you plan to show your own dog there are the expenses involved in traveling (gasoline prices aren’t cheap) to those shows and getting your dog ready.
Most clubs even require a parking fee at their shows.
Show catalogs are another expense.
If you plan to buy lunch on the show site, it is usually expensive as well.
Motels are normally available for overnight stays near dog events, and vary in price range and pet deposit fees.

A few last tips:
Study your breed. Know your standard. Develop an eye for good conformation. Learn to tell the difference between a nice dog and an exceptional one. It takes time to become a good handler in the conformation ring. Have patience and work hard. A good dog handler blends into the background. The dog is what the judge wants to see, not the handler. Practice stacking your dog in front of a full length mirror. It will give you a better idea of what the judges see, and where you need to improve.
 

GennyB

Moderator
Hot Topics Subscriber
Thanks for sharing this Jan. UKC sounds like great venue. I really hope this spirit of fun and getting out there with your dog catches on. I really believe that is what it should be about. Drake and I are looking forward to this new journey.
 

Minionmama

Member
Good post! I am interested in attending some events but I have no idea how to find ones near me. We are discussing having our girl professionally trained and I have thought about maybe seeing how she'd like participating in some type of event. Maybe not confirmation since I've read Euro's aren't usually successful in confirmation, but something fun that would challenge her mentally.
 

GennyB

Moderator
Hot Topics Subscriber
Good post! I am interested in attending some events but I have no idea how to find ones near me. We are discussing having our girl professionally trained and I have thought about maybe seeing how she'd like participating in some type of event. Maybe not confirmation since I've read Euro's aren't usually successful in confirmation, but something fun that would challenge her mentally.



Good for you! I would look for a trainer that would help you to train her. It's a serious bonding moment.
You're right, generally Euros don't do as well in AKC conformation. There are other venues like UKC and IABCA and a few others where they do really well.
PM me with some more info and I'll see if I can find a club for you. I just need to know the general area you live and how far you are willing to travel. Maybe an idea of what you would be as interested in. Barn hunt, dock diving, lure coursing, obedience....the list goes on and on.
 

Panama

Moderator
Hot Topics Subscriber
UKC is a wonderful stepping stone for anyone that is interested in getting started in conformation. The atmosphere alone is well worth giving it a try! The club members and the other exhibitors are always willing to help guide a newcomer. Very family oriented. They usually have puppy fun matches for pups under 6 mo and most clubs usually offer Altered (meaning dogs spayed/neutered can show also, but only against other altered entries).

If there aren't any clubs or shows close enough, check the International Venues (ICE, IABCA, ICKC)... all great places to start to see if it's something you and your dog might be interested in pursuing.
 

Minionmama

Member
UKC is a wonderful stepping stone for anyone that is interested in getting started in conformation. The atmosphere alone is well worth giving it a try! The club members and the other exhibitors are always willing to help guide a newcomer. Very family oriented. They usually have puppy fun matches for pups under 6 mo and most clubs usually offer Altered (meaning dogs spayed/neutered can show also, but only against other altered entries).

If there aren't any clubs or shows close enough, check the International Venues (ICE, IABCA, ICKC)... all great places to start to see if it's something you and your dog might be interested in pursuing.
I have a Euro so I'm not really interested in confirmation shows as much as some type of event. Something tells me she'd be great at scent work.
 

Panama

Moderator
Hot Topics Subscriber
I have a Euro so I'm not really interested in confirmation shows as much as some type of event. Something tells me she'd be great at scent work.

MANY Euro bred Dobes show and title in UKC. Look into Barn Hunt.
 

Minionmama

Member
MANY Euro bred Dobes show and title in UKC. Look into Barn Hunt.
Really, in conformation? I've tried to find out about several events online. I feel like its impossible to figure out what something even is and how to get started in it. I'm becoming discouraged it my searches!
 

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