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Question about dog shows


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Can dogs other than those that are competing attend the dog show?

I know this sounds like a really dumb question, but we have never attended a dog show and do not know the rules/etiquette to follow.

I have been all over the website, Springfield Expostion (MA), and cannot find any information. The show is July 9 (AB,O, Rally)

Thanks for any information you can provide to me.


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Pets are welcome at some shows, but not at others. I think it depends on the location of the show. We go to two outdoor shows that are in huge parks and non competitors are welcome.

For the most part, it would be impossible not to allow non-competitors at these shows, since dogs are allowed in the parks. However, every show is different and sometimes they stack the rings together so it is not practical to bring your pet.

Non-competitors are usually not welcome at indoor shows.

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Thanks for your reply. I was able to speak with someone at the show. The answer to my question was a resounding NO!!!

I am so glad I was able to reach someone at the show befoere traveling 1 1/2 hours to be turned away!


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i'm not a veteran of the show ring...but from what i've seen outside dogs are not allowed... but if this is a case of you wanting to bring your dog and its 1.5 hrs away, i would just bring an expen and kennel and put it down in an inconspicious corner and put your dog in there when you are wandering and watching some activities.... and otherwise carry you dog around too... why not? (i know show organizers would hate me for suggesting this!hahahaha!!) ...just act like you're fresh off the westminster!!hahahaha!


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If you want to find out allot about the show look at what is called a Premium List. If you can find out what company runs shows in your area you can look at them. Where I am I look at Info Dog and Onofrio

Info Dog Click on the button that says Show Information then click on select by state. When you see a show you want to look at click on that show and then click on the Premium List and it tells you all about the show. Now about a week before the how you can you can go back to the site and click on Judging Program and that will give you the list of times and the ring numbers for the breeds. That will help you find the Cairns or whatever breeds you are looking for. The other site I use allot is Onofrio. On that one you click on the show information button and look at the shows upcoming. If you want to look at a show that has closed (that means no more people can enter) then choose that from the drop down list.

My favorite is finding out who was the Cairn that won the show, to do that you can look at winners for the week on info dog...click on the show and look at catalog and results and it will list the entries and how they placed. It is really cool to look at the results.

I took Sugar when she was 4 months but she was in a soft crate and I carried her everywhere, her feet never touched the ground, I wanted her to get use to the sounds and I was having someone evaluate her. It is easier on an indoor show not to take a dog with you especially if you want to shop at all the neat vendor booths.

Now tips to help you when you go to the shows.

Ask before you pet, If the dogs have not been shown yet then wait to pet them....allot of work goes into grooming and getting a dog ready, the owner/handlers are not being rude they just want the dogs to look the best so wait until after they finish showing to ask to pet them :D

Take a chair to sit in, allot of the shows do not have chairs so take your own.

I know it is more information than you asked for but maybe it will help :whistle:


Rebel, Hammurabi, Sugar, Dirty Harry, Paint, Duncan and Saffron

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Thanks for all the great information!

I did use Infodog to get the shows information. However, I did not see if non-competing dogs were allowed to attend so I did have to contact the "dog office" at the show for the answer.

I really did only want to see the Cairns comete, and, perhaps, the Westies as well.

Although, this time around, my main motiviation was the shopping!

I wanted to pick up a couple of stripping knives. The place I take my two to get grooomd suggested I got to the show to feel the knives in my hand. He said that is the best way to determine what knife is a good fit for you.

Also, I have heard that the shopping experiecnce a major shows is second to none when it comes to acquiring breed specific items.

I was disappointed I could not bring my dogs Although, I do realize bringing non-competing dogs to the shows could potentially be a major distaction for the people showing their dogs as well as the competing dogs. I just wanted a "family day" out to the show which, in my family, includes our dogs.

Perhaps, a show nearer to my home will come along shortly and I will attned for the shopping.



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There are shows in West Springfield in November and again in April. They are at the Expo Center.

The first weekend in December is the Bay Colony Cluster Show at the Bayside Expo Center in Boston.

All of these shows have a large variety of vendors. Real good shopping! Infodog will have the show schedules. None of these shows allow dogs that aren't involved in the show itself. Mostly a security thing. People showing must show ID and papers that they own the dog upon entering and leaving the building to avoid theft of a dog. There would be no way to control this for visiting dogs. Look for an outdoor show in Mass. Sometimes the outdoor shows allow pet dogs.


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  • 3 weeks later...

A lot of times it depends on the forum. If it is an indoor show they usually don't want unentered dogs there because of space and stuff. There are several outdoor shows I go to every year that are at parks and people are welcome to bring their pets. Other outdoor shows don't want unentered dogs in the ring area. Hope that helps! :D

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