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Preparing For Your 1st Show

Tracy MacLean, Shayera Dobermans

From making out an entry or using an entry service to what to take to the show with you.

This is how I enter and approach dog shows:

How far do you wish to travel may play a part. In Canada we don’t use entry services, therefore you would have to get a premium list form the club or show secretary. You can get the information through the Dogs in Canada magazine. A lot of clubs have Websites as well. Premium lists are available from the dog show secretary’s tables.

Honestly evaluate your dog and ask yourself is he ready to win or are you using the show as socialization and training? If he is ready to win pick your judges as to who you believe does a good job, knows the Doberman Pinscher standard and is not afraid to use it!

Decide which class your dog would do best in. In Canada the most commonly entered classes are Junior puppy (6-9months), Senior puppy (9-12month) and Open (any age). In breed specialties you will see some use of the other classes such as Canadian bred and Bred by Exhibitor. These classes are also offered at the All breed shows but are usually not used. The Specials Only class is for Champions only.

Fill out the entry making sure all information is correct — double check it. Write the check for the correct amount and mail in your entry in plenty of time to make it to the show secretary before the show closes. Nearly all shows held today have a Fax entry service which usually has an extra charge added for Fax service but you know your entry will have made it. Again make sure all information on the entry is correct and add your credit card number to the entry.


  • Plan for your weekend at the dog shows.
  • Book your hotel room ( credit card ) or trailer spot.
  • Have your vehicle serviced oil change, tire check, fluids etc.
  • Continue the conditioning of your dog by exercising daily, training daily, socializing, conformation classes, coat care, ears, teeth and nails cared for weekly.
  • The weekend before the show, I start show grooming by trimming the coat.
  • I do nails the day before the first show applying black nail polish as well as another show trimming of the coat and teeth and another ear cleaning.
  • Crates, ex-pens are cleaned, then packed into the van.
  • Make a list of supplies which includes cleaning out the tack box and organizing it with what I want to take along.
  • doggy first aid kit, including Kaobiotic for diarrhea
  • water buckets
  • battery nail dremel tool for grinding nails
  • A5 clippers,  scissors, tooth scaler
  • show shine for the coat
  • dry bath for muddy feet
  • towels
  • doggie toys
  • show collar and leash
  • Flexi lead
  • collar Water and Dog food along with bowls for the same.

  • Dog beds, blankets and covers for the hotel beds.
  • Poop bags as well as 4 or 5 big black garbage bags( in case of a doggy accident where they come in real handy)
  • Grooming table cleaned
  • Bait – liver cake made and taken out of the freezer and put into the cooler, (liver, heart, roast beef, chicken, wieners – many varieties.)
  • A big cooler and a smaller one for ringside.
  • Plenty of drinks for yourself as well.
  • Perhaps lunch.
  • Plan your show outfits one for each day.
  • Show shoes, dog walking shoes for all types of weather.
  • Warm jacket, rain coat.

written and submitted by Tracy MacLean, Shayera, Canada