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Quiz: Is Dog-showing Right for You?

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 21 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Show Dog Showing Breed Pedigree Dogs

It might seem really glamorous and exciting, the thought of entering competitions and bringing home ribbons and rosettes – and indeed, many people enjoy the hobby of showing dogs immensely.

You can make new friends, learn lots of new things and possibly even build a distinguished career as a dog exhibitor and/or breeder. You might even go on to become a dog show judge or compete at Crufts!

But dog showing is not for everyone and it may require more commitment than you realise! So take this quiz to find out if showing dogs is really something you’d like do to:


1) You like to groom your dog
  • a) once a day or every couple of days – you love spending time on his appearance and enjoy bathing and grooming him
  • b) once a week, if you can get away with that – you tend to leave it until it really has to be done
  • c) never, if you can help it!
2) Getting up early in the morning is
  • a) no trouble – you always get up early, even on the weekends
  • b) a bit of a struggle but you manage it with an insistent alarm clock
  • c) absolutely impossible!
3) Do you take your dog out
  • a) in any weather, rain or shine – it doesn’t bother you
  • b) preferably in good weather but you’ll go out in the wet and cold if you have to
  • c) only if the sun is shining and it’s comfortable temperatures!
4) Your friends are
  • a) mostly doggy people or animal lovers
  • b) a mix, with some pet lovers
  • c) mostly non-pet lovers who can’t understand why you care so much about your dog
5) Your dogs
  • a) have a healthy respect for you and will obey your authority in public
  • b) can be a bit naughty sometimes but you’re working on their training
  • c) are complete hooligans and you have no control over them
6) Your weekends are
  • a) relatively free at the moment or filled with things that you won’t mind sacrificing
  • b) quite busy but you could probably rearrange to fit in important events
  • c) completely booked up with your favourite activities and social engagements
7) Your opinion of long road trips is
  • a) they’re OK – you quite enjoy driving and don’t mind making a long trip to get somewhere
  • b) they’re a pain but tolerable if necessary
  • c) they’re absolutely intolerable and you get very car-sick
8) When you play games
  • a) you don’t mind winning or losing – you just enjoy taking part
  • b) you like to win but you know that losing sometimes is part of life
  • c) you HAVE to win! You can’t bear losing and you get furious at everyone and everything around you if it happens


If you picked mostly A’s

Good luck! It looks like dog showing is definitely your thing. You don’t mind sacrificing your weekends getting up early to drive all over the country to attend shows and you’re not daunted by all the grooming required to keep a show dog in top condition. Most importantly, you are in it to enjoy the process and not just to win the ribbons.

If You Picked Mostly B’s

It might take you a bit of time and effort getting used to the ‘exhibitor’s lifestyle’ but if you’re committed enough, you’ll should be able to adapt. You’ll have to groom your dog more often and more carefully than you’d like and you may have to sacrifice a few lie-ins on the weekends but you’ll enjoy yourself enough to make it all worthwhile.

If You Picked Mostly C's

Unfortunately, you’re probably not cut out to show dogs. This is a relatively serious hobby with large demands on time and effort. Many people involved in dog showing literally spend every weekend driving up and down the country to attend shows and are undaunted by the amount of grooming and preparation involved or having to show their dogs outdoors in all weathers. You probably also don’t have the right attitude for showing dogs – as this is a hobby where you can lose as often as you win and since a lot can depend on the arbitrary opinion of a judge, it can become very frustrating. Finally, your dogs may not be ready either if you do not have good control over them – dog shows require you to control your dogs in areas where many dogs are crowded together, in a strange environment, under a tense atmosphere. While anything is possible and you could certainly be bitten by the show bug enough to change your habits and attitudes, it looks like you’re best to choose another hobby and just enjoy your dog in a less intense way.

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