Showing Your Beagle

ABC 2015 CH Show - Dog World Schedule

Click on the link below to download the entry form.


General Information

  1. Your Beagle needs to be registered with the New Zealand Kennel Club (NZKC).
  2. You need to be a financial member of NZKC and a breed club (eg the Auckland Beagle Club or Hound Club etc).
  3. You need to check whether the sale contract from your breeder allows you to show your dog.  Some contracts have “not to be bred or shown” on them.  This usually refers to championship or open shows, not ribbon parades, match days or fun days – but check with your breeder.

Types of Breed Shows


These are shows where Challenge Certificates are on offer. One is on offer for the Best Dog and one for the Best Bitch in each breed. The judge has the option to refuse this award.

Only senior qualified judges are allowed to judge these shows. They must be listed on a current Championship Show Panel or if from overseas, meet the criteria set down for a judge from that country or have specific approval of the Executive Council.

Championship shows must be entered in advance of the show. A catalogue listing the details of every dog entered is produced. The owner(s) of a dog must be financial members of the NZKC to enter a dog at a championship or open show.

Open Shows
Open Shows are conducted like Championship Shows with pre-entry and Catalogues but Challenge Certificates are not on offer.

Ribbon Parades
Ribbon parades are designed as fun days for clubs, training grounds for judges and exhibitors and a place for education of exhibitor, exhibit and judge alike. Ribbons are the only prizes which can be awarded.

Match days

These are shows which are often conducted in conjunction with other clubs where elimination type judging takes place. They can come in many forms and are informal.

Fun days

These are club events where conformation judging does not take place. These are the only activities that a club, that has not been recognised, can hold although they can take part in a match with another club.

Why show your dog?

There are lots of reasons why you might like to show your dog.

  • Show off what a fabulous dog you have. The showing process compares your dog with other dogs, which can convince other people what a fabulous dog you have. They will be more likely to want to breed to your dog or get your dog’s puppies. The puppies from a champion dog are usually considered more valuable.
  • Get to know your breed.  You will learn a lot about your breed from talking to (and commiserating with) other breed owners.
  • Meet people with the same interests.  All of the people at the dog show will have one thing in common. They like to show off their dogs. As a source of information and camaraderie, they can’t be beat.
  • A lifetime hobby.  It is a fun and competitive hobby. It is not as expensive as some hobbies, and there is nothing to dust!
  • See the country.  Depending on how much you want to travel, shows are a good way to see the country.
  • Build a bond.  Showing your dog builds a close bond between you and your dog. Both of you learn to rely on each other. You to tell him what to do, and him to show how he is the best dog entered.

Last, but not least, an important reason for showing your dog is it is a fun thing to do with your dog. No dog will win every show. Depending on the judge, the dog, and the day, you might go home a winner, or you might go home with just memories. Win or lose though, you still take home a good friend.

Preparation to showing

  • Training – A show dog needs to be trained. Though you may train your dog yourself at home, you can attend conformation and handling classes which are beneficial for both you and your dog. The classes also serve to socialise your dog. This gets them accustomed to being around other dogs in conditions similar to what he’ll find at shows. Very often, a show dog is the only dog in a household. Therefore at the show, he may be anxious or overwhelmed by all the activity, noise and other dogs. Socialisation will make showing a better experience for you and your dog.
  • Conditioning – Every show dog – no matter how big or small – needs conditioning. For some dogs, this means a strict exercise regime; for other dogs, it means regular walks. It’s very important that you don’t over-exercise your dog.
  • Nutrition – A good diet and the right foods will keep him fit and trim and keep his coat shining.
  • Grooming – All show dogs need to be clean – with clean teeth and clean, trimmed toenails.

How to enter a show

Once prepared, it’s best to enter your dog in a ribbon parade for practice. With all the attributes of a Championship show without the pressure, this is a good place to start. When you and your dog are confident, enter a championship show. To enter a championship show you must belong to the New Zealand Kennel Club. Championship shows are listed on the NZKC website and each month you will receive a Gazette which contains a listing of all the upcoming shows. Send in your entry before the due date and you are on your way.  Entry forms are available on line from the NZKC website or from your breed Club.

What the Judge looks for

  • Written Standard – Dog shows began as a way of comparing top dogs and identifying superior breeding stock. Each breed has a written standard describing the ideal specimen of that breed; breeds were developed by man to perform specific duties. As such, a dog’s physical characteristics relate form to function.The written standard describes the ideal structure for the breed. (See the information below on the Beagle Breed Standard).

The Judge’s routine

The judge’s routine is fairly straightforward and most judges have the same routine. When a class of dogs first enters the ring, the judge will stand back and look at a dog from a distance to get general impressions about balance, type and movement. Then the judge begins individual examinations by putting their hands on the dog (smaller dogs are placed on a table). They usually begin by looking at the eyes, ears and teeth and then proceeds to “go over” the entire dog, nose to tail. By handling a dog in this manner, they check for bone structure, musculature and conditioning.

The judge should be comparing what they see with what they feel. When this examination is complete, the handler will be asked to move the dog in a pattern that allows them to see the dog from every direction (usually back and forth or a triangle). At the conclusion, the judge will note in their mind how the dog’s structure and movement all came together and if the dog can truly perform the functions for which it was bred.

Beagle breed standard

Group: hound  beagle_standard
Size: medium
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Exercise: medium
Grooming: very low
Trainability: low
Watchdog ability: high
Protection ability: very low
Area of Origin: England
Date of Origin: 1300’s
Other Names:
Original Function: hunting hare on foot
The Beagle was developed in England and is said to descend from the Talbot Hound brought there during the Norman Conquest (1066). The first written reference to the Beagle dates back to the 15th Century; the name is most likely derived from the Celtic word “beag” which means “small.” The Beagle looks most like the Foxhound and is the smallest of the scent hounds. Its main prey when hunting is the hare in England and Cottontail rabbit in North America. Beagle field trials are extremely popular overseas for many sportspeople. The first beagles reported to be introduced in to New Zealand were imported in 1868 by Governor Sir George Grey.
The Beagle has a cheerful, upbeat personality and is great with kids although at times a little too boisterous. Like all scent hounds, Beagles have retained their hunting instincts and are an independent breed, at times they may prefer to “follow their nose” – ignoring your protests to come back.
An adult Beagle needs daily exercise, either a long walk on leash or free running in a well fenced yard. They can live outdoors in temperate climates as long as warm shelter and bedding is available. They are a social dog, however, and needs the companionship of either other dogs or their human family; as such, they are usually happiest if they can divide their time between the house and yard. A well fenced property is essential.

Official breed standard

A merry hound whose essential function is to hunt, primarily hare, by following a scent. Bold with great activity, stamina and determination. Alert, intelligent and of even temperament.

A sturdy and compactly-built hound, conveying the impression of quality without coarseness.

Head and Skull:
Head fair length, powerful in the dog without being coarse, but finer in the bitch; free from frown and excessive wrinkle. Skull slightly domed, moderately wide, with indication of peak. Stop well-defined and dividing the length between occiput and top of nose as equally as possible. Muzzle not snipy, lips reasonably well flewed. Nose broad and nostrils well expanded; preferably black, but less pigmentation permissible in lighter coloured hounds.

Dark brown or hazel, fairly large, not deep set or bulgy, set well apart and with a mild appealing expression.

Long with round tip, reaching nearly to end of nose when drawn out. Set on low, fine in texture and hanging gracefully close to cheek.

Teeth strongly developed. Upper incisors just overlapping and touching outer surface of lower incisors to form scissor bite.

Sufficiently long to enable hound to come down easily to scent, slightly arched and showing little dewlap.

Shoulder clean and sloping. Forelegs straight and upright, well under the hound, of good substance, strong, hard and round in bone. Not tapering off to feet. Pasterns short. Elbows firm, turning neither in nor out. Height to elbow about half the hound’s height to withers.

Topline straight and level. Chest well let down to below elbow. Ribs well sprung and extending well back. Short between the couplings. Loins powerful and supple, without excessive tuck-up.

Very muscular about the thighs. Stifles well bent. Hocks firm, well let down and parallel to each other.

Tight and firm. Well knuckled up and strongly padded. Not hare-footed. Nails short.

Back level and no roll. Stride free, long-reaching and straight without high action. Hind legs showing drive. Should not move close behind or paddle or plait in front.

Sturdy and moderate length. Set on high and carried gaily but not curled over back or inclined forward from the root. Well covered with hair, especially on underside.

Short, dense and weatherproof.

Any recognised hound colour other than liver. Tip of stern white.

Weight and Size:
It is desirable that height from ground to withers should neither exceed 40 cm (16 in) nor fall below 33 cm (13 in).

Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Source NZKC website