Dog showing in Australia

In Victoria , the breeding, exhibiting and trialling of purebred and associate dogs is regulated by the Victorian Canine Association . Other states and territories have similar controlling bodies and together these organisations form the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC).

Dalmatians in Australia are placed in Group 7 - The Non Sporting category. The conformation of pedigree dogs is assessed at Championship Shows, Open Shows and Parades. At a Championship Show dogs compete initially within their own breed in age classes and the Challenge Certificate (CC), is awarded to the best male and female if deemed to be of a very high standard. These two dogs then compete for the Best of Breed (BOB). Further awards at the Group and Best in show level are possible.

An Open Show is similar to a Championship Show except no Challenge Certificates are awarded. At a Parade, further restrictions apply which limit the entry to dogs which have not achieved their Championship. Open shows and Parades are used by many breeders, to introduce young dogs to the show ring and the judges for these events are almost always trainee judges.

Points are awarded on the Challenge Certificate based on the number of dogs of the same breed over six months that it has beaten on the day. Dogs under six months are not eligible to compete for the CC.

Bonus points can be received for winning Best of breed , Best Exihibit in Group (BIG) or Best Exhibit in Show (BIS) to a maximum of twenty-five points on any one certificate. The title of "Australian Champion" is awarded when a dog reaches 100 points, and the title of Grand Champion when a dog has accumulated over 1000 points.

A dog continues to be eligible for the Challenge even after attaining the title of Australian Champion, and it is possible to build up hundreds or even thousands of points during a dogs career. Australian dogs unlike their American counterparts have to compete against established Champions to gain enough points to become a Champion themselves. There is not a separate Champions class.

At Championship Shows, Open Shows and Parades, dogs compete against the other breeds in their group. The best of breeds compete, and the winners of each age class also compete against the other breeds in the group, for the best in group and the best of class in group.

Once all classes in the Group have been judged, the various Best in Group winners compete against each other for Best in Show (BIS) and so on through each Class to decide the various Class winners in Show.

Classes at shows :

Baby Puppy : For dogs four and under six months of age

Minor Puppy : For dogs six and not exceeding nine months of age

Puppy : For dogs six and not exceeding twelve months of age

Junior : For dogs 9 months and not exceeding 18 months of age

Intermediate : For dogs 18 and not exceeding 36 months of age

Novice : For dogs six months or over which have not won a first prize at any Parade, Open or Championship show.

Graduate : For dogs six months or over which have not won a challenge certificate.

Limit : For dogs over 12 months of age who are not champions.

Australian Bred : For dogs six months or over whelped in Australia

Open : For any dog six months of age or over

Veteran : For dogs 7 years and under 10 years

Special Veteran : For dogs over 10 years

All dog shows in Victoria are regulated by the VCA and show schedules are published in their publication VicDog which is freely available to all VCA members. No person over the age of 18 may exhibit or handle at a dog show unless they are a financial member of the VCA.

Information about the VCA can be found on their web site.

Photos of the 9th Nationals 2002 in Victoria, copyright Henk & Joke Kentin, Netherlands.