top of page

Your puppy is the result of years of dedication and hard work by your breeder on many levels - for many a lifelong interest in the breed and showing to ensure compliance with The Breed Standard, temperament and health. For most breeders it is an intense labour of love! If you would like to learn more about the breed and showing, the following is a brief guide on where to start.



As your puppy has settled into his new home, you may have taught him simple commands and tricks and as he progresses, you may teach your dog some basic obedience to allow him to become a good citizen.

Dog showing also involves training, although this is simple and on a much lower level! The best place to start with this would be to attend a local ring craft class. If there are none local to where you live, ask your breeder or a breed club representative for help. A list of breed clubs, with contact details, can be found on Collielife. Ring craft classes are usually arranged by experienced exhibitors and is also an excellent way for your puppy to socialise in a safe environment. These classes are very friendly and relaxed. You will learn what is involved in showing your dog and some will have ‘matches’ which are a great practice ground and sets you up for the next step which would, most likely, be an open show.

Open shows are run both for all breeds and for single breeds, the latter organised by individual breed clubs. There is usually only one or two breed open shows per club per year, whereas open shows for all breeds are run frequently in different parts of the country. Details of these can be found on Fosse Data ( and Higham Press (

The last category of dog shows is championship shows and these have similar classifications to open shows, the difference being that these shows count towards a dog becoming a champion.

Your puppy can enter a show (open or championship show) from 6 months onwards and there is a range of classes available. These can vary slightly depending on the show and organiser but on the whole usually all include the basic classes. Some classes are age related and some classes are ‘previous wins’ related. All clubs provide a ‘schedule’ which list the classes available, judges and class definitions. Many clubs also run a Special Beginners competition.

Open shows are a great place to start showing, they are usually friendly and welcoming – if anyone is not friendly and welcoming, it is their problem and not yours! The experienced exhibitors and breeders of today were also once inexperienced and most also started at open shows!!!

The last ingredient is to turn up with a well groomed Collie! Again, your breeder might be the best contact to help with this. Alternatively, there are many people already showing who would be pleased to show you how to groom your Collie.

Showing is a great way to meet other Collie enthusiasts and to show off your beautiful Collie – we are all proud of our Collies and win or lose (judges’ opinions and interpretations of the breed standard can vary) and we all have to always remember:

You ALWAYS take the best dog home!

Written by Lene Newman on behalf of the Midland Collie Club

bottom of page