Showing for Beginners

On the day itself, it is advisable to bring a chair and blanket or cage so that you can make yourself and your dog comfortable. Don’t worry if this is your first time at such an event, just let the ring steward know and he / she will help you with any questions you may have. Do not forget to bring your dog’s passport / vaccination booklet and a show leash. A small tent for you and your dog is also highly recommended. Also, groom your dog before entering the ring.

Explanation of the different classes:

1) Youngest puppy class (4 to 6 months)
This is the class for the youngest. This class is not yet competing for the championship, but a best youngest puppy is chosen. Judging in this class should be a fun experience for puppy and owner. The youngest puppies are still in full development, which makes comparison between them difficult. And the dogs are a bit more difficult to compare with the breed standard, although our experienced judges have no problem with that.

2) Puppy class (6 to 9 months)
In these classes the dogs are already starting to become more dogs. They are in puberty and are already starting to have a growth spurt. In this class, comparison may be difficult for an untrained eye. But our experienced judges already clearly see the potential of a dog here. This class does not compete for the championship yet, but it does compete for best puppy.

3) Youth class (9 to 18 months)
This is a tricky class. Often the dogs are in a “slouching” phase, they are long and thin. But the variation in this group is also very large. The youngest dogs are still “puppy-like” while the older dogs in this class are almost fully grown. You might think it is comparing apples to pears, but our experienced judges have an eye for the variety and can handle it well. This class also competes for the championship.

4) Between class (15 to 24 months)
In this class are the dogs that are already largely fully grown in body, but that still expand a bit before they are a “full” Belgian. After the age of 24 months, the dogs do not change that much anymore in appearance. This class also competes for the championship.

5) Open class (from 15 months)
All registered dogs (older than 15 months) are allowed to register in this class. This is often the class where the largest group is registered. Depending on the age, the dogs in this class are largely fully grown and in this class you can clearly see the variation within the breed. Because the dogs are largely fully grown, they can also be compared with the breed standard. Dogs in this class compete for the championship

6) Working class (from 15 months)
In this class are the dogs that have already proven their services as working dogs (also known as working dogs). They are in possession of a working dog certificate (for example IGP or HWT), which must be sent with the registration. The Belgian Shepherd is of course a working dog and registering in a class that requires a work certificate is seen as a plus by many judges. The dogs in this class also compete for the championship.

7) Champion class (from 15 months)
Dogs in this class are in possession of a championship title (for example Dutch or French champion). To register, a copy of the championship certificate must be sent with the registration. The dogs in this class also compete for the championship.

8) Veteran class (from 8 years old)
The oldies are registered in this class. All dogs from 8 years old. Sometimes you will see a dog of 14 or older on a KCM for Belgian Shepherds in this class. The Belgian Shepherd is often healthy and beautiful old so that they can keep up with their younger counterparts even at an advanced age. This class often evokes the necessary emotional reactions in the spectators. It will therefore not surprise you that this class also competes for the championship.

9) Breeders class (from 9 months)
Dogs are registered in this class where the breeder is also the owner of the registered dog. For the rest this corresponds to open class (5). This class competes for the championship.

Age is especially important to register a dog in a class. For the special classes (6 and 7) it is an obligation to send the corresponding certificates when registering.

Breeding class (kennel presentation)
In this class a breeder has the opportunity to present offspring from his breeding. In this class homogeneity is especially important. It is desirable to see that you can see that dogs from the same breeder resemble each other and of course also fall within the breed standard as much as possible. In this class, a minimum of 3 dogs and a maximum of 5 dogs with the same kennel name must be entered that may be from different owners. A best Breeding Group per variety may be chosen and a best Breeding Group of the show.

Junior handling
As in every hobby, our youth also has the future at a dog show. That is why we want to give them the opportunity to proudly show their dearest pet in a completely casual way. Often a subdivision is made into two age categories of the handlers in order to be able to make a fair comparison. In this class it is not directly about the quality of the dog, but about how the dog is presented and what the dog / handler relationship is like

The breed judging:
All entered dogs are judged by a breed specialist judge on conformation by class, age, variety and sex. The judge assesses the dog in its natural standing position and also assesses the dog’s movement. The judge examines the dog’s teeth. The judge will also touch your dog on the head, legs, back, tail, belly and chest, this is to feel the bone structure and muscle development and the coat structure will also be assessed. The critiques (judge’s assessment) are then dictated to the scribe who writes the judging report. You will receive this report after the breed judging so that you can read the judge’s assessment of your dog. Finally, the judge chooses the best dog per class, and then places the second, third and fourth best dogs in each class.

Explanation of CAC, RCAC, BOB, BOS, BIS:
CAC stands for Certificat d’Aptitude au Championnat. It is – literally translated – a certificate of suitability to be champion. Basically, this means that if your dog receives a CAC at a show, the judge considers your dog worthy to be a champion. Each country has its own conditions, and information can be obtained from the relevant Kennel Club in each country.

RCAC stands for Reserve Certificat d’Aptitude au Championnat. When your dog is the second best of its variety and sex, you will receive the RCAC. In the Netherlands this means you get a quarter of a CAC point. Each country has its own conditions, and information can be obtained from the relevant Kennel Club in each country.

BOB means Best of Breed and during the show this title is awarded by the judge to the dog that represents its breed (variety) the best, and this is a big honour. It is always awarded to either the best female or the best male.

BOS means Best Opposite Sex and this title is awarded by the judge to the best male or female that is the opposite sex to the Best of Breed winner. If for example the BOB is the best male, the BOS will be the best female.

BIS means Best in Show, the winner of the BIS award is the best dog chosen by the judge from all four varieties. Reserve BIS is the second best of all four varieties.

You can find further information at (Raad van Beheer) or

Do you have any questions? Please let us know as we are here to solve any problems you may have!