You don't need to be a member of the Guernsey Kennel Club to show your dog locally (except for the Members' Show), but it must be registered with the Club, and you must enter in advance. Shows are held four times a year on Sundays (there are also seven a year in Jersey) and are judged by two UK judges. The week before a show the Club often holds a match (a 'friendly' afternoon show) as a warm-up. Shows run from 9.00 am - approx. 5.00 pm. You don't have to stay all day, but many people like to make a day of it to see how friends and rivals get on and to enjoy the climax of the Best in Show judging.
Judging takes place in two rings, for Sporting and Non-Sporting breeds. Classes are formed according to the group system (Gundog, Hound, Terrier, Toy, Utility, Working and Pastoral) and the age and experience of the dog. Several dogs of a particular breed will compete against each other in their own class, but if you have an unusual breed your dog will be entered in Any Variety Not Previously Classified (AVNPC) together with any other single breeds. Dogs are not judged directly against each other, but against their own breed standard, as set down by the Kennel Club, so that it is possible for a judge to say that a Beagle, for instance, comes closer to the Beagle standard than the Greyhound next to it does to its standard. Rosettes are awarded to first three places and cards to Very Highly Commended (5th place).
Following the breed classes judging for Best in Group is held, the winners of which go through to compete for Best in Show. After the group judging, Any Variety (AV) Classes take place, in which all breeds in the group compete according to age and experience. From here, dogs are chosen to compete for Best Junior in Show, Best Yearling in Show, Best Novice in Show, Best Brace in Show (two exhibits of the same breed belonging to the same owner) and Best Veteran in Show. There is also a Best Team in Show class. There are many trophies to be won for various categories. All Group Winners, Best Puppy in Show, Reserve Best Puppy in Show, Best Junior in Show and Best Veteran in Show at Open Shows qualify for Crufts the following year.