Showing Your Chihuahua

(Parts taken from Dogs Victoria website - partly written by L J Ray-Mertik with assistance from J. Clancey © 2021)

Showing your Chihuahua in the Chihuahua Club

The club holds several social gatherings for breed enthusiasts throughout the year.  There are 2 Championship shows and one Open show which is a show only for Chihuahuas.  The club often receives many entries so there might be in excess of 50 chihuahuas entered from all states of Australia.  Along with these Chihuahua shows, the club also holds members competitions.  The schedules for these gatherings are advertised in Dogzonline as well as the club newsletters for members and in Dogs Victoria calendar of events.  The Chihuahua Club of Victoria also holds a pointscore competition, the winners of the clubs nominated shows receive points to go on a tally and at the end of the year, the winner is announced and is crowned Chihuahua of the Year.  

There are so many benefits being a member of a breed club, you get to know like minded people and stay connected with them and their dogs.  There are many older members that has been with the breed for many years and can pass on their wisdom to new members.   It's a wonderful hobby and ofcourse, you learn all about this wonderful spirited little breed of dog called the Chihuahua.

Entering a show online

Most kennel clubs now allow exhibitors to enter online.  Each club is registered with a different system.  There is Easy Dog or Show manager in Australia.  Easiest way to enter is go to the website Dogzonline and go to event diary and conformation shows.  Then set your criteria to the state on the blue tab at the top. 

All the shows in your state will be listed in order of event.  If you click on PDF symbol it will show you the schedule e.g. what time it starts by groups.  Chihuahuas are in Group 1 toys and then each breed is judged in alphabetic order.  You will also see on the Dogzonline list the closing date and if you click on the name of the show you will be able to view the schedule which identifies where you can enter your dog online (eg Show Manager/Easy Dogs) and the postal address if you wish to post your entry.  Follow prompts to enter your dog.  

With Show Manager or Easy Dog you will need to register as a member in order to log in every time you need to enter a show.  To enter your dog you will be required to enter your dogs details for example, ANKC registered number, pedigree name, pet name and birth date.  Once you have registered you can then enter shows.  When entering the site it will come up with a calendar and then an "enter now" button will appear for you to enter the show on a particular day.  

Exhibit number

Depending on the host (eg. Easy Dogs, Show Manager) they may email the exhibit numbers or you may have to collect them when you arrive at the show usually from a table in a box near the enterance of the ring or from a person near the enterance of the ring.  If you have posted your entry in, you should receive in the mail, catalogue receipt and a listing of the first number in each group along with start time etc.

Preparing for the show

As the day of the show approaches you should be preparing your dog by regular grooming and training so that it may be presented to the judge in top show condition and trained to behave correctly in the judging ring.

The best way to ensure your exhibit has an equal opportunity in competition is to present it in the best possible show condition by pursuing a regular grooming and training program every day. The top winning exhibitors will tell you that you win your prizes in the backyard by grooming and training your dog - you only go along to the show to collect them! Diet and exercise also play a large part in presentation of your dog.

Certain breeds require special preparation/trimming and information in this respect can be obtained from your breeder, the appropriate breed club and /or publications on the breed which is available from the Dogs Victoria Laurie Luxmoore Library.


On the evening before the day of the show, prepare for your departure by:

  • Assessing the travelling time you will require to arrive at the show venue in plenty of time to settle down prior to the judging starting time and particularly allowing time for any unforeseen event which may cause you delay en route
  • Pack the grooming gear, the dog's leash, a drink container and any other equipment you may require for preparation and/or comfort of your exhibit
  • It is worthwhile to consider also a foldaway chair and a table if you have these items available and any other items for your personal comfort, wet weather gear, beach type umbrella, sun hat, sun block, food, etc., and, of course, water for your dog
  • Don't forget:
    • your show ring exhibit number and clip to pin to your jacket or blouse
    • the fixture schedule

The day of the show

On the morning of the fixture arise early leaving home at a time which will allow you to travel to the show venue without panic.

On arrival at the show

Attend to your exhibit so that it is comfortable whilst awaiting your call to the judging ring. Under no circumstances leave your dog in your vehicle during hot weather.

Present your catalogue slip to the show secretary's office and on receipt of your catalogue check your entry in the class (or classes) entered and assess the approximate time your breed will be judged by:  (note these days catalogues of dogs entered is usually available online and you will be told when and if available online by the hosting kennel club).

  1. allowing approximately 40 catalogue exhibit numbers per hour
  2. keeping the judging ring in view so that you can see what breed is in the judging ring at any time

Before you bring your dog to the ring, and again when you are waiting to be called in for your class, watch how the judge is going about the task. Almost every judge employs a different technique, how the dogs are paraded, where they stop, which pattern of movement is required, where the dogs that are fancied are placed n the initial stages, how different handling methods are viewed and so on. An astute exhibitor can learn a lot by carefully observing the judge's methods and requirements.

Present your exhibit at the ringside in sufficient time to be able to answer the steward's call.  Please check off your number with the steward to show you are present.


How does my dog become a champion?

Your dog needs to win a total of 100 points to become a champion and 1,000 points to become a grand champion.

Points are awarded at the judges discretion to be best of each sex of each breed (over six months of age) at a championship show, there are also additional points allocated to the best of breed winner.

Challenge points are calculated as follows, five points plus one point for each dog in competition (over six months of age). The maximum points available to any exhibit at any one show is 25 points.

In the judging ring

Pay attention to the judge's and steward's instructions. Exhibitors will be required to:

  • Parade their dogs on the left hand side
  • Bring the dog to the judge and stand it to the best advantage
  • Move the dog from and back to the judge as requested
  • control and exhibit the dog to the best advantage during the judging


Up and back

With the dog's leash in the left hand all the time, move up to the ring edge directly in front of you. Turn so the dog turns to the left on the inside. Return to the judge and set your dog up.

Correct triangle

Start with the leash in the left hand and move to your right hand top side of the ring. Now move across to the other top side and now return directly to the judge. Set your dog up.

'O' Pattern (for around the ring) 

Simplest of all. Start with the leash in your left hand move anti-clockwise and finish where you started. Set your dog up.

When you have been judged remain within the precincts of the judging ring until your breed judging is completed.

Once you have more experience and all of this is second nature, don't forget that it was once all new to you and lend a hand to other new exhibitors who may not be as confident. 

Other dog sports you can do with your Chihuahua

Not only can you show your Chihuahua but you can have fun in other activities such as obedience clubs or Rally-o or Dancing with Dogs.  Please visit the Dogs Victoria website for more details about these other activities.  Here is the link .

There are a few people that own Chihuahuas that not only show their dogs in confirmation shows but also they do other activities.  Chihuahuas are extremely intelligent to compete successfully in all disciplines, it all depends on the trainer and owner as to what each dog capabilities are.