The Kennel Club is reminding exhibitors that there have been changes to the benching requirements for General and Group Championship dog shows. These changes will be in effect for a two-year trial period starting from 1 January 2023, following the December Board meeting.

During this trial period, show societies have the option to request exemption from benching for their shows. Each application for exemption will be reviewed individually, and the decision will be made on a case-by-case basis. The Kennel Club, through the Show Executive Committee, will closely monitor the impact of shows without benching by assigning Field Officers to report on those shows where exemption has been granted.

It is important for exhibitors to understand that they must comply with any reasonable requests made by the show management, particularly regarding safety concerns. They should also remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times.

Certain factors have been identified and communicated to show societies as requiring additional consideration if a show is held without benching. While it is the responsibility of the society to ensure these factors are taken into account, exhibitors should also be mindful of the following points:


Regulation F(1)3.d which states:


(1)The width of unobstructed gangway shall not be less than 6 ft (1.85 m) when there are rings and/or benches on either side.

(2) The width of unobstructed gangway shall not be less than 3 ft (0.92 m) when there is a ring or benches on one side only.”

  • Potential hazards i.e., gazebo rope, including the distance between temporary structures (including ropes) and show rings.
  • Dogs must be kept under control at all times
  • No cooking equipment to be used except as authorised by the show management e.g., Catering vans
  • All gazebos must be well anchored
  • All dogs must be identifiable at all times. As there will be no numbers on benches exhibitors may need crate tags in order for dogs in crates to be identifiable


Show societies are required to provide clear information in their schedules regarding the arrangements made in case a show is exempt from benching. This includes notifying exhibitors about wet weather arrangements. Societies have the option to apply for exemption after their schedule has been published. The exemption request can be considered as an amendment to the schedule, although it is advisable to submit the requests as early as possible.

Furthermore, exhibitors are reminded to remain attentive to their surroundings at all shows, regardless of whether benching is being used or not.

For further enquiries, please contact Breed Shows (The Kennel Club) .