The Victorian love of both dogs and hobbies meant that dog showing and activities became very popular in the 19th Century. The Kennel Club regulates shows in the UK for KC registered dogs and some companion shows for non-KC registered dogs.
LEVELS OF SHOWING
There are various levels of shows, the lowest being Companion and Fun Shows which are entered on the day, open to non-KC registered dogs, and are a really fun, laid back introduction to showing. Open Shows are the next level and require KC registration on the breed register and pre-entry (usually a couple of weeks before). Open shows can be a single breed (i.e.Parson Russell Terrier Club purely for PRT's), Group Open Shows (i.e. Terrier Group) or General (Open to all breeds). Open shows are more serious than Companion shows and often have strong competition and are a super training ground for dogs, handlers, and judges alike.
The highest level of showing is Championship; Crufts being the most famous. These shows are always pre-entry (often a month or more in advance) and the competition can be very strong, both numerically and in quality. It would be a very daunting prospect to attend a Championship Show as your first show! They are also run as either single breed (i.e. the PRTC hold our Championship Show in November each year), as Group Champ Shows (i.e. National Terrier Club) or General Championship Shows for all breeds. Crufts is a General Championship Show but differs from the other General Championship Shows in that it requires qualification as well as pre-entry.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
If you fancy having a go at the popular sport of dog showing, it is a very good idea to find a local Ringcraft Club (dog training for show dogs) that often run weekly sessions to learn the ropes and better prepare you for showing. It can be incredibly rewarding and fun if you have a competitive spirit.
Rough and broken coated PRT's do require some coat preparation for the show ring which can be learned yourself with the help of your dog's breeder and people willing to help. Good books will also help but ultimately, it is something you have to learn through experience, talking to, and watching others.
If you are under the age of 24 and interested in Obedience, Agility, Showing or Flyball with your PRT, the Kennel Club has a sister organisation, the Young Kennel Club that helps and encourage youngsters in the world of dogs.