Junior Handlers

Junior Handler Competitions are a wonderful opportunity for young members of Dogs Victoria to exhibit their purebred dogs in the show ring and also to spend time with other young people of similar age. 

You'll make new friends, learn more about different dog breeds, as well as their various types and characteristics.  The sport encourages young dog lovers to learn how to take care of dogs and maintain animal wellbeing. These values will help support further generations of consciousness and responsible dog ownership culture. You'll develop confidence and good sportsmanship alongside other up and coming handlers at competitions and weekly activities.

Entering a Junior Handler heat can be extremely rewarding and challenging; it encourages great sportsmanship, friendships and welfare between young people and dogs.

How do I become a Junior Handler?

If you are between 7 and 19 years of age, and your parent or guardian is a Dogs Victoria member you can have a Dogs Victoria junior membership and you can participate. If you are 18 years of age you can have your own Dogs Victoria membership. 

When are competitions held?

There are junior handler heats conducted at all breeds championship shows in Victoria, except for those shows held on a school day, which means there is plenty of handlers competitions you can enter. Entries are taken on the day and there is no entry fee.

Junior handlers are split into three different age classes

  • 7 to under 10 years
  • 10 to under 13 years
  • 13 to under 19 years

Once a year the junior handlers compete in the state finals, and the best in each state then go to the national finals.

A trip to England to compete in the World Challenge at Crufts is on offer for the best junior handler at the national finals.

Junior Handlers Manual

There is a manual which is a guide for those that wish to improve their knowledge on junior handling as well as explaining the rules and regulations that are required. A copy of the manual can be found here

2023 Victorian Junior Handler State Finals

The 2023 Victorian Junior Handler State Finals took place on Saturday 8 July 2023 at the Junior Kennel Club of Vic Inc show. The show was conducted in the Boxhall Pavilion at KCC Park (State Dog Centre). The Winners were

7 - U10 years        
First  Zahra Ryan
10 - U13 years  
First  Imogen Steer
13 - U19 years  
First  Paige Trotter

 The overall winner was Paige Trotter 
 The runner-up was Emily Perkins

'Sportsmanship Code of Conduct' for all Junior Handler Events

ANKC Ltd Regulations Part 15: Junior Handler Competition & Junior Handler Manual

By competing in a Junior Handler event, competitors and their parents/guardians and spectators agree to abide by a “Sportsmanship Code of Conduct.”
All competitors AND their parents/guardians and supporters when competing in a Junior Handler event are required to:

  • Follow the rules and regulations of the ANKC and their State Controlling body.
  • Show respect to fellow competitors, their parents, judges and club officials by accepting constructive criticism and the judge’s official decision as final, and by congratulating handlers who place above them.
  • Never question the impartiality of any Junior Showmanship judge, nor contact judges prior or after JH events in a way that can be seen to be negative.
  • Refrain from making negative comments on social media about any other handlers, their parents or a Junior Handler event.
  • Welcome and encourage new handlers into junior showmanship.
  • Judges must judge the handlers on their ability displayed on the day of competition and should not let anything else influence their decisions.

Any breaches of this code of conduct should be referred to their State Controlling body for disciplinary action. 

Get involved!

Contact the Junior Kennel Club of Vic Inc - juniorkennelclubvic@gmail.com