Coast and Country Canines stand at New Forest Show

We love a summer show, and we are excited to be attending Dogstival, the South Downs Show, the New Forest Show and more in the coming months. You can find the full list on our events page

It is always such a joy chatting to dog owners and meeting their dogs, especially when the dogs are having fun and enjoying a great day out with their families.

Fetes and shows can be a great chance for dogs to socialise and explore new sights and smells, and there are a few things you can do to help make it a positive experience.

Here are our top tips to help make your dog’s day as enjoyable as possible.

Go prepared with the things your dog will need to have a good day. Most dogs will appreciate some extra treats, and consider what else your dog might need to have a safe, happy time. A cooling bandanna perhaps, or a comfortable harness?

Hot day? Consider leaving your dog at home in the cool with someone who can look after them. If you do decide to take your dog with you, try to walk in the shade as much as possible and bring plenty of cold water and a bowl so they can drink throughout the day.

Before taking your dog to a summer show, consider their individual needs. Are they nervous of crowds, new people, or other dogs? If so, a summer show may be a scary and overwhelming experience for them, and they are likely to be more comfortable at home with someone who can look after them while you’re out. You can always buy some treats while you’re there and bring them home for your dog to enjoy later.


A golden retriever drinks from a portable dog bowl.
Four different dogs showing stress signals, including - yawning, lip licking and whale eye.

Keep an eye on your dog and look for stress signals throughout the day. The Dogs Trust have an excellent, illustrated guide to help you recognise signs of stress in your dog – you can find it here.

There are lots of ways our dogs try to tell us when they are stressed, but here are a few common signals to look for:

  • lip-licking
  • seeming subdued
  • yawning
  • tension in the body
  • low tail position (even if they are wagging)
  • Refusing treats

If you notice that your dog is becoming stressed, or tolerating the experience rather then enjoying it, consider taking them home. If this isn’t an option, find somewhere cool and quiet for a break. You could also do some calming engagement games with them, like scattering some treats in the grass for them to find.

Let your dog stop and sniff. All the new smells will be very exciting for your dog, so let them engage with the environment and explore while you’re there.

You could even let them follow their nose and see where you end up!

A happy golden retriever puppy wears a blue Coast and Country Canines Bandana

If you’re attending Dogstival, the South Downs Show or the New Forest Show this year, come and see us at our stand! We’ll have freebies, games, and lots of advice on how to enjoy safe, fun and wildlife-friendly walks.