This Pee Wee Spotlight Photo courtesy of Lost Coast Kennel Club
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Procedures and Guidelines
A Club must submit a Special Attractions Form to conduct the Pee Wee Class Special Attraction. The request must be approved by the Event Operations department. The Pee Wee Special Attraction is a pre-Junior Showmanship class. The Pee Wee class is geared toward children 5–9 years of age. Safety is a primary concern.
Each Pee Wee unit consists of the child, his/her parent/guardian/responsible adult, and the dog. Only one Pee Wee unit is in the ring at a time. This is not a competitive class, but rather a fun, learning experience for the child and the adult. At an All-Breed Event the judge must be an AKC approved All Breed Junior Showmanship Judge. A Group Club or Specialty Club may have a Limited Status Junior Showmanship Judge that meets the criteria. The Judge MUST like children, be patient, kind, and have a sense of humor!
This Special Attraction must be listed as such in the premium list and in any public announcements which will include the following information:
- A dog must be at least four months of age to enter the Pee Wee class.
- Bitches in season will not be allowed to participate. If pre-entered, a dog may be substituted that meets the eligibility requirements as specified by the club.
- All dogs entered must have the proper lead and collar.
- A responsible adult must be present with the child both inside and outside the ring. The adult is to maintain control of the dog outside of the ring.
- At a Group or Specialty Club Show the dogs must be of the breed(s) eligible for the event.
- At an All-Breed event, all AKC fully recognized and Miscellaneous Class breeds must be allowed to enter, including dogs with a PAL listing.
- At an All-Breed event, it is up to the host club to decide if FSS breeds not in the Miscellaneous Class and All-American dogs are allowed to enter.
- It is up to the host club to decide if a dog must be registered to participate.
- How entries will be accepted is up to the host club. In addition to an entry, a release must be signed by the child’s parent or legal guardian. Please contact Event Operations at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the current version of the Pee Wee Release of Liability.
- The entry fee, if any, shall be specified.
- Clubs may specify a limit on the number of children allowed to enter the class.
- Clubs must submit a summary report to AKC including number of entries and feedback to the Sport Services Department.
- The safety of both the dogs and Juniors inside and outside the ring is a primary concern. Outside of the ring, the dog is to be controlled by the adult accompanying the child. An additional lead, provided by the Club, will be at the Judge’s table. At the Judge’s discretion based upon the size of the child and the dog, for safety purposes the adult may be asked to attach a second lead to the dog so both child and adult will walk the dog together.
It is essential that the club hosting this Special Attraction provide the support and time to greet the participants and make them feel welcome and be able to answer any question that may arise. There should be a minimum of three club members to assist participants, monitor the ring for safety, and one may act as the steward. Club members must be patient, pleasant, and willing to dedicate as much time as needed to create a pleasant experience for the young Junior and his/her adult. This is vital to the success of this program.
Each of these club members assisting should make themselves familiar with the Junior Showmanship Conformation Regulations, Guidelines for Judging Juniors in Conformation, Juniors in Performance Event Regulations booklet. It is recommended that these Regulations be available to those junior entrants at the show along with the Pee Wee class procedures and guidelines. (The club may download the PDF of the booklet or order from the Order Desk.)
Although the word “judge” will be used, this is designed to be a learning and mentoring experience—no Junior will be “judged” but rather will be mentored with the age-appropriate amount of information to help prepare them for what they will be expected to know about AKC regular Junior Showmanship once they reach 9 years of age. Obviously, the older children can absorb more detail than the younger ones. The children will be mentored one child, their adult, and dog in the ring at a time. Each child will receive a participation ribbon or rosette to commemorate the experience. The club may select the color of the ribbon and may wish to add a small gift for the child or the dog to take home. It would be an added plus if the Judge were to be available for individual photographs with the show or club photographer which would serve as a memento and reminder to both the child and the adult of the fun experience and remind them to return again next year!
The Judge should explain the process of showing the dog to the Junior and the responsible adult in the ring including breed specific presentation. Depending on the size of the dog and the child, the adult may be asked to lift a table breed on or off the table, or the Club may mandate that the adult should do it regardless. Neither the youngster nor the adult should be asked to show the bite.
Consider either holding the Pee Wee Special Attraction at lunchtime, which would give the child and the responsible adult time to get to the show; or the Club may wish to schedule this before the groups, when rings may be available. It is important to maximize spectator attendance as this is a huge crowd pleaser! Ideally, a designated ring for this Special Attraction would allow more time for one-on-one mentoring for each child and adult. If that is not possible, then a ring that is vacant, preferably centrally located (perhaps near the Club tent) for maximum viewing by the greatest audience.
Some clubs offer a pizza party or cake in a separate location after the classes are over for the children and adults to make new friends and share this new common interest.