Most packs of hounds hold an annual puppy show at their kennels and these generally take place during June and July each year.
Traditionally puppy shows are held to thank those who have walked hound puppies and to show their progress since they came back into the kennels after being out at walk. The puppy walkers have a big responsibility, giving each young hound their initial education following being weaned. This involves introducing them to the sights and smells of the countryside, ensuring they know right from wrong, and most importantly, making certain each individual hound knows its proper kennel name.
There is quite an art to showing hounds and the hunt staff will have spent a lot of time over the weeks and months leading up to the big day to ensure the young hounds show themselves off to their best advantage. Huntsmen often use dog biscuits to help make the hounds stand properly and to encourage their movement.
There are usually two invited judges who come to assess the young hounds and give their verdict on their conformation. Similarly to judging horses, they will look at the overall picture of each hound, check they have good feet, shoulders, backs and also see how freely they move.
Usually the doghounds are judged first and are usually presented to the judges by the huntsman in couples, so there is time for them to assess them properly. Once the judging of the doghounds has been completed and the results announced, the same procedure then happens with the bitches.
Once the judging is over with, the puppy walkers of the winning hounds are often presented with a prize and all puppy walkers receive a silver spoon engraved with the name of the hounds they walked.