The dog competition was first held at the Royal Melbourne Show by the Department of Agriculture in 1874, when 213 dogs were entered.
The 1928 Royal Melbourne Show was the first time that the dog section was conducted under the rules of the Canine Control Council (which developed into the Australian National Kennel Club). This attracted 801 exhibits to the Show, which was a record at the time.
Today the competition attracts more than 3,900 entries across 200 breeds, competing over nine days throughout the Royal Melbourne Show.