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  • Advice for Dog Show Novices   Back   See All Forum Topics   ShowDays Home
    What would you like to say to the people starting out in our strange and wonderful world of exhibiting at dog shows. Also a place for novices to ask questions.
    DateNameAbout the Writer
    Aug 14, 2008Ken Tank / Victory German ShepherdsHandling , Training , Conditioning for over 72 Combined years...Ken and Kathy Tank
    Find yourself a mentor. TALK to people . LISTEN, ESP TO THE \'OLD TIMERS \" LIKE US, LOL. But listen. Read, and watch. Go to shows, trials, matches. Ask WHY a particular dog wins over another. Ask what the judge is looking for. Find out who has an excellent record in welcoming newcomers, and don\'t allow oneself to be pushed immediately by a breeder to buy a dog. Get lots of opinions BEFORE you buy a dog that a breeder swears is a star. REMEMBER THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS AND WE ALL STARTED OUT AS NEWCOMERS. Ken and Kathy Tank
    Oct 27, 2008Linda / Keno Malamutes
    To be able to handle the politics in showing dogs because it is a very political sport.
    Sep 15, 2009Jinger Guinn / Mystic Toy PoodlesBeginner to AKC showing
    I would like to know if you advise new people to talk to other handlers how on earth can you trust people you don\'t know? I\'ve heard horrible stories about new people seeking advice from experience dog showing people getting only bad advice. then there is the passing of majors just because someone needs one?? Give the points/majors to the dog that should win not just because judge knows a certain handler needs points.
    Nov 16, 2009Dunkirk Mastiffs
    I would advise anyone new to showing to have number one not take everything too seriously. Remember only two dogs are going home with points so you have you have to enjoy showing to make it worthwhile. Otherwise it is awful tough getting up at 4am! Do talk to other exhibitors but take everything with a grain of salt. Watch everyone, see how they behave in the ring and with each other and you will get a sense of who is good to know and who is not. Even then people will surprise you. Some breed rings are more helpful than others. Act like Switzerland, always behave as honestly and professionally as you can and you\'ll get respect. You will see unprofessional and political things happen and its crappy. But its just a dog show so don\'t get crazy. And if its a judges behavior you don\'t like your recourse is not to enter under them again.
    Apr 23, 2010Terry Crowe-White / Crowe\'s Nest KennelI grew up in the business-daughter of an AKC licensed all-breed handler, I\'m still showing at age 60
    Don\'t let yourself take it too seriously, watch carefully, listen intently, ask a lot of questions of a lot of people, compare answers and find more. Remember that this is an EGO sport, and that \"sour grapes\" will \"color\" much of the information you get. Sometimes the right question to ask someone is \"who do you think I might be able to talk to about . . . ?\" Judges are often your best resource for answers - but wait until their assignment is finished. PHA member-handlers are also usually a good resource, check out their web site, and see who you can \"meet with\" on a show week-end.
    Aug 17, 2011 Autumn\'s
    I am fairly new to showing and if you don\'t have 10 or more years well youre new. I think the judges really try and most times it seems the win is good, but yes i have seen where the judge seemed to pick for other reasons other than the dog looked good. To get advice from another who is showing your same breed is not a good idea. These people are not friends. Before buying a dog you must really take your time. Most show people think their puppies are winners. The pups change a whole bunch, and remember they are not going to sell you something nice. Get to know others in another breed.
    Jun 8, 2012CynthiaBlueNew
    Is there a link on the AKC website that shows breed counts for past conformation shows.. that are prior to the current year? I can find some on Onofrio, but only for upcoming shows... so shows that are, say, 10 months from now, I can\'t find those on Onofrio either. Thanks!
    Jun 14, 2012AnonNovice Handler
    Do performance events and other things with your dog outside of confirmation. That way, when you are handed a white ribbon, you can put it all into perspective. Eventually you\'ll feel badly for those poster dogs who get carted around by handlers and aren\'t as close to the breed standard as they are close to what is commonly being churned out by breeders who want to finish dogs. You\'ll know your dogs true talents and, frankly, you\'ll be the one that will be more interesting to share a drink with at the end of the day. Make friends with people from OTHER breeds, so you can pull for each other and when you do win you will be truly happy for each other. Smile, it\'s just a dog show.
    Sep 11, 2015Bob Isaacks / Satan Creek
    Almost any sport will cost you some money. Some, more than others. If you decide to try showing dogs, I highly recommend that you START with UKC (United Kennel Club)shows. No \"handlers\" are allowed, it\'s just you against the other persons entry. The UKC is \"laid back\", less formal and more people are apt to help a newbie. The AKC is POLITICAL, i.e. it\'s not necessary to have the best dog in the ring, just the handler best known to the judge. There are exceptions where an \"Owner Handler\" can win but IMO, those occasions are rare. Invest in a good pup, spend some time getting him acclimated to the show ring and give it a try. Remember, it\'s not like the Little League where you get a trophy for participating, it takes some work, some money, some time and some dedication to the sport...YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!
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