Personally my good experiences while showing both Ramoth and Riddick have far far surpassed the bad ones.
I can really only think of one unpleasant showing experience, and it was more of an annoyance than anything else. That was the show I went to where the judge put up yellow labs 14 of the 15 opportunities he had. Every single time a yellow lab was in competition with a black or chocolate lab, the yellow would always win, regardless of it's conformation. I made a note of his name and will not be showing to him again.
'Bad judges' are easy to avoid. When you get premium lists, you are given the names of the people who'll be judging your breed that weekend, when you go to shows, keep track of those you like and those you don't like. It's really pretty simple. The yellow lab loving judge is going to be judging Labs in birmingham Alabama this spring, and I"ll just make a note not to show Riddick that particular day. No sweat, and Im not out $22 entry fee. You can also talk to other people who show dogs in your breed and get their take on the judge. FOr example, there was a judge in Montgomery last spring who people told us likes "fat dogs". Riddick is not a fat dog. I knew that she would probably not put Riddick up but we needed th experience and so entered anyway. We were right, she chose a very chunky english type dog.
Usuually though the judges are very nice and patient, especially with puppies. Dr. Carmen Battaglia (one of the AKC board members) was the Akita judge once in a show I went to, and when I was doing the 'down and back', he stopped me and said, "When you gait her, make your own stride longer and flowing... Your dog will extend her own stride to match yours and look better for it..." and let me gait Ramoth again.
When I had Riddick at those shows in Biloxi, Michelle Billings was the judge when Riddick decided he hated the chocolate lab behind us. She let me pull Riddick off to the side, and helped me calm him down, smooth down the hackles over his rump and shoulders, gait him again, and we got Winner's Dog.
When you go to the same shows in the same area, you learn who the nice and chatty people are, and seeing them is like seeing old friends. I love showing, I need one of those $100k campers to go around the country and show in now though. Powerball Lottery, be good to me!
***Edited By: Minniyar on 1/2/2007 2:02:19 PM*** Reason: addadd
I have only shown one time and it was for a friend - simple show but she had tried to warn me that this particular judge was TERRIBLE about blue merles. (we were showing shelties) and it was obvious that he preferred the classic sable shelties b/c all the Tri's and merles were never chosen!!! Awful!!
This was about 15 years ago - and I swore I would show again but just haven't had the time or the right dog. So now I'm on the hunt for my next show prospect and I'd love to get into showing.
My dream is to finish at least one dog in my lifetime. I'm hoping it will be another Saint Bernard. :)
Thanks for the post Minn. My daughter has shown in Jr. Showmanship and open with her Rhoda. Now she has talked me into showing Charlie. This should be good for a few giggles or guffaws. Hannah has always been given tips by the judges wheter or not it's Jr or open conformation.
We have upcoming dog shows in Jan. Our breeder/mentor isn't going to be there on the Sat show. Says she doesn't care for the judge. She wouldn't say why, just told us to keep our eyes and ears open. It must be a learning thing.
I guess my only bad experiences have been with other breeds and their owners in the set up/grooming areas where there are never enough receptacles, etc, etc....someone always has a burr under their saddle about something....
I think that's a normal part of showing dogs, everyoen wants to gripe about placement, grooming, etc. I tendt o leave one thing at home... it'll probably be minor but its gripe worthy lol. Usually it's good natured griping and not bitter backbiting kind, at least in my experience.
First I am going to apologize in advance for ranting but this particular topic pushes all of my buttons.
I have huge problems with what I have seen over the years in the Pom ring. I don't care if it is a toy or not with the notable exception of Pekingese (no movement standard as they were bred to be carried straddling the emperor's arm) needs to be sound enough to be able to move. I cannot count the number of times I have sat at ringside and watched a scissor job beat a dog who is well put together and can move. I see dogs that look like mix masters back and front put up because they are "cute". The legs are going "I'll let you pass if you let me pass".
Then there is the matter of the scissoring of the coats down to 1" or less to hide the fact that the dog has an incorrect coat. The breed standard calls for Poms to be shown with very little "tidying" not sculptured more than any Poodle. Dogs very obviously in the first stages of BSD, with cottony fuzz being put up over ratty coated but correct puppies who are in the "adolescent uglies".Those same dogs are never seen as adults because they now look like Chinese Crested.
I was ringside at a Toy specialty a few years back and the judge chose to ignore the fact that the cute, massive coated, little female Pom lost a leg on every corner (luxating patellas). The dog would carry her left rear for 2 or 3 steps on every corner. I watched the judge watch the dog go round 3 times, she had to have seen what was happening. The judge put the little girl up, I believe she took best of opposite. I quit wasting my money on entry fees.
Every spring I get dog show fever and off I go to the shows, it usually takes about 2 shows before I am so angry I can't go back.
Well I've only shown in agility.. but I've found at AKC agility matches the majority of the competitors are middle aged, single, down right nasty women. The only people I found that were nice at the matches were the ones I already knew from our training school! They are not welcoming to new or young competitors. I've enrolled the dogs in USDAA agility and will be giving it a shot this month to see if its any better. I'm there to have fun, I don't care about the ribbons.
Not to mention I think the way the dogs are treated at agility matches is borderline cruelty. 5 dogs stacked in crates in a van for 8 hours while its 100 degrees in the middle of July is not humane or 'good sport'.
***Edited By: thelifeofriley on 1/3/2007 11:56:00 AM*** Reason: add
I have shown GSDs for years, since I was 13, and recently decided to stop showing my GSDs since they are German lines dogs in AKC. They look so different from the American line dogs. But I am still a professional handler in other breeds and love it. I love showing other breeds. I head off to a show this weekend to show Otterhounds. They have shipped a dog up here from Houston for me to show. I have met some nice people at the shows, but the majority of the people I have met are kinda rude. But that doesn't bother me. I like the fun of preparing a dog for the ring, and going in and taking the class or the breed win. It just is a blast for me.
Oh, someone metioned Dallas(Kismet's sight for sore eyes) the GSD, and that he is a working and Show dog, but I would like to say that yes the dog has some working titles, but I do not believe that that dog would be able to with stand the daily riggers of a true working dog, a Schutzhund dog, Police dog, or service dog. Yes he earned the titles, but the angleation in his rear end is just unhealthy for a working dog. He would fall apart long before a working line dog. This statement is only for the GSDs, no other breed, and this is my opinion. I have been on both sides the American and the German lines, and the German working line dogs are far better for working purposes, but will not ever win in the AKC show ring. Now the German Show line dogs are almost as bad as the American line dogs, so the arguement is working line vs show line.
***Edited By: GSDgirl on 1/3/2007 6:39:01 PM*** Reason: *
I would have to agree with Wandering Spirit......I have seen the subjectiveness of judges with my daughter showing her dog in open competition much more then Jr Showmanship. I'm sure there are judges out there that miss things such as the cornering problems previously mentioned. But, there are also good quality judges out there. As with any type of "beauty" contest, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
TJruff, you reminded me of a trip to a show in Perry, GA right when I first showed Ramoth. It may have even been our first dog show.
There was a brindle akita in the ring, and his head and front end were just gorgeous, big, handsome, well put together. But during gaiting, when he walked, his rear legs were so... weird looking I swear they looked like spaghetti legs. It literally made me nauseated to watch, they wobbled so.
He got Best in Sweepstakes that day and I believe he also got WD to two different judges that day.
I was in a total state of disbelief.
I learned an important lesson then. To me, one of the most important things is bone structure, I want any dog I show to have a sound gait and body. I think yes, Riddick's head is wonderful, chest and forequarters are his best features, I know he has a slight dip behind his shoulder and over his tail visually are where most of his conformation faults lie. But he free stacks like a dream. And he gaits beautifully, and I wouldn't have it any other way, with effortless movement when he trots.
Judges are allowed to choose for themselves which part of the breed standard is most important to them. It's completely subjective, and what's important to one judge will be almost completely overlooked by another. In a heavily coated breed lke a Pom or Pekingese, I think there's even more room for subjectivity because the coat is such a major part of the breed standard. I think it's pointless to get mad about it though, it's just a fact of life, as has been said, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." I don't get upset easily though.
I think that if I were in your shoes, tjruff, I'd just get interested in another breed. But then I'm not fixated on one particular breed the way some are (not saying you are! I just know people who are like.. Ok I love akitas, only akitas and will never have or show another dog!)
but GSDgirl... Dallas could! It shows with good breeding we CAN do both.
My (ok, Haunter, my Beauceron's) herding instructor is the one who trained Dallas, her ideas remind me of yours, that a show GSD is a show GSD and a working GSD is a working GSD. She was so impressed after working with Dallas that she bought a Dallas daughter who she uses not only for trials, but as a real working dog.
I have only showen my male Shiba-Inu, Tonka, and win or loose I loved it!!! I can not wait until I get to go back into the ring with my next dog. I mean ya some judges PO'ed me, the one that but up a dog that is not an accepted color and should have been excused from the ring flat out. But the next judge knew more and put my 7 month old pup up over that Ch. I like Minn took down every judges name, on the suggestion of my mentor, and how he did under that judged and avoided those that made bad calls. By bad calls I do not mean the ones that didnt put tonka up, but those that didnt know the standard enough to not put up a dog with such an obvious desqualification.
What color was the dog with the obvious disqualification? Wait, I just looked at the shiba inu breed standard, there are no disqualifying coat colors in the breed... but cream, pinto and any other non-accepted colors are supposed to be severe faults.
I have really enjoyed this thread. I am hoping to start showing my German Shorthaired Pointer early this spring. I am going to my first show this weekend with the Breeder for the "behind the scenes" experience, and will start conformation classes next week.
My mother-in-law keeps telling me how I dont want to get involved in showing, that its political, the people are mean, and backstabbing, and many times the most worthy dog does not win. Well, to me, it sounds just like a typical day at the office! I can handle all that!
I actually have you all to thank for my pup being in such good health! I have learned so much here. When I got him, he was underweight, timid, shy....now he is on track with healthy weight gain, knows his commands and just looks and acts GOOD. I think the breeders are kicking themselves for letting the "runt" go.
Glad to hear that you are going to your first show this weekend. Where is the Show at? I head off to a show this weekend too. I'm going to help one of my students show their Otterhounds.:) It should be a lot of fun. I am to show one female, and a male for them. The male has own his breed and placed in the group at Crufts dog show twice, and now he is in the states and they want me to show him this weekend to finnish his AKC championship.:) Have fun at the show.
The show is outside of Akron, Ohio, which is only an hour drive for us. Are we going to the same show??? We'll leave at 6am,and my husband is already complaining (he likes his sleep!). I told him that this is what we will have to do if we are to show! There is just so much to learn, and I am very excited about it all.
No we aren't going to the same show:( We are going to Glen Rose, TX. Show. It's about 3 hours from us. you guys are luckly to be leaving at 6am, We are leaving at 4am:(. It can be hard showing two dogs, There is going to be someone to help change arm bands, and dogs for me, so hopefully things will go smoothly.:) Have fun at your show. Ignore the people who are rude, and learn from everyone else. Enjoy:)
Congrats on your interest in showing. My daughter and I are about to show together. She has a female and I have a male. So we will be in the ring at different times.
Our mentors (A mom and daughter) try not to show 2 of the same sex at a time. My understanding of their reasoning is that the dogs play off of one another and you also want a 1 strong dog to show off/up. For example, our upcoming show our mentors are not showing their female who is our females sister. Hope this made sense. I'm sure if you keep your eyes and ears open this weekend you will pick up lots of info, try not to overload and have a great time!!!