I was wondering what it takes to learn how to show a dog. I know there is more than meets the eye but just how much more? I am kind of interested. I have trained and shown horses in several disciplines so if I can learn all of that thought that I might be able to take on dogs.
Can take handling classes, watch people who are amazing in the ring. Depends if the dog needs grooming, then you need someone with show expertise there. Some breeds are more cut throat than others.
Contemplating it with a current dog of future one? You can be excused from the ring if they feel the dog is without merit to show, so I'd make sure the dog you'd like to handle does fit breed standard from people well versed in the breed.
Handling classes. If you want to show dogs for other people, find a handler to apprentice to. If you don't have the dogs to show, that gets a bit harder. Finding a handler that needs help, or an exhibitor that can use an extra hand is a good way to get your feet wet.
You might also check and see if you have a local club that has sanctioned shows. You might find some mentors there. Also assisting a steward at a show will help you understand how showingand classes work. What breed were you thinking of showing? Where are you? Practicing in front of a mirror once you learn how to properly stack your dog is also helpful. There are a lot of little tricks you can learn, it's not just walking in and running around with your dog like some think. There are tricks to enhancing your dogs good points, and making any small faults look better. My biggest pet peeve at shows are people who block isles talking not paying attention to their dogs and letting them sniff and wander all over. Also people who are not ringside when the time is right to show. Theres a lot of etiquette to showing to.
I did my first match when I was in 3rd grade..lol I am now 42 in a few days. I have had the pleasure of leaning from some of the best. I've had a lot of fun showing our dogs as well as others. I miss it terribly, I truly enjoy it.. :( I may try 1 later this year. :) If you live nearby I would be willing to help..
Northwest Michigan, Toy and Mini Poodles, Schnauzer, 2 chessies, some birds, and horses.
Yes, there is definitely more than meets the eye. It looks easy looking from the outside looking in, but all the work and training leading up to what you are seeing is the hard part. Many times even once a dog is shown, they are always a work in progress.
I would suggest looking into an all breed club in your area. Many of them hold handling classes where you can learn from others as well as get tips and hints from the judges that some use to help with them. Also, go to shows and watch, talk to handlers (though keep in mind that most handle multiple dogs and ring time isnt the best time to catch them, as they are very busy and may seem rude) ask them where they are set up at and if you could come by and talk to them later and what time would be good. Not all of them are willing to help, but take the good with the bad and ask around. Check with any local breeders in your area that show, even if its not your breed, you can gain alot of helpful training from them and may just need to adjust a bit to fit the breed you are showing. Many show breeders who show their own dogs will gladly allow someone to come and help. They could use the extra hands to train and show the dogs and in return you get alot of knowledge.
People are like slinky's, not really good for much. But its still fun to push them down the stairs.
I've been thinking about getting my feet as well. WindyValley had a lot of good ideas that I am following up on. The first being finding a local showing area or sanctioned club and joining. Second, I joined several yahoo groups that specialize only in showing dogs and my breed. Finally, try finding someone who would be willing to mentor you. This is where I am having a prob - but the next dog show in my area is in June, and that is where I am hoping to find one. Good Luck!!
No particular dog in mind just kind of toyed with the idea. I just figure its probably just as fun but less consuming than horses. Dont get me wrong I am sure it takes a lot of work but dogs dont require big fancy horse trailers, riding stables and arenas, expensive saddles and other regalia, and 1 ton gas guzzling trucks to haul them here and there. There is nothing in the world quite like riding a well tuned equine but what is it like to show a finely dog that is in step. I am sure the mutual partnership has to be there somewhere to be successful just as with my beloved equines.
Tatersmom, weren't you in Michigan? If you are I might be able to hook you up with some show friends at upcoming shows. Even if your not I still might be able to. At least we can let you know where and when shows are in your area.
The best show in Michigan to really see all the breeds and talk is in March. Its a benched show which means when your not showing your dog is benched with all of the same breed. It's nice to know where all the breeds you want to look up are and a great place to talk since the exhibitors are there alllllll day!
(Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Portland and New York are the six benched shows in the us.).
Northwest Michigan, Toy and Mini Poodles, Schnauzer, 2 chessies, some birds, and horses.
I will always owner handle my dogs, it's more rewarding. :-)
For each breed there are different things you can do.. dog have a weak topline? Tickle the tummy. Dog have a poor front when moving? You can adjust the whole body movement by stringing them up on the collar. Does the dog have a good head, make sure to wear a show collar in contrasting color to accent that. Dog have a poor ear set? When holding the collar pull the skin slightly upward.
There are so many small, breed specific things... and if you have a coated dog there are even more tricks of the trade. Some of them are cruel to the dog (just as in the horse world) please do not do those.
Attend handeling classes, and be sure to watch the handlers of whatever breed you like (and not on TV!!! That doesn't count!)
A cat by any other name... is still a sneaky little furball who pukes on the sofa.
This is a really interesting conversation. I just recently talked with the breeder I got my male from, and she is going to help me. She gave me some real good points over the phone, and is going to evaluate the pup I have in mind. I had been invited to let my son learn the training techniques through the local 4-H, and she said that was a great idea, because the more training the dog gets the better. It will also help my son to learn to train the pups.
Oh poohey I showed horses for 30 + years and took my dog to a show on a lark...did pretty well, but there are differences that will let a judge know you showed horses...I've had lot's of judges tell me in the ring to "quit showing a horse, this is a dog" I asked gee how did you know???? most of 'em also do horses! Go for it! It's cheaper and you don't need a trailer!
schoolbus, I might be inclined to move around as would in halter or showmanship. Or maybe I would click and kiss to them to get the dog to jog and say whoa when I stopped and make it pivot on that right hind hoof oh wait I mean foot. Ok fido square up those feet.
If you are really serious about showing and can attend a George Alston handling clinic ($250) and don't cry real easy, you will learn to show like a pro. I worked for 2 different handlers. There was a world of difference between the two. One was very good and very professional. The other lacked both. So who you work for a can make a difference as well. I think it is easier to learn more of your own breed if you work for a handler who is specific as to whether they show predominately working dogs, sporting dogs, terriers, etc, etc. I have terriers, so of coarse I sought out a terrier handler rather than an all breed handler. Because learing to properly strip a terrier coat is hard to to. I just got one of my youngsters off the grooming table and did some free stacking and took a walk on a show lead to the mailbox and back. Using the Happy Legs for stacking in front of the mirror is also a good thing to do. We have a show this coming weekend and another one the next weekend. And silly me entered the boys as Brace team because it was FREE. This should prove to be very entertaining. I hope to get one of them finished in Bred By Exhibitor this summer. But for certain shows and goals, I prefer to use a professional handler. I love to watch the dog in the ring. And if it is a big political show, I like to be on a level playing field with the other handlers. Just knowing that I bred the dog in the ring is satisfaction enough for me. Although I don't show UKC anymore, it too is a great place to get your feet wet in the show ring. The judges there are allowed to give guidance, where it is not really acceptable in the AKC ring. There are many good books too read as well. Showing to Win, Tricks of the Trade. Just go to Amazon and search dog showing. You can get good used books there really reasonably priced.
He's your friend,your partner,your defender your dog.You are his life,his love,his leader. He will be yours faithful and true to the last beat of his heart.You owe it to him to worthy of such devotion