I took Moxie to a match show, which is sort of like an unrecognized show. We were second of two. Oh well. We are still new to this! It was a good experience!
Sounds like you had fun and a new experience (match) for you and your dog?
If conformation showing is new to you, it can take some time to learn how to do it well.
But, a fun day to spend with your pup!
Good for you! Do you have a mentor in your breed?
I can’t remember if your dog was bred to show or not. It can take time to recognize a dog’s faults, and therefore be better able to present them in the ring.
It does take practice (more so for you than the dog.) I look back at some of my early show videos and realize that I epitomized the “your dog might win in spite of you” expression more than once.
I was thinking about this post this morning while reading some other Facebook dog show comments from the weekend. Definitely don’t be discouraged by a 2nd placing in a match show because often (usually!) the judges are not expert in all the breeds. And puppies are always tricky to judge. I’ve seen BPUP classes where the best behaved puppy won, not the (obvious winner to those knowledgeable in the breed) who was bouncing around the ring like a 5 month old typically does.
Match shows are good for learning and practicing ring procedure (for you). They are worth doing while you are learning. After that, they are less useful and can be frustrating.
I do! Unfortunately, her breeder is too far away, but another woman who has related Cardis has been helping me.
It sure is a lot harder than it looks!
Thank you. She is a sweetheart, too.
I definitely am learning, so they are helpful.
If you can find a conformation class (not obedience but a class taught by someone who shows conformation, regardless of breed) take some. Some of confirmation is how best to show off your breed but some conformation is general how to get the best out of your dog, how to do the ‘up and back’ or the triangle.
Some was, pardon me, some of the sneaky things that competitors might try to ‘upstage’ you and your dog… stacking their dog slightly in front of the line… sometimes even what to wear. Maybe conformation times have changed but some I suspect not.
If you do get serious into conformation showing, keep track of the judge and how they placed your dog. As S1969 said, sometimes behavior wins, sometimes the judge is a ‘head’ judge and doesn’t like your dog’s head or doesn’t like your dog’s coat. For me the hardest part was not easily having an open discussion with the judge about what they did and didn’t like (at least in my breed at the time).
While other handlers are competitors they can also be helpful (depending on the handler) by giving you tips or what they might like or not like about your dog.
Conformation is fun but can also be not for the faint of heart
Keep practicing and keep us posted on your progress!!!
So much good advice! Thank you. Moxie is a good girl. My mentor thinks she’s nice enough I can finish her. Hopefully, I can, meaning me, as opposed to a professional handler.
If she is as nice as your mentor things, then you should be able to finish her. But, take those conformation classes to learn how to handle her when you get into the ring with the pros. Talk to your mentor about which classes would be best for you to enter her in…
If you can connect with some other corgi folks in your area, they may be a good resource for you as well.
Smile and have fun!!
Well definitely give it a try, although there is no shame in having a pro finish a dog if you’re struggling. I had a breeder/handler finish my first dog for me - I was getting points on him but it was hard for me to devote a full weekend to a dog show at the time; and majors were elusive. So he went with a handler for the weekend a few times and picked up the majors. I handled my second show dog to his Ch. pretty easily - but would have been faster if I had been more skilled. But I learned a LOT! I exclusively handled my 3rd show dog in the ring, except let his breeder show him in the bred-by class at our national specialty (and won, to finish the Ch. with a huge major.)
I think handling classes are good, but I’d say just enter shows too. Especially in a breed that does not have huge classes or flying movement - a good dog will be seen even without a great handler. And it is hard to really get practice in a class because the environment at a show is so different. Handling classes don’t usually mimic the loud, chaotic, busy environment of a show, which is the harder part, not just moving the dog.
My best advice - if at all possible, have someone videotape your shows. Not only are they great memories later on, but they really help you see how you look compared to other handlers – so if you can, get every dog in the class, not just your own.
To add to the excellent advice from S1969, go stand ringside to watch other breeds, not necessarily to learn about the breed but to watch ring flow. I know it took me practice to know what the heck was going on. Dogs would go in and come out and sometimes go back in again and no one (at least at the time) was announcing what class was going in… you just had to ‘know’. The dogs show first, then the bitches and then the ‘specials’ class but not obvious,
They might list 6 breeds in ring 10 starting at 1:00pm. If you are the 5th breed of 6, you need to be alert and on your toes with how the ring is running. They don’t wait or go running all over the place if you’re not there; you just loose your chance in the ring.
I never did finish one of my dogs but I was able to get points and on one of them, took BOB (which for me was a huge accomplishment given one of the top pro handlers/breeders for my breed in the country lived in the same locale I did).
Yes, the first show, which was rated, was a little confusing. I had to have someone help me out! I love watching the other rings. My top dog breeds, besides the Cardis, are Scottish deerhounds and Bernese Mountain Dogs. Whippets are pretty cool too.
If I can get confident and lose the ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ look, I’m sure Moxie’ll do much better. My mentor filmed me, which was great. I had no idea how slow I was jogging her. Also, my feet were sweating like a bitch and I though I was going to slip!