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  #11  
Old 03-09-2013, 11:37 AM
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*blackrose *blackrose is online now
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Originally Posted by Flyinsbt View Post
The handling practice is how to start. Is it a class? Around here, there are several handling classes available, they tend to be drop in classes so one can go as needed, usually about $10/class. The instructor will show you what you need to do. The main thing you want to do is to have a show lead/collar when you go to class. There's always that occasional person that shows up with just a regular collar & leash, and you can't really learn the skills with those. The show lead, and lots of tasty treats, is all you need to bring to the class.

I really like handling classes for early training with a dog. I would probably go to a few even if I wasn't going to show. It's a good chance for some low key learning in a different environment, with a lot of other dogs and people around. You can pretty much shower your pup with treats, and they learn to focus on you. And the "judge" going over them is good socialization to allowing handling from strangers.

Once you've gone to some classes, you can start showing. UKC is definitely a more relaxed environment than AKC shows. One difference, though, is that UKC judges don't necessarily allow you to bait in the ring. AKC judges almost always do (I did have one AKC judge that asked us not to bait our dogs). UKC used to not allow it, then they switched to judge's choice. Obviously, it's easier to make showing a positive experience for your dog if you can feed them in the ring.

Once you've tried it, you can see if you like it, and if you want to continue. One thing that might affect that is which breed you're getting. In some breeds, owner handlers are common and do well. There are other breeds which are almost entirely professionally handled, and you might find the showing frustrating if you're in one of those breeds. UKC doesn't allow pro handlers, so if you are in one of those breeds, that might be a more enjoyable option for you.
I do believe it is a handling class.

And with any luck, the breed will be a Chessie. Not sure how competitive they are!

@ Dizzy: The breeder is really supportive, but she's out of state, so getting her help would be rather difficult. But I'd definitely go to her for advice.
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  #12  
Old 03-09-2013, 12:30 PM
SizzleDog SizzleDog is offline
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Originally Posted by *blackrose View Post
Hey, since this is a conformation thread and I have a question...

I'm tempted to do conformation with Future Puppy. It would likely just be "for fun" and I wouldn't actively show him. Maybe do a couple, see if I like it, see how he places compared to the other dogs, etc.

How would I go about getting started? Or, in other words, what would be some foundations I'd have to work with him on, both training and grooming wise? Would AKC or UKC shows be better for a more "relaxed" atmosphere? Would it even be worth it trying it "just for fun", or would that be a waste of money?

There is a local kennel club here that I could take him to for handling practice/etc. so I don't look like a total buffoon.

His parents are both champions and I'm going to be acquiring him with full registration, so I figure if he can do it, why not try? I just don't want to make a total idiot of myself. lol
Go UKC if you want to have fun. AKC can be fun if you have a competitive dog, but UKC's atmosphere is more relaxed and welcoming.

Honestly, I don't think conformation is a "for fun" activity unless you have a chance at winning. But that's just my opinion on it.
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2013, 02:51 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Would AKC or UKC shows be better for a more "relaxed" atmosphere? Would it even be worth it trying it "just for fun", or would that be a waste of money?
Try UKC if you're in it for fun. I have a blast at UKC events! Also check out puppy matches and fun matches. Those are ALL about fun.

I actually enjoy UKC conformation, and Logan does too. It's low pressure, no training involved really (Logan knows how to stack, his breeder started him and I just have to make sure he continues to remember it), and it really doesn't matter if I win. The first time I tried it, I did it the same day as the rally trial and earned a Total Dog award for Logan!

I have not done AKC conformation yet. I will do it for the first time in April. I am NOT looking forward to the grooming aspect. UKC doesn't allow products in the coat and is generally pretty strict about it - not even finishing spray is really allowed. I like that, because it means all I have to do is bathe my dog, blow dry him, and brush him, and that's that. AKC on the other hand...I'm considering doing that for one day (the first day) and seeing how it goes, but generally there's a LOT more grooming and product that goes into AKC grooming, at least for my breed. However if I can go in with a dog with no product in his hair and blow the competition away (or even place), I'd be thrilled
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  #14  
Old 03-09-2013, 03:03 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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For a lead, I use a black bullhide lead with a built in fine gold chain. I got it from OnLead (same place I get all my leather leashes! <3). No bling, just plain and simple.

I have a backup lead that's just a cheap black nylon cord slip I got at the pet shop because I didn't have my good leash yet. Basically this: http://www.topdog.ie/photos/dogshowing/show-lead.jpg However it's kind of painful to hold, and if you pull, the collar loosens, which means a dog with a skinny head like a collie can slip out. No good, but it's just in case my good one breaks, I still have something.
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