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Old 10-26-2011, 09:00 AM
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HayleyMarie HayleyMarie is offline
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What made you decided to show?

What are the pros and cons of showing?

What breed did you pick and WHy??

Edit: How did you get into showing??
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Last edited by HayleyMarie; 10-26-2011 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:35 AM
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I've wanted to show a dog in the breed ring since I was little, something about being super competitive and having the best example of your breed. I chose danes because there is nothing in my opinion more gorgeous than a well-bred dane with that "Look at me" attitude.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:54 AM
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I remember seeing Westminster on regular tv( yes that many moons ago) and thought that it was cool. Back then I thought of it as the ultimate showing off your dog. and lets face it who doesn't like to show off their dogs. LOL Little did I know that every person on the end of that breed may not own that dog. That was my first glimpse of the show world. 6 years ago I had the chance to try it. That and family and friends didn't think I had it in me. Truthfully I wasn't sure I had it in me. But I've never been one to let others tell me I can't do something. So I tried it, and found out I liked it.
Pros are, it can be fun, its a good way to bond with your dog, meeting new people and getting together with old ones. For me its the ultimate hobby. I can interact with people yet I don't have to if I don't want to. You learn to be an awesome packer. LOL
Cons are, there can be quite a bit of drama behind the scenes. It can get lonely at times. It is expensive. Its alot of hard work, not only at the shows but before and after the shows.

I am sure there are more pros and cons, but those are what came to mind.
As far as what breed I picked and why. I picked Dalmatians, because I love how flashy they are, yet great family dogs. And because I have had a dal in my life since I was two and I can't see ever not having one.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:33 PM
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I assume you mean conformation shows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HayleyMarie View Post
What made you decided to show?
It was sort of a natural progression. I became involved in dogs when I was 11 through a 4H dog club, which I stayed in until I aged out and still help with (sorta makes me feel old though LOL). The club was all oriented towards old fashioned obedience but one of the advisors showed Collies and Belgians. As I got more involved in dogs, through 4H and the local training club I made more and more dog friends and many of them showed in conformation in addition to other stuff. Then when I became involved in Belgians, it was sort of expected that you'd get a CH as well as performance titles.

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Originally Posted by HayleyMarie View Post
What are the pros and cons of showing?

LOL the cons would seem to outweigh the pros for sure The biggest pro is the people I've met and become friends with through showing. And it's fun to meet goals - finish a dog, finish a Bred-By dog, etc. It's competitive which a lot of people like but at a point, you realize it is what it is and may not be terribly meaningful. I've done it so long though that it's hard to imagine not showing in breed. Plus early on my vision of a perfect Belgian was one with a CH and lotsa other titles.

Now the cons...

Well it's expensive. Sometimes really, really expensive. And depending on the breed and how determined you are to finish your dog. it can become all consuming chasing those points/majors. It's almost like gambling in a way. In performance, you can be pretty sure your dog will do well prior to entering them. That isn't the case with conformation at all. The popular show breeds are extremely hard to finish without a handler, especially if you are a newbie to showing. Most of those breeds require a certain "type" to win. The less common/less competitive breeds are generally not handler breeds but you face other challenges with them. Such as just trying to get enough together for majors, having to travel further, having judges who don't know (or sadly care) what they should be looking for in your breed. But as a newbie, you are much better to go the route of the less popular show breeds. Finishing your first show dog on your own in any breed is hard but in the really competitive breeds, it's almost impossible.

And then there's a system at work with the conformation shows. They are set up so that only a certain number of dogs will finish every year. If too many dogs finish or there are too many majors in an area, the point system changes to make it harder. In the popular breeds, it's not uncommon to have 20 or more class dogs/bitches competing against each other at shows, yet only two of them each day will get points. Did I mention this can become expensive and all consuming?

Still a bad day at the dog show is still better than a good day at work. I always have fun at the shows, it's hanging out all day with my dogs, my dog friends talking about dogs! And my involvement in it has taken me places I'd have never gone otherwise and made me friends I would have never met.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HayleyMarie View Post
What breed did you pick and WHy??
I originally showed GSDs and Belgians but the Belgians came first and my involvement in showing GSDs didn't last very long. The Belgian community is generally pretty welcoming to newbies and it is possible to show your own dog to a CH. The GSD show scene is extremely competitive and right from the start I was urged to get a handler "if I really expected to finish my dog" by just about everyone. Plus Belgians are a breed where a dog can be BISS at the National and win the Versatility Award (highest scoring dog in combined performance venues). Not so much in GSDs.

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Originally Posted by HayleyMarie View Post
Edit: How did you get into showing??
Like I said, I had friends who showed before I got involved in it. And I already did obedience and agility with my dogs so it wasn't hard to start going to conformation shows. Plus I was still Juniors age, so people were pretty encouraging
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:50 PM
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What made you decided to show?
I had been involved in 4-H since I was 8 and finished my first dog in AKC when I was 11 years old. I got more into it after that and people began asking me to train and handle their dogs, and I started to enjoy it more and more but recently have been drifting in and out of the show world because of how busy things have been lately and there aren't many shows during this season where I live anyways.

What are the pros and cons of showing?
Pros:
So many great people to meet, it's a great way to meet other dog lovers and breeders, and a great way to get more involved in dogs if showing is something you decide to do and something you decide you like. I met Romy through a dog show! I enjoy it because I love dogs. I always have fun at shows.

Cons:
It's freakin' EXPENSIVE. Entry fees, hotel fees, the price of gas. It is all VERY expensive. And although you do meet a lot of great people at shows, people in Conformation and especially in certain breeds are RUDE AS HELL. There have been dogs poisoned at AKC shows, and I've had people bash on me or stare at me and laugh while I am in the ring because I called their handler out on being abusive. The last show I was at POLICE came. Yes. To a dog show. It's something you'll see as you get more and more involved, it also depends on the breed you are involved in and who you are involved with. Some people are really nice at shows, some breeds have nicer people involved in them than others for some reason. But we're all there because WE LOVE DOGS! So why do people have to be snobs, why can't we all just get along?! It also has a specific system to it, as posted above. And also a specific pointing system depending on whether you are involved in AKC or UKC. If you do get involved in Conformation, be involved with other clubs, too. Agility, Flyball, Dock Diving, Weight Pulling, Lure Coursing, and whatever else. A GREAT breeder I worked with actually dropped out of the Conformation show world and got primarily into all those other sports specifically because Conformation people were so snobby and caniving to her.

I'm not trying to scare you away at all though! I'm sure it depends on where the shows are, too. That's the way they are here sometimes.

I would suggest buying a few books on it, too, and familiarizing yourself with it and the point system, etc. etc.

What breed did you pick and WHY??
I started with showing Boxers. The first dog I ever finished was a Boxer, which was a huge feat because Boxers are very competitive in AKC. I also got into agility with a different Boxer at this time and got more and more into the show world. I began showing American Eskimos, Greyhounds, Dobermans, and APBTs as well. Now, I usually just show APBTs for the breeder I work with and anytime I'm at a show I usually end up being asked to show someone's APBT. I love everything about them and I really enjoy working with them and showing them, they are my pride and joy. If I'm not showing a dog I stand at the side of the ring, moving around so I can see the APBTs, squinting my eyes, guessing the bloodlines, lol, ya that's me. Buuut I rarely agree with the judge's choice when it comes to UKC APBT's now so I decided not to attend the last few shows I was going to go to. It's a waste of money and time if the judge doesn't know jack about your breed and picks the worst example of the breed.

How did you get into showing?
I began with showing Boxers and then got into it more and more and found a few breeders to work with. Now I stick with UKC because for one I primarily train and show APBTs and the people are nicer for the most part. I won't even get started about my thoughts on AKC here, but if you PM me down the road if you decide you are interesting in showing a dog in AKC I'd be more than happy to talk
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:17 AM
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When I got Strider his breeder suggested I try showing him for fun, since it would be a good bonding activity and help me with my anxiety.

It helped with my social anxiety a LOT. Basically I knew that no matter what, anybody I talked to at a dog show would also like dogs so there was that common interest. I've made a lot of friends through showing. It is expensive and that's obnoxious. Mostly I just show locally. Strider finished his int'l CH in 2 days of showing. Then he got attacked by a dane at a show and I stopped taking him since he didn't enjoy it any more after that. He's neutered now.

Kaia I got specifically for showing and sport. Since she's co-owned the agreement is she needs to finish her confo before lure coursing in case of injury. I forget how many points she has now. 7 or 8? But no majors, because nobody enters enough bitches for majors lately. Her co-owner handles her in the ring because I have a 'hitch' in my get-a-long, so the other gal is able to present her MUCH better in the ring. I've taken her out for breed when we had more than one dog competing and needed an extra handler. It was fun. I'll probably save up to get her entered for her int'l CH this next summer and possibly do some UKC with her.

Edit: As for why borzois? I like living with them. They're awesome and fun. Surprisingly, show grooming a borzoi is SUPER easy compared to even smooth collies.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:09 AM
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I don't consider myself a dog show person, that said I have shown dogs. Far more time I have spent in confo with other animals-a decade in fact

What made you decided to show? Showing was just kind of something I did. When I was 8 I got a rabbit. Then I joined 4-H. Then ten years went by and I had a small farm of rabbits, guineas, goats, a few steers, and yep dogs.
I got sick, had to liquidate the farm, moved to Colorado and decided life was dull without a dog. I joined the Colorado Springs Kennel club in the effort of finding a dog "the right way." Folks there encouraged me to try my hand at confo and I did show a few dogs before I found my Booker from a BYB in Kansas. Best $600 I ever spent.

What are the pros and cons of showing?
Pros- Ribbons are pretty and titles do improve values of puppies you may produce and help you network to disburse those puppies.

Cons - I'm just beginning to wrap my brain around the concept of doing the right thing. Doing the right thing by whom? Is a person who campaigns their dogs for years only to retire to the back of the breeding shed and then sold and resold and resold again to produce more puppies really doing right by the dog? I have met dogs who are six years old - have had eight owners - don't know their name - but are breed champions and gain their owners $1500-2000 a litter as a stud that is valued little above their titles. You will meet these people at the show ring and you will watch them do incredibly well in the ring and see their dog's names in the top ten lists, but at what cost?
Building dogs like this "reputably" generation to generation can create monsters of success and as worthless as udders on a bull.

Then following up upon that showing is about trying to impress someone. Otherwise why would there be rankings? You will hear some of the dirtiest crap about people who should be united in their love of something but instead it's all about one person getting a leg up over another.

Then there is cost. I know people who seriously spend 50K a year on costs related to dog shows. Now these are people who are gone at shows at least 50% of the weekends in a month but that's a serious amount of money to consider.

What breed did you pick and WHy??
I wanted small, healthy, pretty, biddable, and I got a papillon. For awhile I wanted a corgi, instead I went papillon and honestly... I love having them. The only hang up I have about them is that the other major breeders within the breed infuriate me both in their business dealings and their blatant stubborn as a concrete mule philosophies.

Edit: How did you get into showing??

I'll instead tell you why I got out of showing. I am a husbandry ethicist of sorts - When I got a dog who was a purebred I wanted a dog to be my buddy - my companion - my friend. What I discovered is the more I talked to people involved with the ring was that titles were more important than the dog itself. No one talked me about their dog Skipper but instead talked to me about Specialty Champion Lord of the Loom CGC TD (despite only going to nursing homes twice for photo shoots) or their latest litter of Champion Flugelhounds that should just be exceptional for the ring despite never going on a Flugel hunt in generations.

So I stewed on what kind of dog owner I wanted to be and I decided - My dog is the same animal in or out of the ring. I don't like most of the people around the ring so why am I trying to impress them? Beyond that I was tired of people telling me how I should and should not be with my dog to be "successful." Odds are I'll never have a dog with a Ch in front of his name - I'm ok with that-it certainly doesn't make me thing more or less of any dog I own either way.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat09Tails View Post

I'll instead tell you why I got out of showing. I am a husbandry ethicist of sorts - When I got a dog who was a purebred I wanted a dog to be my buddy - my companion - my friend. What I discovered is the more I talked to people involved with the ring was that titles were more important than the dog itself. No one talked me about their dog Skipper but instead talked to me about Specialty Champion Lord of the Loom CGC TD (despite only going to nursing homes twice for photo shoots) or their latest litter of Champion Flugelhounds that should just be exceptional for the ring despite never going on a Flugel hunt in generations.
You can find this attitude in people in all venues, not just conformation but it is certainly not the attitude of everyone involved.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat09Tails View Post
I don't consider myself a dog show person, that said I have shown dogs.....


Cons - I'm just beginning to wrap my brain around the concept of doing the right thing. Doing the right thing by whom? Is a person who campaigns their dogs for years only to retire to the back of the breeding shed and then sold and resold and resold again to produce more puppies really doing right by the dog? I have met dogs who are six years old - have had eight owners - don't know their name - but are breed champions and gain their owners $1500-2000 a litter as a stud that is valued little above their titles. You will meet these people at the show ring and you will watch them do incredibly well in the ring and see their dog's names in the top ten lists, but at what cost?

Then there is cost. I know people who seriously spend 50K a year on costs related to dog shows. Now these are people who are gone at shows at least 50% of the weekends in a month but that's a serious amount of money to consider.

I'll instead tell you why I got out of showing. I am a husbandry ethicist of sorts - When I got a dog who was a purebred I wanted a dog to be my buddy - my companion - my friend. What I discovered is the more I talked to people involved with the ring was that titles were more important than the dog itself. No one talked me about their dog Skipper but instead talked to me about Specialty Champion Lord of the Loom CGC TD (despite only going to nursing homes twice for photo shoots) or their latest litter of Champion Flugelhounds that should just be exceptional for the ring despite never going on a Flugel hunt in generations.
I know we don't always agree on things.. But I totally have to agree with this. I saw way too many shady things in my short foray into the show world. Heard awful things.

Because I imported Smudge, and didn't support a local breeder I was told Smudge was ugly. I should be ashamed to own 'it'. I should be ashamed to try showing him, my breeder should be ashamed to have sold me him.. I had one nice lady tell me that Smudge was fairly nice, and the catty people were jealous.. but I was getting turned off..

There are nice people out there, but I kept running into some shady ones. I was put down too many times and do not have a thick enough skin for confo. I heard retched stuff. People were open with me that they dyed their dogs. Open about adult 'alterations' like tail amputation so they could take their Canadian CHs stateside.. Wanted to prove they could CH a tailed dog..

The only nice local cocker person I found.. I visited her home and found all her dogs lived on wire in small crates outside in a kennel building except her current prospect. She was nice.. but the lack of socialization, human interaction the rest of her dogs were getting turned me off.. Found it was the norm. I was introduced to people at shows who'd gush about their current house dog. Often as 'Specialty Champion Lord of the Loom CGC TD' never Oreo or Skipper..

If I stick to cockers I never think my grooming will be good enough to win in the ring.. The majority of people I tried to show against had 20+ yrs experience. Many were house wife types who I heard had put second mortgages on their homes so they could show every weekend. I'll never have that drive. I'd like a CH.. but I don't forsee that happening now.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:46 AM
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EEEKK!!!

All your stories are freaking me out lol. I guess I will have to look more into showing and if I am really "that" commited to do it. Or even if it is worth it. After all there are other dog ventues to compete and play in. Plus there is an issue of finding a mentor and since Cane Corso's are so rare here thats gonna be pretty much impossible. I have no idea what the CC crowd is like here.

P.S thanks for all the awesome responses.
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