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Show Dog Information

Inside The Ring: Part 2


When you are in the show ring, don't waste your time looking aimlessly around. While waiting for the class to begin, glance at your dog frequently to be sure he has not assumed a grotesque pose or that he is not getting into some mischief with another dog while you are staring into space. While the dog is in a show pose, check on him frequently to be sure he has not stepped into a less attractive stance. If he is maintaining the correct pose, don't fuss with him. Unless there is something that needs correcting, don't spoil the picture your dog is making by nervous fussing with him which will accomplish nothing.

The advice above reminds me of a story told by the late Charles Palmer, a very well known professional sporting-dog handler. Charlie was watching the judging of Best of Breed in a fairly popular breed. There were twelve or thirteen dogs competing, all quite well known and all well above average for the breed. Since it was at the Westminster Kennel Club show, each owner or handler wanted desperately to be given the nod, saying his dog had won. The ringside was very quiet, the mood tense, the perspiration flowing freely from the brows of every exhibitor in the ring. Charlie leaned toward a friend and said that he noticed that all the handlers were fussing with their dogs to the point where the judge was not getting a decent picture of any. Only one handler, pointed out Charlie, had his dog properly set up in full view of the judge; only this one dog was correctly pose every time the judge looked at him. "I'm not saying he is the best dog," said Charlie, "but if those other fellows don't watch out, they'll convince the judge he is." The judge took his time going over each dog many times, for they were all good ones, but every time his eyes passed over the lot, only one dog stood out. This dog finally got the award amid great applause. Do you get the lesson I am trying to point out? If not, reread this paragraph again after you have been showing for a time; you'll get it then, I'm sure.

If you are showing your dog at a summer show out in the broiling hot sun and you are entered in a very large class which must, of necessity, take the judge a long time to do, here is a little tip: For you, as the handler, there is no way out of it, but you could try to cast a shadow with your body to give your dog a little comfort while waiting for the judge. If it is a very large class, don't pose your dog until the judge is just two or three dogs away from yours. Your dog will be just a little less tired of it all when the judge gets to him, and these little things count quite a lot in hot competition.

Back to the Inside The Ring: Part 1 page

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