Elderfox's Blog

Thoughts of an elder writer-in-progress


on January 1, 2011

The title of this series re The Making Of A Champion is  being one’s own self* because as an exhibitor you and your “exhibit” (your dog) will most likely (sooner not later) get into a Handling class wherein you will learn the rudiments of leash handling, gaiting, baiting, having two sets of eyes (one for the dog, the other on the judge) and various and asundry ways of stacking your dog.  And it will happen that you will become adept at being yourself as to what and when you will perform these actions, and your dog will also develop a style of it’s own, sometimes, so it seems, to be reading your mind.  At this stage you are the owner of a purebred dog and you will become an EXHIBITOR involved in exhibiting at weekend dog show competitions to earn POINTS toward a CHAMPIONSHIP.  After which you may decide to CAMPAIGN your dog, and possibly become a BREEDER committed to the perpetuation of your chosen breed; You may also eventually become a JUDGE; who may have been a PROFESSIONAL HANDLER earning a monetary livelihood (of sorts) exhibiting dogs for any of the above. 

Sooner, or later, it becomes important for your state of mind as well as your confidence to have some idea of WHO YOU ARE, WANT TO BE, and WHERE YOU ARE GOING.  To give you a perspective it is important for you to know what your contribution to purebred dogs is, or will be.  You will discover that you will cope with two seemingly opposing philosophies:  1) That the fundamental purpose of dog shows is to bring together the owners and breeders of purebred dog to exhibit and determine the progress being made in efforts to improving the quality of a chosen breed; and to determine a selection of stock that is advisable, according to an interpretation of a STANDARD, in the progress of bettering that breed.  2) That dog showing is simply a competitive, financial endeavor based on the Lombardi concept that “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is” which in the dog show world can often be paraphrased: Winning isn’t everything–It’s the Only thing.    

As mentioned  a  show  handling class  for the dog and you  should be on your adjenda when your dog is 4 months old.  And  started in the ring at six months in the puppy class.    Prior to this your dog should be accustomed to having baths and being groomed; toenails trimmed, teeth cleaned; and all vacinations given by your veterinarian, including heart worm vacination if you live in, or will be traveling in areas where mosquitoes  that carry the disease are prevalent.  

 In many cases your “show dog” will suddenly “fall apart” (not literally of course) at around 9 to 13 months.  The pup’s topline slopes the wrong way, puppy coats begin to drop out at an amazing rate,  and your female puppy is suddenly VERY attractive to all the males dogs. at ringside.  

Your winning options are suddenly nil.  Take a vacation.  Keep your females locked up until the Veterinarian is positive she is no longer in “heat” (3-4 weeks); and keep grooming!.  In a few months your rising star will return to her/his champion potential; mentally as well as physically, “BEING ONE’s OWN SELF”.

May the future bring you everything you deserve…Good Luck.


One response to “BEING ONE’S OWN SELF. . .*

  1. Estelle says:

    I am interested in your show handling class, where can I find more information?

    Thank you,

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