Owner Handling an AKC Conformation Show Dog

I got my welshie, Tucker to  show myself, but when he was ready to start showing at around a year old, he was determined not to listen to “Mom”.  That combined with my nervousness about showing left me to let his breeders start him off in the show ring.  Eventually, they had their own dogs to show, so I sent him out with a handler.  Now that Tucker is a little older, he is much better at listening to me and behaving himself so I started showing him myself at small shows and taking to handling class.  Now I remember why I wanted a dog to show myself.  I’m having a blast teaching him tricks like how to catch food in his mouth and how to bait rather than sit.  (Note: I’ve always been taught not  to teach a a show dog to sit, but teaching Tucker to sit made him a little easier to handle when he was younger and more active.)

Tucker’s  first show weekend with me was at the Fredericksburg, VA shows where he had no competition.  This gave us a chance to get some real ring practice without the pressure of competition and we got the opportunity to go  in the Sporting group, which is something Tucker and I had never done.  We had a blast just having fun and not worrying about whether we won anything.  We also got a nice Best of Breed ribbon.  This weekend coming up we have shows where there are three class dogs entered including Tucker.  We are entered in the Open Dog Class.  I’m a little more nervous because these shows actually count for points, but I’m going to just go have fun with Tucker and we’ll see what happens.

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  1. Anne jones

    I would love to talk to you further-i have a welsh springer-4 months-guess what his name is Tucker-great choice by the way-he was already in a puppy show and obviously won for his breed-he was the only one there-and for the puppy sporting group too. i was really surprised since we had no idea what we were doing and neither did he. i would love to get your advice on how to go about training him and me for these initial puppy shows. the breeder plans to get a handler but of course is more than happy for me to show him if it works. Congrats-and hope to hear from you.
    Anne

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