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Old 10-03-2007, 01:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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how to start showing

hello all

I am intersted in starting my puppy into conformation showing. I'm not really looking to get REALLY into it since I only have one dog, but i'd really like to get him a title or something. How would I go about starting out? He's 5 months this week.

( keep it simple please, Im not familiar with all the acronyms and jargon yet!!)
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lexxsmom View Post
hello all

I am intersted in starting my puppy into conformation showing. I'm not really looking to get REALLY into it since I only have one dog, but i'd really like to get him a title or something. How would I go about starting out? He's 5 months this week.

( keep it simple please, Im not familiar with all the acronyms and jargon yet!!)
The first thing you'd need to do is see if your puppy looks like it's going to be competitive-was he sold to you as a show prospect? Not all well bred puppies (or even those graded as show prospects) mature to be finishable. So the first step would be to find someone knowledgeable to evaluate your puppy..a breeder, a handler, etc.

After that you'd need to decide if you want to owner handle or use a professional handler. If you plan on owner handling, then there are handling classes out there to teach you how-local kennel clubs frequently offer them. This isn't as easy as it might look-and it can take awhile to develop any level of competence.

I think it can be said that showing isn't something you can KIND OF get into, whether you owner handle or not. It can be expensive, it takes a certain level of dedication and commitment (and a good dog) to accomplish anything.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think it can be said that showing isn't something you can KIND OF get into, whether you owner handle or not. It can be expensive, it takes a certain level of dedication and commitment (and a good dog) to accomplish anything.
This is very true.

It isn't for "kind of" to begin with, from the start of searching for your show prospect. First one must seek out a reputable good breeder that breeds and has show Ch. Dobes. The Dobe ring is highly competitive, especially in AKC, you have to have a really nicely bred Dobe that is representative of standard to begin with to be competitive in the Doberman ring. So it is important that puppy's parents are CH. and that you know the standard and can evaluate the puppy realistically as he matures, the breeder, if a reputable show breeder can help you with this or put you in touch with those that can help you with it.

Health testing, performance, and temperament testing of some kind (WAE's, TT, CGC's,) are important too for me when looking for a show prospect. Also, keep in mind puppies mature and they go through stages, what they look like when you purchase them may or may not end up what they look like as adults. But going with a great breeder that does the things I listed above puts the odds in your favor for a solid show prospect puppy.

If your dog came from a breeding program such as the ones listed above, your breeder should be a great resource for you to begin showing. Ask your breeder to help you know if he is realistically show quality and to point out his faults and good points to you. But the breeder would have graded the puppies before placement, and if your particular puppy was a show prospect, then he probably would have been sold to a home serious about showing. However, sometimes show prospects are placed in companion/pet homes, but those puppies are then placed with limited registration and expected to be altered at the proper time. Do you have full registration on your puppy? What was he graded as far as a show prospect? If you are new to showing, many times the breeder when selling you a show prospect will want a co-ownership on the dog. That means on the AKC papers the breeder will be listed as co-owner to the dog.

Then you need to get that puppy out there in the big world, socialize to the max every single day (good in general for ALL Dobe puppies and adults), do some fun matches (he can't show until he is 6 months old for points but there are puppy fun matches), either learn how to handle by taking classes and studying from the pros (takes a natural ability to begin with and lots of practice and money) or get recommendations to get a good experienced Dobe handler. Dobes are different than other breeds; you need a DOBE handler to handle Dobermans to a CH. And you have to know your handlers too, so you are not taken advantage of as a newbie. This is yet another area where a good breeder can make a big different for you as a mentor and guide.

Lots of money, time, and research. Each show entry costs and you have to pay a handler on top of that - win or lose. Also, you need to keep the dog in show condition, short nails, trimmed nicely, road working, and so forth. It helps to work on tail up, ears up, and help with the stand. It isn't a light commitment that is for sure.

It is great you want to do things with your Dobe, good for you! However, if you are just looking for a title and some real fun with your dog try the other sports. Agility, rally, obedience, and other Doberman sports are a lot of fun for you and your Doberman. Caution, they can be addicting, in a good way
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Last edited by Dobesanddragons; 10-03-2007 at 03:47 PM..
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks for the replies

my dog IS show material( so far), his parents were both champions and he has been graded by a breeder/someone knowledgable to the sport. I would not be competing AKC, just CKC because I live in Hamilton ON. I know that I couldn't just waltz into the show ring with a random dog. ( though, I am sure there are people that dont know this...!! ) I have started working on his handling, though I am just starting out and its a little bit difficult... How much does a pro handler normally cost?

I'm just researching my options right now, and i think i might follow the advice on the "other" titles... thanks for the input... you guys kind of make showing sound like not so much fun...
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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my dog IS show material( so far), his parents were both champions and he has been graded by a breeder/someone knowledgable to the sport. I know that I couldn't just waltz into the show ring with a random dog. ( though, I am sure there are people that dont know this...!! )
Yup, you are right. Some people who are reading this probably don't know that at all. But it sounds like you did do your homework, which is really wonderful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexxsmom View Post
thanks for the input... you guys kind of make showing sound like not so much fun...
Hope the input helped. I am sorry if it doesn't sound fun, it personally think it is, I love the whole scene. Some do love the scene, some don't. Some think it will be so fun and their dog will win big then get really burnt out quickly when they understand what it is really like and their dog (nice quality too) doesn't win the first few times out, it is easy to get discouraged, but you can't, another day, another dog show. Every judge is different and will judge differently the individual dogs on that individual day. It isn't just you who can effect your outcome each time (like in the other sports where you can control a very large degree of the outcome). I hope you do show your dog if he was graded a show prospect and I hope you enjoy the experience and catch the show bug! From what I understand, AKC and CKC are different in their showing experiences.
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Last edited by Dobesanddragons; 10-03-2007 at 04:01 PM..
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think people in general think that showing is lots of fun but do not realize the amount of work, money, practice, oh, and blood sweat & tears that goes into it. I do not show dogs, but I do have a horse I show (dressage) and if the dog shows are anything like horse shows - you do it because you love it & it's your passion. Showing is great fun but it is also a tremendous amount of work.
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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you guys kind of make showing sound like not so much fun...
It can be a lot of fun, but it's like any other sport-it's not something that appeals to everyone.

I don't know what the price scale is for a pro handler in Canada. In my area of the US, you probably will pay no less than $85/show, with some handlers charging up to $125/show.
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think starting out showing in CKC (and other clubs) is a great Idea. It will give you a taste of what it's like, and lets you and your dog gain confidence. Showing is what you make it. Eaither way have fun. And if you find you really love it, look for a mentor to help you out.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There is also some helpful info on dpca.org about grooming, owner handling, etc. You can also go to some local shows and just watch some of the handlers, talk to people after their ring time, etc. There are also some good books (written by pro handlers) with tips available.... check out your library.
Good luck!
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There is a fun match in Norwich on Oct 21 - it may be a good place to go, enter and see how you like it. It's like a show but all for practice and not for points. Puppies under 6 months can enter, entries usually run $8-$10, dress is casual. The judges are practicing to become judges, the ring stewards are learning, the entries are usually puppies just learning, etc.

But I'd also suggest handling classes - the Oakville club offers conformation handling. There are handling classes over in Kitchener with the Grand River club.

The Hamilton Dog Obedience Club offers puppy obedience all the way to utility classes in Ancaster.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Also, I think that handling fees for handlers in this area run about $70 but I didn't show in conformation last year so I may be a bit out of touch.
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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thanks for the input everyone! I'm going to look into handling classes and get my breeder to help me out. I'll let you all know what I decide and if I do show, keep you updated on Lexxingtons progress
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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That will be about the best thing you can do, is get with your breeder. Since their dogs are titled, they can really mentor you and get you started. Most breeders are thrilled to do so, b/c they want to see their dog's progeny succeed!
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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With all due respect to the breeder, to the best of my knowledge she's kind of a novice herself who finished the bitch she owns. AFAIK, that's it. I never heard of any of the pups from her first litter showing but maybe I just don't know. With that in mind, I really don't know what kind of mentor she might be able to be.
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