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Old 11-09-2012, 01:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Owner Handlers

I was wondering how many owner handlers there are on these boards besides myself. And how do people feel about the show ring these days for owner handlers? I've found that the trend seems to be getting better as far as judges looking at the dogs more now instead of the faces at the other end of the lead. Don't get me wrong, some shows are very political, and owner handlers have to handle their dogs to show them at their best. And the dogs have to be really good for an owner handler to win, but I think it's getting a bit better. Thoughts and opinions on this?
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am But then, most people owner handle in the UK or the breeder will handle dogs they've bred (We don't have many professional handlers)

A lot of people talk about faces and names, though not something I feel like I've experienced myself. I think a good handler makes the dog look a lot nicer
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Good to hear if things are going that way Pat, it's obviously for the best if dogs and not people are being judged

I think it's neat that most dogs are shown by their owners here too Amelia, you can't actually pay someone (with money or gifts) to handle your dog here according to NZKC regulations - not that face judging never happens (especially if there is an all breeds judge on the end of a lead), but I think its' not as big a deal.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I do a mix of owner handling and handlers - I'm not a very talented handler and don't have a great deal of time to show dogs myself at this point in my life due to teenagers and their activities - ha ha.
In my area there are so many truly great handlers that it is very hard to compete with them - but it can be done and I do like seeing more owner handlers in the ring.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I handle my own, and occasionally get to go back in on dogs for handlers.

Overall, I think that the climate is not too bad for an OH right now. My Guilty beat a heavily advertised top 20 bitch a couple weekends ago for a select win (woo! haha) with me on her. You definitely have to go in prepared and handle your best to get a look, but that’s the nature of the Doberman ring. Our dogs are polished and trained (hopefully), and we should be, too.

There is a lot of competition in my area, and its not an easy place to finish a dog (politics, etc), but putting in the time and effort to become a smooth and capable handler on a nice dog certainly helps.

I have also learned to listen to my gut about judges. If I dont feel good about a judge, I probably wont enter the show under them. I have a few judges that I am not going to show to ever again, a few that I am going to give a few years before I give them another entry, and a few that I would travel a good ways to show to. Thats not necessarily because they put my dog up, but because I feel like they were really trying to choose the best dog.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It's something I would love go get in to, but I have to disagree there are still way to many politics at play.

Showing AKC is very political so I won't be going out there until I have fine tuned my skills.

My first handling experience was last weekend at a UDC trial. Raven took best puppy, but I can tell you it was not because of my excellent handling skills. If anything I made him look worse.

So much of what worries me about AKC handling is that I will make my dog look bad. I could care less about making an idiot out of myself. It is a difficult hobby to get in to just for this reason.


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Old 11-09-2012, 09:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am joining your group Pat. I am entered and going to give it a try on my own personal dogs from now on. Sure I might need a handler for the majors BUT I am going in that darn ring. Starting REALLY soon. TO soon. WAY TO SOON! I am a nervous wreck. I know I can show my dog. Stunner shows very well for me. BUT MY NERVES are aweful only in that darn AKC ring! I do it to myself. And it is only the AKC Doberman ring. I have pointed taken winners and best of winners in other breeds in AKC. BUT that darn Doberman ring. GRRRR!!! UKC I have top 10 placed several of my dogs over the years and won LOTS in UKC. So I know it is me. Maybe I should take up drinking before I go in the ring???? BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've just started working with my pup to show but he has a long way to since he is only 15 weeks old. I am going to be his handler when we show. But we are taking conformation classes right now. I think he will be doing his first show in Wichita, Ks this spring.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The last AKC show I attended the first judge actually looked at my dog and considered putting her up for WB, although we did get reserve, which was an accomplishment to me, especially with some very well known handlers in the ring, but the second day I was written off immediately because I am new. It gives me hope that some judges will consider owner handled dogs from less known handlers. It was very disappointing though that the second judge didn't even give me or my dog a chance.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzmar Dobermans View Post
I do a mix of owner handling and handlers - I'm not a very talented handler and don't have a great deal of time to show dogs myself at this point in my life due to teenagers and their activities - ha ha.
In my area there are so many truly great handlers that it is very hard to compete with them - but it can be done and I do like seeing more owner handlers in the ring.

Mary Jo, I've seen you handle and you do a very nice job. I seem to remember you taking a breed with Harvard with some pretty darn tough competition, not too shabby! And didn't you finish him yourself to his GCH?
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACarrigDobermans View Post
I am joining your group Pat. I am entered and going to give it a try on my own personal dogs from now on. Sure I might need a handler for the majors BUT I am going in that darn ring. Starting REALLY soon. TO soon. WAY TO SOON! I am a nervous wreck. I know I can show my dog. Stunner shows very well for me. BUT MY NERVES are aweful only in that darn AKC ring! I do it to myself. And it is only the AKC Doberman ring. I have pointed taken winners and best of winners in other breeds in AKC. BUT that darn Doberman ring. GRRRR!!! UKC I have top 10 placed several of my dogs over the years and won LOTS in UKC. So I know it is me. Maybe I should take up drinking before I go in the ring???? BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
Yay Michelle! It's about time, will be good to see you in the ring. Just pretend you're in the UKC ring, maybe take a valium and you'll be fine.....lol I get much more nervous watching someone else show my dog than myself. When Lisa finished Breaker, I couldn't watch the down and back, I was too nervous! So, I would much rather be on the dog. BTW, for an added measure of confidence, Lisa was a totally novice owner handler, and put every single point on Breaker except for one, and his last major. I put the only other single point on and his first major. Kristin put Flaire's Canadian Ch on her and two American points so far and Journey's Canadian Championship. Another novice handler who has one of my Blue Rally puppies is winning his classes and she put a reserve on him. I am sure as she goes forward with this she will put points on him too. It can be done!
And Michelle, you know what you're doing,you just have to get over your nerves and the more you're in that ring the more you will relax. Looking forward to seeing you in there!
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I would love to owner handle some day. For now, I have a handler. And the largest part of that reason is because I was so new I didn't know what to do.

While I do agree, at times, that it is largely political...what I've noticed a lot is that there are instances in which a handler simply does a better job of presenting a dog to a judge. They've got that skill due to years of practice.
It's not something that an owner handler can't develop...they just haven't always had that level of experience when they step in the ring.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I would love to owner handle some day. For now, I have a handler. And the largest part of that reason is because I was so new I didn't know what to do.

While I do agree, at times, that it is largely political...what I've noticed a lot is that there are instances in which a handler simply does a better job of presenting a dog to a judge. They've got that skill due to years of practice.
It's not something that an owner handler can't develop...they just haven't always had that level of experience when they step in the ring.
Very true, this is a skill that can be developed, they just need to get in the ring and learn. Handling classes are super for learning.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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We did a mix with Ceethis too.. I took him to several smaller shows and showed him myself, even put 2 BOB on him. But it is also my nerves that get to me and that he is a big boob and too mommified when I have him in the ring..LOL So for me it seemed easier to have a handler for him for the most part. But as far as my nerves went it didn't seem to matter if I was in there with him or watching from the outside, I still got really nervous. Sometimes I think it was worse being on the outside of the ring. But he just seemed not to pull his little games when Dave had him in the ring. Guess its just like kids they know what they can get away with and with whom..LOL But I think I will be starting out with our new baby girl myself and see how it goes. But sure Dave & Jenn will have her in there as well, since it seems to be my only chances to get up their way to visit, and when they handle I tend to enjoy the show more cause i'm not as stressed.. But we will see how it goes, I really enjoy showing myself and just need to get over the nerves thing. Funny when I showed my Aussies it wasn't any big thing to be in the ring on your own dog..but the Dobe ring is truly a ring all of it's own
Good luck to everyone venturing in the ring on your own dogs..it is very exciting and rewarding..
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have been owner-handling Archie since the beginning. We currently have 7 of his 10 pts with another big weekend coming up. I don't know if it's as political here in Canada as in the US. There have been times when I felt that Archie was the strongest dog but didn't win. Of course, besides the novice owner-handler, he is saddled with those giant floppy ears, lol! Interestingly, most of our pts have come from American judges, rather than Canadian ones & we're batting 0/3 with South American judges. Could that mean that maybe the American judges don't recognize the handlers as often? I had expected the American judges to be more likely to be against his ears than the Canadian ones...
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've just started working with my pup to show but he has a long way to since he is only 15 weeks old. I am going to be his handler when we show. But we are taking conformation classes right now. I think he will be doing his first show in Wichita, Ks this spring.
We will see you there! I'm looking forward to Wichita next year.


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Old 11-09-2012, 01:10 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Mary Jo, I've seen you handle and you do a very nice job. I seem to remember you taking a breed with Harvard with some pretty darn tough competition, not too shabby! And didn't you finish him yourself to his GCH?
I do ok - but I'm a long ways from having the skills that a good pro handler has. I also don't do well outdoors - my left foot is partially crippled and my footing outdoors is too iffy to be comfortable.

I was determined to do Harvard's Grand Championship myself and I did - I also put 2 smaller wins on him in the classes. My next goal is to finish a championship on one of my dogs.... not sure when that might happen.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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My next goal is to finish a championship on one of my dogs.... not sure when that might happen.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Im an owner handler myself, ive been showing for about 10 + years now (mostly juniors in my earlier years) No doubt it is a passion for me, a very costly passion however and these days on the upper East coast theres quite a bit of pro hanlders so the competition gets tough but that doesnt leave me discouraged. When things get real political i take breaks better my dog and come back stronger. I wish i could show Kratos more but college tuition has to be payed :/
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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You can do it MICHELLE!! I have tried to do as much myself and can honestly say it was very discouraging in the beginning between the politics and some of the snarky comments that I overheard. I did not grow up showing dogs and dont have the years of expierence that others do but was something I was interested in and wanted to learn. I joined all the clubs and went to conformation classes, I started with my pet girl before I got Sookie and was able to put her UKC CH on her in one weekend. Then trained Sookie and took her out totally fearless until I was broken down by the comments I heard from others, handlers etc. Maybe at the time I wasnt polished but the fact that I was making an ernst attempt should have amounted to something. I later put Sookie with a few handlers which she then did win either all but 1 pt. So my thoughts on it were I could have lost for FREE! It took quite a bit for me to muster up the courage again, Sookie was sent to her breeder where her daughter showed her and finished her in a few short shows. So I had a good enough dog, it would have just been more benefical for others to give constructive critisisim rather than just critisism. My breeder was very encourging and also told me how well my dog was trained and I should be proud. When Sookie returned I had more time under my belt, started classes and training with Eva and a renewed confidence that I could do this. We did take the George Alston handling clinic that Chelsea from Raindance suggested and I would also suggest for newbies or owner handlers. Sookie and I at our 1st show out together got a BOB over 31 other dobes and multi specials some in the Top 20 also and have earned 10 pts towards her GR CH. I love it I love showing and am going to try to not be discourged and do my best. My job now is my biggest frustration that is is hard to go to the shows so it will take me alot longer to finish the puppy I keep from Sookie and Eva. So I will do as much as I can but it does make more sense in my situation to send them to the breeder whose daughters can take them out to more shows.

Gosh sorry for the long winded paragraph! I just think more of us owner/handler just need to get out there and try do it!! We can!!
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:51 PM   #21 (permalink)
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To both Michelles - You can do it! You wouldn't be nervous if it didn't mean something. I think what happens is you get the skills down with all the practice, and it becomes second nature. I'm sure if you asked, most of those handlers get nervous too :-)

Michelle & Archie, I cannot believe you are at 7 points with being a newby and those cute ears :-) You're so close to finishing him yourself, don't you chicken out on me now!!!!
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:53 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I find politics or ignorance alive and well at the dog shows. A slightly different answer, but I continually see the big name professionals finishing dogs that I could not win a class with, and I would not pay entries on or give house space to.

Just my opinion.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:55 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I find politics or ignorance alive and well at the dog shows. A slightly different answer, but I continually see the big name professionals finishing dogs that I could not win a class with, and I would not pay entries on or give house space to.

Just my opinion.
Yes, I do agree, there are some judges who will never change simply because they don't know a good dog so they "stay safe" with the handlers. Then of course you have the ones who do the favors, and that will never end. But I do think it's better than it was years ago.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:42 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I haven't really noticed a difference with judging. In the classes usually the dog that looks the nicest wins. I've won more lately (in the past year or two) but I've gotten to be a better handler and I don't look like a little kid in the ring anymore. :p I think politics usually only come into play in groups/best in show. There's always exceptions to that though obviously.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:45 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I haven't really noticed a difference with judging. In the classes usually the dog that looks the nicest wins. I've won more lately (in the past year or two) but I've gotten to be a better handler and I don't look like a little kid in the ring anymore. :p I think politics usually only come into play in groups/best in show. There's always exceptions to that though obviously.
Really? Where do you show again? I want to move there!!
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