So Bug ------------------- When was the first dog show you showed in ? Was you nervous ?
My first dog show with my first Doberman was in Bremerton, Washington--the long way around was on land but from where I lived the fastest way was by ferry. So my college roommate and I headed out for Bremerton at the crack of dawn (actually probably before the crack of dawn since it was in March and Dobes were the first thing in at 8:00)
It was a five point major and my puppy, who was just barely 6 months was entered in 6-9 puppy dogs.
Was I nervous--oh my gawd--I was nervous and was even more nervous about the time we just almost got to Bremerton and my sea sick puppy puked up his breakfast all over himself and the back of the station wagon.
So the very first thing I had to do was try to clean Marc, the puppy up--he was a MESS and my unhelpful friend laughed. So I spent some time with a lot of paper towel in the restroom that had a big sign--NO DOGS ALLOWED IN RESTROOMS.
I emerged with a wet dog--who still kind of smelled like puke and found his breeder waiting outside the door--he took one look and marched us back to where his dog, his wife, and my dogs litter sister were waiting with a bunch of paraphenalia including towels and a coat spray. He dried the puppy off, sprayed him down with some stuff to make him shiny (and smell better) and marched me up to the ring to pick up an armband.
I think there was one other puppy in that class but I don't think anyone had any doubt about the fact that my dog was going to win that class and he did.
That first dog of mine was so over trained it was ridiculous--I had a theory that if I trained him to the hilt even if I forgot what i was doing in the ring he'd remember and it did pretty much work that way.
We went back in for winners and the judge who clearly liked my dog a lot kept dithering back and forth between him and the open dog--ultimately my puppy went reserve and we hadn't even quite gotten out of the ring before the breeder had me by the arm telling me--"If you'd stop hanging on to your puppies muzzle he'd have gone winners dog..."
I didn't even know I was hanging on to Marc's muzzle...so how nervous do you think I was.
The breeder teased me about the clean up job he had to do and using Marc's muzzle as a handle for years after that.
I stopped being nervous in the conformation ring pretty quickly but the performance stuff had me holding my breath and shaking right up to now--that's why my friend who loved showing dogs in Obedience and later in Rally and Agility showed all of mine for me.
Kenny, I can remember being scared to death walking into that ring the first time as if it was yesterday. It wasn't exactly yesterday--it was March of 1960.