Thanks for this reply, Bug. I have never used the quote button before. Weird. Yes, I copied out Michelles articles from DPCA. Excellent.
The mirror may be a problem. I may have to be the mirror.
She has pinch hit for me in the ring since a teen and younger and finished her first Ch when 13, but showing Dobermans is totally different than a terrier. Lots more finesse required.
I think the puppy class will be a good place to start. Placements aren't as important as a good introduction to the ring, and manners and having fun. She has been discouraged from even trying to show her own Doberman because of the competition with handlers, but you have to start somewhere.
And to your questions, yes, always more from your experience and knowledge bank.
Geeze. I kind of live and die with the quote button. So how old is your daughter now? Never mind--that really doesn't make any difference,
This stuff if specifically for your daughter.
Don't let anyone talk you out of showing your own dog. I was 20 when a friend dragged me along to a show--she had a Great Dane in the 6-9 class and while I wasn't terrible interested in Great Danes the next breed in that ring was Dobermans and I thought they were about as beautiful an animal as I'd ever seen (at that time I was trying to figure out how to buy an Arabian who was good enough show in halter classes--a futile dream since they were far far out of anything my saving account would cover) So the sight of those dogs in the ring inspired me to change my focus.
I wanted a Doberman--a black male. I wanted to show it. I knew nothing about shows, Dobermans, breeders--and of course no one knew me.
I went hunting for someone who knew who bred Dobermans--after a lot of dead ends I finally got the name of a breeder (who later turned out not to be the breeder of the litter she had--she owned the bitch but had leased her to the man who bred the litter and part of the price for the lease was that she got all the male puppies to sell--the actual breeder, who I didn't meet until somewhat later only wanted the bitches. The puppies were 6 weeks old. She had 6 male puppies--5 black and one red.
My friend with the Dane went with me. The lady with the puppies took the bitch out so we could look at the puppies. She asked me what I was going to do with the puppy--show it I told her. And I said I wanted the biggest black male. So she picked up the biggest black puppy and stood him on a shaky cardboard box and said "I guess he'll do..."
I might have known nothing but neither did she. She told me the puppy was $100 (this was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and ear crops were $25)
My friend asked about getting the puppy cropped. She gave me two names and phone numbers. (what she was supposed to have given me was instructions to bring the puppy back on a specific date and the breeder would take the whole litter to a vet who did Dobe show crops) So the vets whose names and phone numbers I had were in Gig Harbor which was quite far from me--the other vet was actually pretty close. So I went to the closer vet and my puppy had the world's worst crop--very short with a huge bell.
This was not a good start. And my friend asked if I got the registration--uh, no.
Eventually the actual breeder started trying to track me and the puppy down--turned out that he was the pick of the black males and maybe the pick of the litter. Someone realized that one of the people who went to the same obedience trainer I went to had a litter sister and the breeders was going to have a little training class for any of the people who wanted to show their puppies.
That was sheer luck--Jim, the breeder was so glad to see me he could hardly be happier--he gave out the registration slips with a sheet of explanations on what to do with them so the registration would be in my name.
I got a book on Dobes. The obedience trainer was offering a conformation class on a different night. The puppy and I went to that. I got a show collar and leash--the puppy and I practiced. I figured if he knew what he was supposed to do if I blew it taking him in the ring he could figure it out himself.
I was really lucky--the puppy got recropped--the ears were very short but at least the shape was right and he had, even with short ears, a beautiful head. And practically every one I talked said I probably wouldn't be able to show him myself.
Sometimes it's an advantage to not know much. I was in the Pacific Northwest and at the time there were almost no Dobermans that weren't being shown by a professional handler. So knowing nothing, we went to our first show which was a 5 point major in dogs and my puppy went reserve to a half brother shown by my breeder. And the first words out of his mouth when we got out of the ring were "If you hadn't been hanging on to his muzzle every time you stacked him he'd have won--the judge really liked him ..."
We had a session about HOW to properly show a Doberman even if the Doberman is barely 6 months. What to do and how to do it. We had one of those after practically every show--there were several about how to keep a professional handler from getting his dog between your puppy and the judge.
The puppy's second show was a Specialty--he won--puppies didn't often win back then--it was a 5 point major and he went Best of Winners as well.
At that point people stopped saying I couldn't show my own dog--instead they said I'd never be able to finish him. And several handlers explained why it would be much better for them to handle him.
But there were handlers who looked at the puppy and the green as grass owner handler and showed me things to do when showing and one of the local Doberman handlers started giving me tips about judges and how to watch to see how they wanted the dog handled.
I finished the puppy in Canada when he was 10 months old with 4 Best of Breed and 4 Group 2's. He got the 5 point major in March of 1960 and finished in December with another 5 point manor (and a Best of Winners, Best of Breed and a Group 3)--he was 14 months old.
I found that I loved showing him in the classes---but I didn't much care for showing in the groups. His breeder showed him as a special for several years--he got Best in Shows in Canada and in the States. And I got another Dobe and people started asking me if I would show a puppy for them.
Everybody does start somewhere--and there are always a ton of people who are going to tell you that you can't show your own dog.
Yes, you can and you know a whole lot more than I did when I started showing dogs. So I was totally ignorant--I didn't know I couldn't show my own dog and just did it anyway. I really got lucky with the puppy I bought in the first place--it turned out that he was top quality--but it was only luck--he was almost finished before I realize just how good he was--I learned a lot from that dog. And I learned a lot even from the people who said I shouldn't show him and that I wouldn't be able to finish him,
Everybody's gotta start somewhere--so do it. Your mom was thinking that you should start him in the puppy classes--sounds like a good plan to me--most judges and even competing handlers are pretty nice to a new face in the Doberman ring. And you've been in the ring before--that will help.
I haven't shown my own dogs for some years now--I miss it, I had a lot of fun in the conformation ring and more recently I have played with them in the performance classes--also fun but my first love will always be the conformation class--with all those beautiful dogs.
OK Bonnie--that's my dissertation on owner handlers--most of the pro's that I know started out as junior handlers--and I remember them fondly as little kids --Dobes might take more finesse than terriers but the basics are the same--learn your dog, learn what makes him sparkle, teach him to love the ring and then go beat the handlers at their game.
dobebug (aka ABTLH)