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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm taking Hank to his (and my) first AKC show in 5 weeks. I'm very nervous. I've never shown in an AKC show before and have heard horror stories about judges and other handlers. What I need to know is, is it really that bad? When I took him to the international show over the summer we had fun and he showed very well. He was just 5 months at the time. The judges were very nice and they talked with me while examining Hank.

I'm confident in his ability to focus and stand for the judge. We work once a week with our local kennel club and he's just a gem. I think my biggest fear is that I'll do something wrong and throw him off. Can anyone offer suggestions or advice?
 

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Sea Hag
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keniesue said:
I'm taking Hank to his (and my) first AKC show in 5 weeks. I'm very nervous. I've never shown in an AKC show before and have heard horror stories about judges and other handlers. What I need to know is, is it really that bad? When I took him to the international show over the summer we had fun and he showed very well. He was just 5 months at the time. The judges were very nice and they talked with me while examining Hank.
There are judges who are pleasant with everyone, some that aren't. A lot of handlers will go out of their way to help a newbie who's clearly trying their best with a good quality puppy. Some of them won't. I don't know what to say-the dog show world is no different than any other segment of society-some of the people are very nice, some are awful and a lot exist somewhere in between.

You'll find the pace is a lot faster than an IABCA show. Judges have to keep to a pretty rigid time schedule-each dog is allotted about 2.5 minutes of their time. Watch the judge, listen to them and do what they tell you to do-with your prime directive being making it fun for your puppy, rather than trying to win anything.
 

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I agree with Murreydobe. Take your time listen to the judge and make it fun for both of you. I was so nerves my first time and even other people that where showing helped.The lady in front of me and in back of me where so nice and helpful. And the number one key was "Have Fun". One lady told me if your nerves to chew gum. Your breath gives off a sent and dogs can detect it. I don't even know if that is true or a myth but I have always chewed gum. LOL


Good Luck and can't wait to hear how Hank and you did.
 

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O.K. I can't tell you what to expect on the U.S. show scene but what i can tell from your post is that if you go in the ring with and i quote"I'm very nervous""my biggest fear is that I'll do something wrong and throw him off" that will transmit down the lead and you will get just what you don't want.
At the end of the day it is just a dog show and not life or death,I know you want to do well and it is great when that happens but you need to enjoy it and if you are picked out of the line up then great!,if not you live to fight another day,just go there with the intention to do your best, that is all you can do,watch what the judge is asking the others to do and plan it out in your mind what you have to do,but mainly relax and enjoy! good luck with everything and i hope you do really well with it!! "Go get em"
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. It sounds like I need to approach the show as if it were a training class and just see what shakes out. We have such a good time at class -- Hank's a happy boy and he gets extra special bait for wednesday nights.

I've been a steward for OB and agility shows and all the judges I've met at those shows have been really nice. I'll just keep my fingers crossed! :)
 

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Go into it as something that is supposed to be fun and make sure that you have the ability to laugh at yourself.
 
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