Category Archives: Dog Shows


The Changing Role of Ring Stewards As Shows Become Bigger And More Complex, There is An Increasing Need For Training And Experience Among Ring Stewards. The History of Ring Stewarding: It would be wonderful to write about the noble and ancient position of the ring steward. Unfortunately, no Ring Steward’s Hall of Fame exists, nor is there a “History of Ring Stewards Around the World.” Suffice it to say that ring stewards have probably been around for as long as there have been dog shows, but it seems the details of the job have changed over the years. A bit of research suggests the modern ring steward should be grateful. Fifty years ago it was the practice for ring stewards to travel from the ring to the benching area to locate the dogs to be judged in the next class, along with corralling the handlers, who may have been somewhere else. Additionally, it was the steward’s job to attach the armband to each exhibitor as they entered the ring, then remove all armbands after the class was judged and retain the winners’ armbands for Winner’s judging. Believe it or not, there may actually be a way to trace the origin of the practice of “grab some friends and make them ring stewards for the day.” An article appearing in the Read more […]

Handler Error

What should a showdog owner expect from a professional handler/agent? An owner should expect, in fact should insist’, on the terms outlined in this article with very little margin for error, A handler who is truly a professional will have no objections to these terms, remember though that an ethical professional may not be the most inexpensive, In the case of many, you get what you pay for; although there are exceptions. When the decision is made to put a dog with a handler, the terms should be thoroughly discussed and agreed upon in writing, Keep firmly in mind that the welfare of the dog is of primary importance, a healthy dog can be removed from one handler and brought back out at a later time with a different handler if a dispute occurs, a dog who has been physically or mentally damaged cannot. All bills should be paid on time and should be presented in a professional manner-itemized, with all services clearly stated. Copies of tear sheets should be included. The owner should be able to trust the handler to care for the dog in the manner to which it is accustomed. if the dog needs to be roadworked, should be done a handler should never, ever tell a client that the dogs are being roadworked when they are not. Some Read more […]

The World of the Dog Show

The first dog shows took place in the 1830s and 1840s. They were low-key affairs, held in public houses, and probably invented as a result of the ban on dog-fighting and bull-baiting which left dog fanciers with little outlet for their competitive instincts. The idea of shows soon caught on, though, and the first organized dog show was held at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England in 1859. Dog shows grew in popularity with the building of the railways, since breeders could travel from show to show. However, problems arose when people in different areas had conflicting ideas about how a breed should look. No single body or group was responsible for dog shows and standards varied tremendously. There was much controversy over standards and a great deal of faking. Clubs were therefore established to reach a consensus over what were and were not desirable characteristics of the various breeds. The Kennel club The kennel club in Britain was founded in 1873 to oversee the showing of dogs. The club registers the standards which describe exactly what the ideals of each breed should be. These standards are set by the individual breed societies but held by the Kennel Club. All pedigree dogs must be registered with the kennel club before Read more […]

From Wishing To Winning

The sad fact of life at dog shows is that only one dog can win its class, only one of each sex can take the points and only, one in the breed can be called “Best.” That means that most of us lose a lot. If our dog wins, the ride home is full of proud replaying of the well-deserved award. If it does not win, the homeward conversation often changes to laments, regrets and maybe even some “sour grapes” or snipes concerning the competition or the judge. All the wishful thinking in the world will not change that white ribbon to blue, and, while traveling home, the other handlers and judge aren’t nearby to hear your complaints, which makes them easy to air. We all give reasons to explain away missing out on a desired placement, but perhaps some of those reasons might really be excuses – and, perhaps, there is something you can do about it. We use excuses for many different reasons. Sometimes we need to salve a wounded ego, to save face in front of others or to protect ourselves from the reality that our beloved pet will never be show quality. Sometimes we need to rationalize the decision to send in another entry fee. Making excuses for not winning isn’t necessarily wrong, because it can allow us to continue doing what we Read more […]

Show dogs coats

A leading all breeds judge and breeder disscuses show dogs coats. Just as some boys are crazy about football, cricket, swimming or other sports, Jimmy Mitchell at the age of 11 years was crazy about dogs. So much so that his first, 10/- pocket money was invested in a Smooth Fox Terrier. The bug has remained constant ever since. The age of 22 found him judging at the smaller English shows in company with Personalities whose names have become famous throughout the dog world. To mention a few, J:W: Marples, Tom Scott, Mac Donald Daly; Joe Braddon, Alex Mutrray James Garrow, John Benyon and many, many, more. Owning or handing during his show career about 25 different breeds brought him innumerable best-in-show and over 4,000 first prizes. In 1953, he came to New Zealand and since then would probably have judged more shows than any other judge, including a section of the first N.Z. National. He has visited Australia four times and has judged, among his other shows, a Brisbane Royal. This article was written immediately before he returned to New Zealand recently after juding Four P’s,Mainly all Breeds Kennel Club and the Corgi Club of N.S.W. Championship show. in which there were 320 Corgis entered. Still as fanatical as Read more […]

Training of the Dog for the Show Ring

Training the very young puppy (age 6 to 10 weeks) Handle the puppy continuously, clip its claws, brush it a couple of times daily, examine its mouth, make it familiar with taking medicine and tablets and fondle it without too much play; in other words , teach it to be stable and sensible. Basic Education (age 10 to 18 weeks) Place a collar around its neck until it becomes quite with it, Tie it up for short period, five to ten minutes at a time away from its owner. This teaches self-reliance and stablity. Also take food from its mouth while it is eating; correct bad habits such as jumping up, biting heels, crying when alone; give it house training, further periods of prepration, brushing and combing . Teach it the meaning of the word ‘no’, using it whenever the puppy does something you do not want it to do. Distinguish ‘No’ from the word ‘quite’ which you will use when you do not want it to bark. Lead Training ( starting at about 10 weeks) Prior to lead training, the dog will have been taught to have a collar around its neck and to be tied up for short periods. Firstly, attach a leather lead, to the collar, or with larger breeds a choke chain. Use the command ‘heel’ and walk at a normal walking pace with the dog on your Read more […]

Handling a show – Dog

For success in the ring, a dog should appear confident and familiar with the handling, stance and movements required of it. Your dog’s “presence” is a crucial feature in show judging – almost as important as anatomical excellence. This “presence” has a lot to do with good handling. If you’re not sufficiently confident yourself, it is in fact possible to employ an experienced handler to take your dog through its paces in the ring. A show-dog is accompanied in the ring at all times by its handler, and proper presentation begins with the handler. Dogs pick up human moods and fears rapidly; a gloomy owner will soon transmit his feelings to his dog and their combined performance will be drab and lack-lustre. One of the elements of successful dog handling is dressing neatly and practically. If you own a large dog, remember when choosing footwear that you’ll have to run in the ring. Gaiting One of the most important aspects of your dog’s performance is the way it moves. The judges will expect to see each dog moving at a brisk trot. It is the responsibility of the handler to give the dog enough space and freedom to move correctly, and to move freely himself without impeding the animal. It is also up to the handler to selecting Read more […]

Methods of moving a dog in the ring

1. Straight up and down the center of the ring: In this method, the judge will be standing in the center of one end of the ring, and the Dog is to be moved away from the judge and towards the judge. The handler has to see that the judge gets a good view of the hinds while moving away from the judge and the fore legs when coming towards the judge. 2.  Straight up and down the side of the ring: Here the dog is moved along side of the ring, turned left to reach the diagonally opposite corner of the ring, and back the same way towards the judge, moves up the dog. 3.  Diagonally across the ring and back: In this method, the judge is in one corner of the ring and the dog is moved diagonally across to the other corner of the ring and back. 4.  Triangle: Here either the judge is in the center of the ring or on one side of the ring, the dog is moved up, across and down. In this method of moving, the judge gets to view the movement of the hind, profile and the fore. 5. Circle: Here, the judge is in the center of the ring, while the dog is moved in an anti-clockwise circle around him, here the judge gets to view the profile and judge the stride in a dog, look for pounding, padding, etc. 6.  The T: Here the judge is in Read more […]

In the Ring

We recently argued that the breeding of a top-quality dog depends on the art; not the science. But to get a dog to the top of the tree calls for more than just the breeder’s art. All a breeder, such can do is to breed a dog with the potential to win, This is proficieny in other acts comes into play. It has been justly said that half a pedigree goes in at the month. However excellent its breeding, no dog will fulfil its promise unless its owner is a good kennelman. That phrase covers a multiplicity of requirements. It does not mean simply that the owner provides adequate food and housing for the dog. He must be knowledgable in the way of dogs, realising that no two dogs are exactly alike, consitutionally or temperamentally, and that the treatment of any dog must be adapted to its physical and mental character. That is to say, the owner must possess that capacity for taking pains which the approach to a dog as an individual calls for. Then, to use a racing term; he must know how to deliver the dog at the gate in the peak of condition ready to battle with all it has got. Again, that is not just a matter of mere feeding and grooming. Here we recall another racing saying, which is equally relevant to dog showing. It is Read more […]

Show Judging

Dog show judges have a very difficult job and try in all good faith to do it the best they can. Of course, different judges do place dogs differently due to their own preferences within the standard. Nevertheless, a judge should be familiar with the official standard of the breed that he is judging. A show judge is faced with making a decision based on all the factors shown in the diagram below. He may have to choose from 30 dogs, of one breed or of many breeds, depending on the class. It is interesting to go round the benches trying to assess these factors yourself. Rules and regulations At an official show, there are certain rules governing appearance and grooming. If a judge detects an infringement of any of these, he’ll be forced to disqualify the dog. A dog may not enter the show-ring with: 1) Excess chalk or talc in the coat 2) Lacquer or hair spray in the coat 3) The setting of its teeth artificially altered 4) Any dyes, tints or bleach having been used to alter the colour of its coat