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Old 08-14-2019, 01:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tips on attending first dog show as a spectator?

Hello,

I have never attended a dog show and would like to know if anyone has any tips on what to expect? I am looking at the upcoming Poodle Club of Canada Annual Specialty on September 1st. I just called the CKC because I wasn't quite sure whether spectators can just attend these events and they said yes, no pre-registration required. I asked about the event time (the premium list doesn't list times, just date) and the CKC rep said the judging usually begins in the morning and lasts all day.

I would appreciate any tips on the best time to arrive and what to expect. Do specialty shows only judge conformation? I am able to attend the show for only a couple of hours due to health issues, so I want to make the drive and effort worthwhile. I'm bringing my husband (who is supportive but not the poodle fan that I have become) so there's an added interest in making it worthwhile :-)

http://www.poodleclubcanada.club/wp-...odlepl2019.pdf
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looking at the premium you linked to this is a conformation only event. PCA also has obedience, rally, agility tracking and hunting events. Once the entries close on the 20th the secretary or superintendent will put together a judging program which will let you know when each variety is scheduled to start judging and which ring if there is more than one. Hopefully it will be posted on the CKC website for anyone to view, but you can also probably email the secretary around the 22nd or 23rd and ask for a copy. Have fun!
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for the tips and second pair of eyes! I didn't know what to look for, or that the schedule would come out later. I was hoping there would be other events than conformation, like agility, but it's all good!

Maybe I'll do a search for agility events on the CKC website, I'm still figuring out where to see more poodles :-)
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh and I should have said don't talk to handlers when they are getting ready to go in the ring! I've never looked at the CKC site, but if it is like AKCs site but if they are similar it should be easy to find any kind of show you might be interested in.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Take a folding chair - (many events only provide very few) unless it is forbidden. Buy the catalog (so you know who is who - via the armband). Talk to as many people as you can - don't bother them if they appear unfriendly - but the vast majority will be way chattier than you can imagine. Don't be afraid to use your own judgement. Walk up to the dogs and people YOU like. Identify yourself properly - if you are new to Poodles say so. If you are shopping for a breeder - tell them. If you are interested in showing - ditto. If you want "just a pet" please tell them. Breeders and handlers are experts who if shown a little respect are full of useful knowledge for you. Observe ring behavior - I always gravitate towards those teams that look like they are having fun. If you are looking for a future pup go by behavior more than confirmation. If this is a Specialty you can expect most of the dogs to be reasonably well built but temperament is great to assess at a show. You will see nervous and high strung but you will also see funny, goofy and just Happy to be there dogs - those are the ones I am always most interested in.
Wear good shoes- you will be on your feet a lot! If it is outdoors - wear a hat - the sun can be brutal in a dog show.
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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More excellent advice, thank you so much Moni and lily cd re! It's very helpful!
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, take a folding chair! Also disinfectant wipes, some shows only have porter potties.

They don't announce groups or winners at conformation shows. The judge points quietly at the winner and 2nd and 3rd place and that's it. Sometimes it's good to put your folding chair right next to the stewards table (outside the ring of course), so you can see a little better who's winning.

1st place gets their ribbon first, then 2nd, then 3rd. And they leave the ring as soon as the have their little ribbon. Those not placed often leave the ring before the 1st place, but even the winner leaves the ring very quickly. Unless you pay attention for those 5 seconds, you don't know who won.

Sadly, there's no commentator like at Westminster on TV. It can be disappointing if you're expecting that. Often you can find somebody by the ring who's more than happy to explain to you which group is showing and why some dogs go back in the ring. There's a lot of groups (young puppies, old puppies, adults, owner amateur, breeder, novice, specials, American, ... - and all separated by male and female).

It's OK to talk outside of the ring. But no squeaky toys, and be mindful if you loudly unwrap food or make other noises that would get the dogs very distracted.


Don't touch the poodles! You don't want to break their hairsprayed hair and they're not supposed to have any "oil" from your hand on their fur. E.g., my groomers says I can't pet my pup, only use the comb when we're getting ready for a show.

Keep in mind that some handlers show multiple dogs, so even after showing they might need to run to get their next dog.

Bring cash in case you need to pay for parking. Also for the catalog (usually $10-$15). There might be vendors where you can buy dog treats, leashes, combs and so on, but also dog themed knick knacks like poodle shaped door signs.

Bring business cards or pen and paper if you're not super comfortable with your phone in a hurry. You probably want to write down some people's numbers and give out your contact info. Either because you're shopping for a dog or because somebody wants to give you more info about agility.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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BabetteH you added really useful details to our earlier answers! Thanks.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabetteH View Post
Yes, take a folding chair! Also disinfectant wipes, some shows only have porter potties.
......
Bring business cards or pen and paper if you're not super comfortable with your phone in a hurry. You probably want to write down some people's numbers and give out your contact info. Either because you're shopping for a dog or because somebody wants to give you more info about agility.
Yes, excellent advice indeed - thank you so much Babette! These are the little details you don't know about until you try it :-)
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I just emailed the secretary for the judging schedule as per lily cd re's helpful suggestion and got a copy (it wasn't on the CKC website).

If anyone feels so inclined, I'd love to know what the numbers (and letters BP) beside and after the class (Toy, Miniature, Standard) mean... :-) Here's an excerpt:

POODLE CLUB OF CANADA
RING 1 - JUDGE: Leehy Packer
2:00 p.m.
1 Poodle (Toy) 1-0-0-0
followed by:
8 Poodles (Miniature) 2-3-1-2
3 BP - Poodles (Miniature) 2-1
18 Poodles (Standard) 7-2-4-5
3 BP - Poodles (Standard) 2-1
followed by: Silent Auction (donations welcome)
followed by: Best in Specialty

Thank you!
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