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Discussion Starter #1
So if you've read any of my previous topics, you know that I would love to give conformation a try since I admire it so much. But I've been reading a lot of different articles and older topics on here to prepare myself as well as continue testing myself on whether or not this is truly something I want to do. So far, I have not changed my mind despite the amount of time and effort it takes to upkeep a CC lol. I've read a lot, but no article or topic that I've come across really explains how many shows you have to attend in one month; which may be the deal breaker for me. You see, I don't mind traveling a few hours away from my current location, but I don't think I can travel or go to a show more than 2x a month maybe 3. Is that normal? Or do handlers and owners attend many more shows than that a month?
 

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AFAIK it varies. The show circuit is well established and tends to work its way through a region, to make it easier for the handlers and owners (who are often driving from town to town with the rest of the circus). To go to Westminster, your dog is on the road 90% of the time, showing 5+ days/week for several years. To get titled, with a strong dog from an established kennel and expert handler, if you get lucky you can champion out in a few weekends of well planned shows (it depends so much on the competition). Most breeders who need their dogs to champion spend several months accumulating points. My friends who do it for fun only attend shows within about a 3-4 hour drive (which covers several cities here on the east coast). They end up showing for about 4-6 weeks in the fall and again in the spring.

Since poodle grooming is so involved, it seems like it's better to commit to it for a season and get the title out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think what your friends are doing it ideal for me. I really don't want to travel more than 4 hours for shows, however, I heard most shows for spoos are in the midwest.
 

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You can go to as many or as few shows in a month or any time period as you want AND are in the area you want to show in. You will lose a lot as you improve your grooming skills and learn how to tweak your clip to present you dog in the best light. As an owner handler expect to lose, really look at the dogs beating your and if possible watch their handlers/folks doing the grooming BEFORE the judging. Ask questions after if they appear to have time. (Many may be pro handlers and have other dogs to show but most will be friendly) Above all think of the first few months as a learning time period. There will be good days and bad days, times you swear you will never set foot in a show ring again. Times you will think it is all politics but hang in there remember those winners have probably spent 100s of hours learning to present their dog in a manner that shows it off in the best light possible. Don't just show your class and walk off, Stay watch learn. Your day will come if you have a good dog.
 
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Time was, many people started in the UKC because the competition was more lax than the AKC. Not sure if this still holds, but likely.
 

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Time was, many people started in the UKC because the competition was more lax than the AKC. Not sure if this still holds, but likely.
It depends on the area. In mine AKC grands come to UKC for "fun shows" for the dog. Other areas the quality of dogs showing in UKC is as good as any AKC show and the grooming quality is just as high even if you don't see big hair but mostly see Modified Conti and "puppy clip" on the dogs competing. Wry grin if the PCA ever follows FCI and allows the Modern and German in the show ring they may get a shock at the quality of some of the UKC dogs that show up.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Someone else told me to start out in the UKC shows since they are more relaxed and because the standards aren't too high...not too sure how true that is but I like that MCC are allowed since I know I won't perfect the continental right away lol. I think the AKC is allowing MCC too? But I bet there's no chance of winning with that...

I know that I'll probably lose a lot considering I have no experience lol, but I still like the chances and now I know for sure that I want a “show quality” puppy.
 

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A few years ago there were a lot of pets and some very nice dogs with poor grooming. Nowadays grooming is often on par with AKC and so is quality especially in hot spots. Some dogs do both and win in both. The attitude is more easy going over all but both have the must win at any cost folks. NO product of any kind can be used in UKC and yes you can be removed from the show for product use and any wins that weekend are forfeited. If it happens enough you can be banned. This is why no really big hair at the shows you can't lacquer it in place with hairspray so it flops all over. Less extreme topknots look better.
Yes some folks show AKC in the MCC and yes some do win but it takes a very good dog AND very good grooming skills. The MCC actually requires better scissoring skills then the big hair conti does. and more tweaking as the hair grows.
 

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So the big hair is definitely hair sprayed together? I knew it! Lol

No, seriously, I hear a lot of debates over AKC v UKC. It’s nice to hear they’re both up to par. Is grooming included in the “quality” of a dog? Sounds like it persuades the judges on whether or not a dog is a good representation of the breed. And when I say grooming, I’m talking about whether it’s poorly done or not. I know you mentioned poor grooming, Spindle, but I’m wondering if it’s something that still affects a dog’s stance in today’s shows.
 

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It's an issue, Lulu. The dog show system has flaws, but people have dedicated their lives and businesses to it and it's not going to change.
 

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Yes grooming can make or break a dogs chances in the ring. If your groom makes your dog look like it has faults it doesn't you have just lowered the chance of your dog placing. A good groom will enhance your dog making it look its very best a little extra hair here, clipped a bit closer there, Does it's face look better with an inverted V between the eyes or straight across? How you pull up the hair for the topknot effects how the face looks. How your trim the hair under the ears affects how they lay. LOTS of little tweaks each dog needs and the more experienced handlers/groomers have learned a lot of little tricks to make their dog's shine.
Even gaiting in the ring is a learning experience. How fast? How slow? what size stride makes your dog look best. Does it prefer the leash coming from the side or the middle top? (I have one bitch that will constantly shake her head if a lead touches her ear. Her leash must come off the middle top of her neck or she is too busy shaking to gait) Does your dog prefer to free stack or do you always have to hard stack them when lined up in the ring? What keeps them turned on and interested in you in the ring. As an owner handler you have an advantage over the pros you live with your dog and know your dog and should have a close relationship with it.
 

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Yes grooming can make or break a dogs chances in the ring. If your groom makes your dog look like it has faults it doesn't you have just lowered the chance of your dog placing. A good groom will enhance your dog making it look its very best a little extra hair here, clipped a bit closer there, Does it's face look better with an inverted V between the eyes or straight across? How you pull up the hair for the topknot effects how the face looks. How your trim the hair under the ears affects how they lay. LOTS of little tweaks each dog needs and the more experienced handlers/groomers have learned a lot of little tricks to make their dog's shine.
Even gaiting in the ring is a learning experience. How fast? How slow? what size stride makes your dog look best. Does it prefer the leash coming from the side or the middle top? (I have one bitch that will constantly shake her head if a lead touches her ear. Her leash must come off the middle top of her neck or she is too busy shaking to gait) Does your dog prefer to free stack or do you always have to hard stack them when lined up in the ring? What keeps them turned on and interested in you in the ring. As an owner handler you have an advantage over the pros you live with your dog and know your dog and should have a close relationship with it.
Hijacking a little bit here—does the AKC/UKC offer classes on grooming, or is this something you would have to learn from books and a mentor?
 

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Hijacking a little bit here—does the AKC/UKC offer classes on grooming, or is this something you would have to learn from books and a mentor?
Most people I know who got into it apprenticed under a breeder or groomer/handler. Especially with a poodle, you just can't pick it up on your own.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes grooming can make or break a dogs chances in the ring. If your groom makes your dog look like it has faults it doesn't you have just lowered the chance of your dog placing. A good groom will enhance your dog making it look its very best a little extra hair here, clipped a bit closer there, Does it's face look better with an inverted V between the eyes or straight across? How you pull up the hair for the topknot effects how the face looks. How your trim the hair under the ears affects how they lay. LOTS of little tweaks each dog needs and the more experienced handlers/groomers have learned a lot of little tricks to make their dog's shine.
Even gaiting in the ring is a learning experience. How fast? How slow? what size stride makes your dog look best. Does it prefer the leash coming from the side or the middle top? (I have one bitch that will constantly shake her head if a lead touches her ear. Her leash must come off the middle top of her neck or she is too busy shaking to gait) Does your dog prefer to free stack or do you always have to hard stack them when lined up in the ring? What keeps them turned on and interested in you in the ring. As an owner handler you have an advantage over the pros you live with your dog and know your dog and should have a close relationship with it.
I don’t want to pull up the topic of the AKC v UKC, but do you think that it why people consider one to be very amateur? The grooming is very different and the UKC looks like it has a bunch of candidates that are still learning sometimes (something I definitely love) unlike the AKC, which has “professional” handlers who have been doing it for 10+ years.

Hijacking a little bit here—does the AKC/UKC offer classes on grooming, or is this something you would have to learn from books and a mentor?
Most people I know who got into it apprenticed under a breeder or groomer/handler. Especially with a poodle, you just can't pick it up on your own.
If only it were that easy to pick it up, LOL. You can hardly find a YouTube video on how to properly groom a poodle! A lot of groomers and handlers show the proper way to give a CC in such short videos. I’m convinced it’s a top CIA secret ;)
 

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LOL, very highly classified secret ... how to turn brown noses black before entering the ring... :ROFLMAO:
 

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There are no UKC shows in New Mexico, just AKC. That's OK with me - one club is enough!

We had to cancel all the "local" shows this year. There is a meeting next week for the show chairs to discuss the shows for next May (I am the chairperson for the Combined Specialties and for the poodle club).

Yes, you do have to learn to groom well enough to compete. The way I learned was to assist the professional handler who was showing my dog. I think my proudest moment was when he told me that I had learned too much - I had just won over him! Learning to groom a poodle for show takes quite a while. It begins with learning how to brush out the show coat correctly. Then you advance to scissoring. Eventually you learn how to set the pattern of a show trim.
 

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"LOL, very highly classified secret ... how to turn brown noses black before entering the ring... "

Years ago I had a black greyhound who was about five years old but already getting a grey muzzle. I was showing him as a special (a finished champion) and did not want him to look old. So I borrowed some stuff from a terrier handler to blacken his muzzle, but did not get thorough instructions as to how to use it. That day I was wearing a yellow pants suit and was entered under Henry Stoecker - a famous German judge. When I first set the dog up I put my hand on his muzzle to lift his head and the black stuff came off on my hand. I knew that if Henry got black stuff on his hands I would be dismissed from the ring, so I tried to get my best friend to go get a towel from our setup so I could wipe off the offending substance. She was delighted with my predicament and pretended not to understand what I was signaling. There were quite a few other specials in front of us, so she finally relented and got the towel in time to wipe his face before Mr. Stoecker got to him.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
There are no UKC shows in New Mexico, just AKC. That's OK with me - one club is enough!

We had to cancel all the "local" shows this year. There is a meeting next week for the show chairs to discuss the shows for next May (I am the chairperson for the Combined Specialties and for the poodle club).

Yes, you do have to learn to groom well enough to compete. The way I learned was to assist the professional handler who was showing my dog. I think my proudest moment was when he told me that I had learned too much - I had just won over him! Learning to groom a poodle for show takes quite a while. It begins with learning how to brush out the show coat correctly. Then you advance to scissoring. Eventually you learn how to set the pattern of a show trim.
Lol! Keeping up with both clubs sounds like a task, but I hope business continues as usual soon!

You must pick up on things quick, I’ve been watching this video on how to trim the face and rosettes and I’m still confused! I watched the video for what feels like the 100th times ;) how did you get your start in showing poodles?
 
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