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I'm off again tomorrow to a dog show. I'd love to use my time spent there learning things that will help me compete in the future in both Obedience and Conformation. Anyone have any tips on what to concentrate on while I'm observing the classes? (This show doesn't have Rally.) Thanks.
 

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Watch the movement in the ring and if the breed rings are small stay for the groups. The group rings are quite large Try and sit where you can see the side gait at first . They go to the corner where they are doing the down and back and watch the coming and going. You will start to see some poor movement :) That menas you are learning !
And yes kepe your ears open..
 

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Good advice, DesertReef and BigRedPoodle, on both counts.

Seems like I usually sit where I take side photos of the down and back, so I do see a lot of side movement to critique. But maybe tomorrow I'll sit at the corners for a change where I can see movement either coming toward me directly or going away from me.

And I watch people grooming their poodles beforehand. Too bad only 2 minis, 7 toys and 3 standards are entered. Hope they all show.
 

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I used to buy the program books....and take a pencil and mark stuff in the margins...not only who took 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but who did YOU like. Then analyze why your dog didn't win and the other one did win. You start to see what the judges are looking for. Do this on a couple different non-sporting dogs. You really can't go do this for the working dogs or hounds....but it helps to analyze other dogs as well. It keeps you well rounded in your dog knowledge.
 

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Good advice, Partial2Poodles. I'll try that. I'm going to watch how the poodles are shown on their leads, too. Just watched a show on APN and noticed how Kaz H. showed a toy poodle on a totally loose lead. The toy was just prancing around, showing her stuff and looking fabulous.
 

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I am a BIG fan of loose lead, I hate to see a dog akk stung up.... I am not seeing much loose lead on TV nowadays , so it is good to hear you say it !
 

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I used to buy the program books....and take a pencil and mark stuff in the margins...not only who took 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but who did YOU like. Then analyze why your dog didn't win and the other one did win. You start to see what the judges are looking for. Do this on a couple different non-sporting dogs. You really can't go do this for the working dogs or hounds....but it helps to analyze other dogs as well. It keeps you well rounded in your dog knowledge.
This is terrific advice P2P.

Go into the grooming area and ask questions. I have started yapping people up ringside if their breed is finished. (Of course, if it is a breed you are interested in). They will make breeder recommendations, tell you who to stay away from, tell you what disorders their breed may be prone to, how old they live to be. They are a wealth of knowledge and are only too happy to share. I stood ringside with my daughter and we had a 40 minute chat with an Irish Wolfhound breeder. My fiance came back and thought she was someone I knew from the old days and we had never met before.
 

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Went to the show yesterday and had fun as well as learned some things. Too bad there were only 3 standards entered and although 2 minis were entered, only 1 was at the show. No minis ended up being shown since the handler of the mini was also showing her toys, and the classes were at the same time. Wonder how often that happens? They did have a nice toy competition with quality entries. Our Dbrazzil took WB on Saturday (2 photos posted in Showing.)

The catalogs sold out on Saturday so I missed out on that. Really like to get a catalog to see the dogs entered, their breedings, owners, handlers, etc. Guess that's another reason to go the first day of the show, if at all possible.

My friend is a Golden Breeder and had one of her females entered. I watched her girl being groomed and saw all the preparation that goes into getting her ready. But even though goldens have a long beautiful coat and require a good amount of grooming, their preparation is not nearly as detailed and lengthy as poodle grooming. At ringside we looked at the other entries and evaluated their good and not so good qualities (all out of earshot of others, of course, since you don't know if it's the owner or friend standing next to you!) Toplines, frontlines, tail carriage, movement, expression ...

I used to buy the program books....and take a pencil and mark stuff in the margins...not only who took 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but who did YOU like. Then analyze why your dog didn't win and the other one did win. You start to see what the judges are looking for. Do this on a couple different non-sporting dogs. You really can't go do this for the working dogs or hounds....but it helps to analyze other dogs as well. It keeps you well rounded in your dog knowledge.
P2P, why is that? Help me understand.

Finally, at the vendor's booths I looked at shears and tried them out in my hand. Whew, they can be expensive, but good quality maybe pays off in the long run. Didn't buy any though! Still looking ;-) Also, prices can vary quite a bit from booth to booth. That's why it would behoove you to have an idea ahead of time how much essentials usually run. Nice to be able to see and feel the items and cut out the shipping.

It was the last show for the superintendent of this show, and announcements were made saying they had equipment for sale at a reduced price. I asked about the Obedience equipment (complete set of 3 jumps, wooden, freshly painted they said). It was $400. Not sure if that would have been a good price or not. But being wood, they couldn't be left outdoors in the elements. And I'm thinking I could get by with some homemade equipment made of PVC pipe or something, especially starting out.

All in all, a good day of observing and learning. Each show you bring away something else. Now, if I can just retain them all!
 

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No Reach for you!

... They go to the corner where they are doing the down and back and watch the coming and going.
Not so much w/poodles ( but they do have their share, and its amazing they make it to groups!) but looking at gait straight away tells a lot. Looks good from the side . . . but many look like they are swatting flys or like one of those old-fashion fire-engines where the engine is steered from the rear. The front is going one way and the rear another . . .the result ain't too pretty . . . The giant breeds are infamous for it . . . the judges often think that 'hey, that's a beautiful head' and ignore the rest. Sway backs, no-reach and etc. Talk about reach . . . some judges put a premium on a 'fancy' gait than a correct one. Too many front ends lacking correct angulation - 'no reach for you!'

Mark, Jamie and The Poodle Gangsters . .
 

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Not so much w/poodles ( but they do have their share, and its amazing they make it to groups!) but looking at gait straight away tells a lot. Looks good from the side . . . but many look like they are swatting flys or like one of those old-fashion fire-engines where the engine is steered from the rear. The front is going one way and the rear another . . .the result ain't too pretty . . . The giant breeds are infamous for it . . . the judges often think that 'hey, that's a beautiful head' and ignore the rest. Sway backs, no-reach and etc. Talk about reach . . . some judges put a premium on a 'fancy' gait than a correct one. Too many front ends lacking correct angulation - 'no reach for you!'

Mark, Jamie and The Poodle Gangsters . .
Yes it does there is nothing nicer than a correct down and back This is caused bu incorrect handling too. If you string the dog up too tight (Which I am Really seeing ) You will throw the gait off i wish I could show you what I mean .. Topline ARGHHHH I have really seen some poor ones ! Front ends are horribly inportant I was given theis advice "Never loose your fronts it will take you forever to get it back " But you can correct a rear in one breeding..
 
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