By Jill H. Smoot www.samoyed.org/samoyed_club_of_america.html
(with permission to reprint, copyrighted by the author)
For the January 2003 Gazette
Why Bad Dogs Win……
Sunday night - e-mails are flying through cyberspace relaying the weekend wins and losses. Most announcements are not a big surprise, but then up pops that one that generates a "How in the world did that dog win? Didn't anyone else show up?" type of response. Sometimes the answer is that this less than acceptable specimen was actually the best dog exhibited on that particular day. That is when breeders shudder thinking their beloved breed is really going down the tubes, or they wonder who is pumping all of their pet quality show puppies into a particular part of the country.
Let's look at the instance where yucko dog is not the best specimen in the ring - what went wrong? The usual answer is that the judge never got a chance to see that your dog is better. Yucko dog, after being dragged around by his owner for some time and racking up many not-so-purple ribbons, is probably with a paid handler. This means many hours of work have gone into the preparation of this dog for the ring. He is clean, coat all going in the right direction, conditioned, will usually run in a straight line, and will stand still and show when expected to do so. The judge will have an opportunity to see what the handler would like the judge to see.
Now, consider your dog. Fanciers sometimes become complacent when they have a really nice dog. The mindset is that the dog does not have to be presented flawlessly; any idiot can see that this is a good specimen of the breed. Plus, you have advertised and told everyone how wonderful everyone else thinks he is. WRONG!!! You will only have to be told once by a judge, "I know you have a really nice dog, but I never got to see it." Some judges will give you a little leeway for goofing off, but don't expect it. While in a small class, are you paying attention to what is going on in the ring at all times - not talking to those inside or outside the ring? Did you do the best grooming job you could or did you get to the show 20 minutes before ring time, settled for a slicker run over the coat and thinking all the while I'll do all the grooming before the group starts? Is your dog in condition? Did you show the judge a clean view of your dog coming and going? Was Snowball totally distracted with ears at a 90-degree angle? All of these things matter. Think how you will feel going home with the realization that it will broadcast throughout the kingdom that your dog was beaten by Yucko dog.
Winning requires work on your part and on your dog's part. After each of you has perfected your role in the art of dog showing, you can work as a team. You will develop that special bond between handler and dog and you will work as one. You will disappear and your magnificent Samoyed will catch the eye of all who watch. Proud, sure, and a good representation of the breed.
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