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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Professional Handlers

Hi all,

I'm interested in your 'take' in showing your Havanese either by yourselves or with a handler that is not a professional handler. What do you believe the impact is on your dog showing when there are a few professionals or when there are a number of well-known handlers?

Thanks!

Shirley H.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 02:19 PM
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Success in the show ring is as much about grooming and handling as it is about the dog. Actually, it may be more about those because regardless of how nice the dog is, if it isn't presented as well as possible there's no way a judge is going to use the dog.

Becoming an AKC Judge is all about coming up through the ranks as a handler, so the handlers are going to get the nod if any amateur screws up at all in the ring, and sometimes they will get the win even if the amateur shows perfectly.

A lot of it has to do with the chance that the Judge will get his/her picture in an expensive ad in one of the show mags like TNT or Showsight.

With some judges, not only is it the chance of getting their picture published, but how it will look. For instance, there is one Judge who no way, no how will put up a slim, attractive female handler.

There is so much more to it than it looks like.

Having said that, we go right in and show. We don't spend any money on ego advertising in show magazines, and some judges know Pam well enough to know they won't get their picture in a magazine with her. Also some of the pro handlers are very good friends, and they know that sometimes they will win and sometimes Pam will.

To us it means more to finish a dog with owner handling and no advertising.

Dont' get discouraged.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Thanks, Tom

Wonderful perspective, Tom,and very enlightening. I did not realize that judges came from the handler ranks. And, having no intention of 'buying' points, were certainly not discouraged--the dog is too good for that.

Your Havanese are just beautiful.

Shirley H.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 07:15 PM
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I am not a professional handler, but I am frequently an agent (showing other people's dogs for a fee) and have been for years. I learned in Juniors and went from there, worked for handlers, but am not a member of any reg'd handler programs.

That being said, I have been extremely successful finishing dogs in several breeds, including lots and lots of Havanese. I've been grooming & training (for show and for performance) dogs for pushing 15 years and have been showing for 12. People pay me for my grooming, training, handling skills, and my advice on where and when to enter based on what I have learned of judge's preferences (big, small, pretty head, nice side gait). Most of my clients are also owner-handlers, and either something came up in their life and they can't just show a dog right now but would like it finished, or they have a bit of a "problem child" who needed some outside assistance.

The way I see it - no one would ever pay good $$ for something they could do just as well themselves.

If you want to compete with "the pros" then you not only have to have a quality dog (not be kennel blind) but have to groom and train and present dogs like it's your job - because that is what they are doing! Sometimes dirty rotten politics win the day - for sure that happens everywhere.

Nothing makes me more insane than an owner handler that just complains "you can't beat the pros" instead of trying to figure out how to improve - be it your grooming, training, handling, the quality of your dog, or all of the above. Some people will probably say I am being naive, but - I do it all the time, and I've never been in a magazine ad. I have, however, worked my butt off.

Definitely not saying anyone in this post is complaining like that!! But I see it quite a lot in many breeds and it makes me nuts. Just my perspective.

~Kat, Clover, CDX RN NA NAJ, & AKC/UKC Ch. William


Narwyn

People in the dog show world know me as Karen, but the rest of the world knows me & I will introduce myself as Kat... I've been showing dogs longer than I've had the nickname, and the nickname is not new!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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All thoughts appreciated

Great thoughts, Karen. As in all areas where politics (and only politics) sometimes wins the day, it is sad. I want to see ethics in every arena, doesn't always happen. No one who shows dogs, or competes in any sport, should be unhappy when the best man or dog wins. It is what we want to see.

Our situation is that our breeder is our agent and she is absolutely wonderful and very, very successful.

When you see a dog you know not to be the best dog in the ring win for reasons other than real competition, it is discouraging, but if you know you have a great dog, you also keep going! No quitters here.

Thanks again.

Shirley H.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShirleyH View Post
Our situation is that our breeder is our agent and she is absolutely wonderful and very, very successful.
Unless you have a huge desire to show your own dog, having your breeder show your dog is definitely a win-win situation! Since your breeder is experienced with this and is obviously going to be proud of the product of her breeding, and obviously cheaper (or free) than a handler would be, you just can't lose with this... except for your own experience of handling and learning to present your own dog.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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Breeder Agent

Thanks, Kimberly. For exactly the reasons you stated, this is a win-win situation. The breeder is very proud of this puppy and knows the background in depth. She has shown many of her puppies to championship.

Something we always keep in mind, although this dog is very much 'finishable', if he never won another point, he would not be any less loved. I see dogs in crates in the back of a professional handler's van and just cringe. We could never settle for this.

Shirley H.
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