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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are coming up on my Annie's first show in just a few weeks! It's totally for fun- she'll be spayed Friday, so we'll be showing in the UKC altered class to help me decide if I want to seek out a "real" show dog for my next pup. Fairly low pressure intro for both of us. That said, I still want her to look her best!

She's got a lovely clear red coat but it's very kinky and I'm still working on getting her dried nice and straight. There are also a couple areas of breakage/issues in her coat- one is her face, which still isn't fully grown out from a grooming disaster when she was wee (a groomer buzzed her stop and squared her chin on what was supposed to be a no-trim visit when she was about 4 months, so those areas are still a bit shorter than they should be), and one is an area of breakage between her shoulders where the other dogs love to bite her when they play 馃檮

I have gotten some tips from show grooming friends but wanted to ask here too. One person told me flat ironing between the shoulders and no where else would blend the breakage and exaggerate her rise since her natural rise is somewhat subtle. I know technically things like that are a no-no in the breed but is that something that's a "no-no" or a no-no? I know the UKC has a reputation for being way more insistent on all natural. Being in the altered class we're pretty unlikely to have much if any competition in the breed, so I basically just wanna avoid a DQ or major fault and not look like a goob in the group ring if we do get there, hah.

Also any tips on hiding her short bangs? Would it be better to try to get them to lay back or let them fall forward? And any other tips or tricks for a total dog show noob?

Annie pic for tax/context! I think you can really see her short bangs and squared chin here. This is RIGHT after a bath and blowout with a force dryer so as you can see I still have some work to do on getting her coat texture right!

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Liver Companion dog
 

Metrowest, MA
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A Havanese coat is not SUPPOSED to be straight!!! You can get away with flat ironing at an AKC show, (you can get away with a LOT!!! at an AKC show in terms of grooming! :rolleyes: but I wouldn't do it for UKC. Likewise, I've seen more "breakage" of facial hair than your girl looks like she has here. You can ONLY use water on dogs for UKC, NO other product, so you are kind of stuck with what you have, It's unlikely that you can get her bangs to stay back without using product. But I really don't think they will be an issue like this. You CAN braid for a UKC show, but if the hair is short, I doubt that will work.

While she is lying down in this photo, it LOOKS like she needs some serious trimming on her feet, for sure. They SHOULD be neatly trimmed for the ring, even for UKC. The other thing I hope you've been working on... a lot... is gaiting and stacking, both on the floor and on the table. It is SO important that she gait happily, and keep her tail up. While TECHNICALLY the standard says that they won't be penalized for dropping their tail when they are not gaiting, I can guarantee you that unless the other dogs have something TERRIBLY wrong with them, a Havanese that lowers its tail on a regular basis in the ring is going to be dinged for temperament if not directly for tail carriage, and will just not place. It can take a fair amount of practice on the table for a dog to feel confident enough with strangers coming up to examine them that they don't want to flinch away and drop their tails! Also make sure you practice showing the bite a LOT so that you can do it quietly, confidently and without any struggle from the dog.
 
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Here is a link to Red's page: Red

Scroll down to the last picture on his page. The wind was blowing that day, hence poffy head. That was one picture taken at a multi-day, long weekend UKC show. He got 6 breeds (they had two shows each day), 4 Group 2's, 2 Group 1's (I might not be remembering those numbers exactly), a RBIS, and a Best in Show, at those shows. The Judges were the same that judge at AKC shows. Just as an example. No special grooming.

He's Sired a number of gorgeous puppies since then.
 

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I am planning to show both Ducky and Panda in UKC. (Panda in "altered" after she is spayed, since I have made that decision (sniff)) Panda is already an AKC champion, and Ducky will also show in AKC. But I want the experience of showing in UKC, without having to be up against pros all the time. Then again, we have some REALLY experienced amateur handlers up here, who beat the pros regularly in the Havanese ring, and they ALSO show in UKC, so I don't think it will matter THAT much, but it will be more practice for me, and it will be fun to still be able to show Panda, without having to deal with a girl in heat with a baby stud dog in the house!

And yes, I know that Pam and Tom do it with multiple of both sexes, bu they have a LOT more experience than I do... Plus they aren't ALSO trying to prepare said young stud muffin fo a performance career! LOL!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you both so much! Red is gorgeous! That's really nice to see how he was groomed for the UKC ring to great success, I appreciate that.

I agree Havs should not be straight, you wouldn't know it looking in the AKC ring though, I swear LOL! I think Annie has the nice little "ric-rac" effect to her natural coat texture that's described in the UKC standard but I feel like I never see them shown with even a slight wave to their coat, hah. Most of my dog show friends show AKC only or AKC with UKC as secondary so I'm not completely surprised that the tips are not appropriate for UKC or that you can get away with much more in AKC. I'll probably just try to get her dried nicely then and not sweat it too much.

Do you know, is it still true that you can use conditioner+water? IIRC it mentions it in the rules but I also am not great at finding the most recent rule changes. Her bangs stay back oh-kay if I dry them right and then push them back with a tiny bit of conditioner water and air dry, but I'll probably just let them do what they do. Thanks for your input on her face hair! I got paranoid cause when I last visited her breeder in person just a couple weeks ago, one of the first things she said was "if you're gonna get in the show ring you need to stop trimming her bangs." I had to tell her I hadn't touched them in months since the one grooming debacle and was totally bummed that it was still so obvious :cry: And you're correct, she most definitely needed a feet trim in that photo! I get a little lazy keeping up on it as long as she's not stepping on her hair, but I do get it done at least every month or two hehe. I will make sure she's nice and cleaned up for the ring.

Finally, thank you for the training tips! We are lucky enough to have some very good table dog conformation lessons locally so she's had a lot of practice despite her not being actually shown yet. That said I still feel like a total goober at the other end of the lead, but at least she's confident in her abilities, hah. Keeping her tail up on the table or while waiting her turn is her super power so good to hear you think it's an important thing. That said, the real thing is so much crazier than a class with a few other dogs so, we will see how it goes. She isn't ever squeamish but she is sometimes a little goofy... she does a little "woo WOOOO" howl to demand you play with her, and last class she play-howled at the instructor every time we stopped in front of her to be "judged" 馃槅 she's not by any means a noisy dog usually so I have no idea where that came from. at least if that happens in the real thing it'll be funny!
 

Metrowest, MA
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I agree Havs should not be straight, you wouldn't know it looking in the AKC ring though, I swear LOL! I think Annie has the nice little "ric-rac" effect to her natural coat texture that's described in the UKC standard but I feel like I never see them shown with even a slight wave to their coat, hah.
Well, there are two pieces to this. The AKC standard is clear: 鈥淭he coat is long, abundant and wavy.鈥 It can鈥檛 be much more clear about the kind of coat a Havanese should have. HOWEVER, no one is going to present a dirty dog to a judge. At least if they are serious about showing. And this is where a Havanese coat can be tricky, Because it is ALSO 鈥淪ilky to the touch, the coat is soft and light in texture in both outer and undercoat,鈥. If you are going to wash your Havanese before a show and dry them thoroughly, in MOST cases, their coat is going to be pretty darned straight when you are done. There are a FEW that may have enough weight to their coat to hold onto a wave through blow drying, but they are few and far between. Whether they have the proper texture to their coat? You can鈥檛 tell from a photo, you can only tell by feel, so I can鈥檛 tell you whether Annie does or not.

Panda has a pretty light coat, and right after a bath/blowdry. I don鈥檛 PURPOSELY do anything to 鈥渟traighten鈥 her hair for the ring. This is a photo of her, freshly bathed and blow dried. This was at home鈥 not even for a show. The dryer just pulls all the wave out of her coat. (She鈥檚 flatter by the time she gets to the show)

Dog Window Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog


This is her coat at an obedience trial, at the end of the day, with no 鈥渇luffing or 鈥減rimping鈥, because 鈥渘o one cares!鈥 LOL! You can clearly see the nice wave to her coat. (You can also see I am not always on top of foot trimming if it鈥檚 not conformation showing! LOL!)

Dog Mammal Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog


But I can鈥檛 MAKE that wave stay in AND have her clean and ring-ready. They are incompatible. They are incompatible, and judges recognize that if they know the breed at all. They ALSO, if they are good judges, SHOULD look past the coat and pay more attention to the quality of the dog than JUST look at the coat. Panda鈥檚 coat is not her strongest point and she finished quicky in AKC with two 5 point majors. While we were doing pictures, I chatted with the judge who chose her the day she finished in a BIG class. He told me, 鈥淚 didn鈥檛 pick her for her coat, I picked her for her structure and her beautiful movement.鈥

Smile Dog Plant Carnivore Tie


Do you know, is it still true that you can use conditioner+water? IIRC it mentions it in the rules but I also am not great at finding the most recent rule changes.
Absolutely NOT!!! They can kick you out in UKC if there is ANYTHING used on the dog other than water on the show grounds. Technically, you aren鈥檛 supposed to use anything but shampoo on the dog. But I鈥檝e been told that they DO understand that you can鈥檛 comb out a coated dog without SOME product without damaging their coat, so they make allowances for that. But you should use as little as possible, and the judge should not be able to feel it, see it or smell it. On show grounds, have nothing but WATER in a CLEAR spray bottle that everyone can see through so there is NO question that you are putting anything else on your dog.

she does a little "woo WOOOO" howl to demand you play with her, and last class she play-howled at the instructor every time we stopped in front of her to be "judged" 馃槅 she's not by any means a noisy dog usually so I have no idea where that came from. at least if that happens in the real thing it'll be funny!
Unless it鈥檚 excessive, I don鈥檛 think most judges will hold that against her, in AKC OR UKC and some might think it鈥檚 absolutely adorable!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you are going to wash your Havanese before a show and dry them thoroughly, in MOST cases, their coat is going to be pretty darned straight when you are done. There are a FEW that may have enough weight to their coat to hold onto a wave through blow drying, but they are few and far between.
I must be one of the lucky ones, lol. Here's her coat texture if I just do the usual routine of force dryer + brushing without deliberately stretching out the wave (this is right after finishing, and she was bone dry and brushed out):

Fur clothing Dog breed Liver Fawn Eyelash


What's left of her puppy coat goes straight and wispy, but the wave she has in her adult coat is deep and sticks around, although it doesn't necessarily get any stronger as she gets dirtier between baths. I guess I always assumed it was typical to stretch/iron out any wave. Although it's always hard to say how a coat will react to a blow dry so who knows. I can get it straight-ish if I meticulously stretch-dry every hair, so I guess the question is whether to do that or just let her coat texture be?

Her hair isn't nearly as shiny as it looks in spots there, it's a trick of the light. I am FAR from a pro on coat conformation but her breeder likes her adult coat so that's all I can say on its correctness. All I know is I sure like running my hands through it 馃槈

Absolutely NOT!!! They can kick you out in UKC if there is ANYTHING used on the dog other than water on the show grounds. Technically, you aren鈥檛 supposed to use anything but shampoo on the dog. But I鈥檝e been told that they DO understand that you can鈥檛 comb out a coated dog without SOME product without damaging their coat, so they make allowances for that. But you should use as little as possible, and the judge should not be able to feel it, see it or smell it. On show grounds, have nothing but WATER in a CLEAR spray bottle that everyone can see through so there is NO question that you are putting anything else on your dog.
Interesting. The most recent rulebook says water or water+conditioner in a clear spray bottle is allowed...the rulebook is definitely all I know of what's customary at this point, hah! I wonder if that's recently changed or more or less acceptable dependent on the area/club like some things seem to be. Static is a major problem with the ridiculously dry climate on the high plains here, especially in the late fall/winter, so was kinda banking on having the option of using a conditioner mix there day-of to keep her from turning into a koosh ball 馃槵
 

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I must be one of the lucky ones, lol. Here's her coat texture if I just do the usual routine of force dryer + brushing without deliberately stretching out the wave (this is right after finishing, and she was bone dry and brushed out):

View attachment 175972

What's left of her puppy coat goes straight and wispy, but the wave she has in her adult coat is deep and sticks around, although it doesn't necessarily get any stronger as she gets dirtier between baths. I guess I always assumed it was typical to stretch/iron out any wave. Although it's always hard to say how a coat will react to a blow dry so who knows. I can get it straight-ish if I meticulously stretch-dry every hair, so I guess the question is whether to do that or just let her coat texture be?

Her hair isn't nearly as shiny as it looks in spots there, it's a trick of the light. I am FAR from a pro on coat conformation but her breeder likes her adult coat so that's all I can say on its correctness. All I know is I sure like running my hands through it 馃槈
Her coat has a lot tighter 鈥渨ave鈥 than any of my dogs, and that is not talking about show ring bathed and blow-dried, that means even left out in the rain and allowed to dry! LOL! HOWEVER, that does NOT mean that EITHER is 鈥渕ore鈥 or 鈥渓ess鈥 correct. The standard does not speak to that. Here is what the standard says about coat:

Silky to the touch, the coat is soft and light in texture in both outer and undercoat, although the outer coat carries slightly more weight. The coat is long, abundant and wavy. It stands off the body slightly, but flows with movement. An ideal coat will permit the natural lines of the dog to be seen. Puppy coat may be shorter and have a softer texture than adult coat. A single, flat, frizzy or curly coat should be faulted. A coarse, wiry coat is a disqualification.

Within this standard, there is room for a fair amount of variation. And remember, EVEN 鈥淎 single, flat, frizzy or curly coat鈥 are only faults, not DQ鈥檚. No dog is perfect. You may find that some judges prefer the tighter wave of her coat, while others prefer the looser wave on dogs like mine. And the coat is the icing on the cake, as I mentioned before. A GOOD judge should be giving far more weight to correct structure, motion and that happy go lucky attitude that you say she has in spades! But that is the reason you can go to a 4 day dog show cluster, and show against the exact same dogs, and come out Best of breed some days and other days not get looked at. Not all judges value the same attributes equally, and some judges 鈥渓ike what they like鈥.

Interesting. The most recent rulebook says water or water+conditioner in a clear spray bottle is allowed...the rulebook is definitely all I know of what's customary at this point, hah! I wonder if that's recently changed or more or less acceptable dependent on the area/club like some things seem to be. Static is a major problem with the ridiculously dry climate on the high plains here, especially in the late fall/winter, so was kinda banking on having the option of using a conditioner mix there day-of to keep her from turning into a koosh ball 馃槵
Hmmm. I haven鈥檛 looked at in a couple of years. Last time I looked, not product could be used at all.And on some of the UKC groups I used to be on, it was a HUGE issue of discussion.

If they say in the rules that you can use it, and you are SURE it鈥檚 the most recent rules, then you can use it. I can鈥檛 imagine it would be regional. That makes no sense for a national organization. Especially when static is just as big a problem up here all winter due to hot dry heated air. In all cases when showing, the rule book is your bible. You can鈥檛 go wrong by following the rule book and have a copy, with the page bookmarked, with you, in case anyone questions you.
 
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