What to expect at dog shows for the lay person? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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What to expect at dog shows for the lay person?

I was thinking of going to some of the local dog shows that are being hosted here in the Houston/Beaumont area. They are having an obedience an rally show in a month or so. I am just going there to look at what they do. For someone just going to watch what can I expect? Will I be able to talk to trainers/handlers? Meet the dogs? Will they talk with me about their dogs and process?

Advice would be great.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 01:32 PM
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People that are done trialing, yes. People that are still waiting to go, probably not. It's quite the stressful situation for everyone involved (especially the dogs) and a lot of people like to warm up their dogs before they get in the ring. Depending on the show, there might not be a lot of space so expect very close quarters. Many people won't let you meet their dogs as they want their concentration on them (I know I wouldn't like any more distractions than there already are). It really just depends on finding the right person, and if you see a group already socializing you can join, otherwise I wouldn't just come up to people and ask to meet their dogs.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 01:40 PM
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I've only been to conformation shows, but I have always walked up to the handlers during their down time and have been able to chat. I've never had a negative experience and most have been eager to talk to me about their dogs and getting involved. If you can find out what dogs are going to be there you might be able to find the contact information for their breeders and be able to contact them before the show with questions.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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There are 2 shows I am interested in going to... both are rally and obedience.

This is the only info I have at this moment.
Houston Obedience Training Dog Club, Inc. - Sunday May 06, 2012
German Shepherd Dog Club Of Beaumont - Saturday June 16, 2012

I am not really sure how to get more information other than whats listed.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:04 PM
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Take money with ya, there are usually some great vendors for buying all things dog related

It's just interesting to 'watch', and people love to talk dogs, just as others have posted, make sure your not engaging them in conversation while they are prepping to go in the ring

Have FUN!

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 06:05 PM
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Don't forget to look for agility trials! A blast to watch.



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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 06:47 PM
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I second the agility trial part, its much more entertaining. Obedience and rally is the same thing over and over again, and while you'll be able to see the huge differences between ready dogs and handlers and dogs and handlers that aren't really that prepared, it will get boring quick. If you have some sort of back ground in obedience/rally you'll kind of be able to tell what the judge is taking points off for, which is nice to know for the future, but other than that don't expect to spend too much time at a show. It usually takes about an hour per class (depending on the show size) and for now I'm guessing novice/beginning novice is the most interesting thing for you since you're just starting out, but the open and utility dogs put on a much bigger show. If you can stick around for all that, then all the power to you, I know I could never make it. I usually stay for dogs that I know in the next level up, but that's about it.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 07:02 PM
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I think that the best one to watch is the advanced OB - Open and Utility. If you like to see nervous people - watch the A classes esp. while the B (experienced handlers) are usually better performed.

But enjoy any way.

And don't be surprised or upset if you get a frosty reception from some handlers when you try to tslk to them.

I was stewarding once when a handler and her dog came by to go into the ring in a little while and she yelled at me "Don't look at my dog!". All I did was look at her dog when she walked up to the table. Didn't say anything to it or esp. not try to pet the dog. Just looked at the dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At another show, I saw my then obedience instructor (and one we did a number of private lessons with as well as 6-8 classes) and i started to say hi to her who had her dog with her. AAAACCCKKK! What a reception - "Can't talk now and don't touch "FIDO" (who i knew a little bit from class!).

Some folks don't seem to have much faith in either their dogs or their training it would seem.

But enjoy the shows!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 07:29 PM
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Never pet a dog without asking first. The conformation dogs especially as they have been groomed and you don't want to mess that up.
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