Today I showed my GSD in UKC conformation. He's long hair West German line, and I know long coat is a minor fault, at least it's supposed to be a minor fault. There was another dog in his category (1-2 years old) that he competed against. During our time in the ring, this other dog repeatedly growled at mine, barked twice at him, sat down several times, wouldn't let the owner show the bite and the judge had to open the jaws while the owner held him, and kept pulling his owner to try and sniff at my dog. When the owner tried to stack the dog, it wouldn't stay in position. There were a few other things I saw too but I'll leave it at that. It also had really bad rear duck feet, which I get is part of being a young dog, but mine doesn't have that.
My guy did a great job ignoring the other dog, and overall I thought did fairly well. He kept his attention on me, stayed in position, let me show the bite, and did what he's supposed to. The judge gave first place to the other dog. I strongly suspect it's because mine is a long coat.
So I'm wondering am I wasting my time doing UKC/AKC conformation? I've asked judges this question before and they always tell me to keep showing him, he's a great looking dog. Yet after today, I'm thinking I'm barking up the wrong tree (pun intended
) and I should just work on other things. Watching this other dog was like watching a train wreck unfold in slow motion. I know it's not an obedience competition, but I've never seen a dog behave that badly in the ring, yet we came in second (or third, or last among however many dogs there are) again.
On a side note, I've shown him in IABCA and he's done very well there. He's won two best in breeds and he's placed in group, and he has his national and international titles. But after today when it comes to UKC/AKC it seems like we could go up against a group of rampaging chimps in the ring and we'll still take last. Thanks for any advice or insight you guys can give me.