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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all! I am entering my one year old male in UKC conformation beginning of November for the first time (for both of us). I had a few questions and I’m sorry if they are exasperatingly so lol

I was planning on buying a fursaver collar to compete in, but what color should I choose? I’ve seen stainless, Black and a copper color. Also what length lead and color for that as well?

I know the point of conformation is to judge potential breeding stock and evaluate individual dogs per the breed standard. That being said, does a well prepared (re: well behaved and trained) dog get a few extra points over another dog that might be slightly better physically but is lacking in preparation?

At the end of the show, does the judge release a score card of sorts for your dog, speak to you, or are you just left sort of wondering where you stand and what improvements you need to make? Or conversely, what you did that was good?

Nail length? I’m familiar with dobies and know they like theirs almost non existent.

I almost forgot, what should I wear?

Thank you in advance! I enclosed a photo of our first attempt at a stack. We have work to do but I am excited (and hopeful) for a successful first turn out :).
 

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I can't answer your question, but @dogfaeries might. My wife is attempting to show Remi this upcoming weekend (akc) for the first time ever. I'm trying to minimize my involvement, but have helped go through some practice reps of teeth checks and what not. Hope you get some answers and good luck with your show!
 

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Hey! I'm not well-versed in UKC, but I have had all three of my girls show once in that venue though, with Scarlet being the latest.

So, UKC has no grooming products on your dog, which is fine. Just have a clean, blown-out dog with his toenails appropriately short. Not Dobe short!

I use a silver colored fursaver, and a 6' thin (1/4") leather lead.



As for his ring behavior, you don't want your dog to shy away from the judge. You want the judge to be able to go over your dog, and able to check to see if all his teeth are there. He doesn't have to behave like he's done this this whole life, when you are first starting out, but he does need to be moderately well-behaved. Most judges are fairly friendly, and are pretty forgiving of puppy (or young dog) shenanigans. I don't pretend to know what goes on in some of the judges heads about why they pick who they pick, so I don't know what to tell you about presentation vs conformation. Your boy looks very nice. I don't know why he wouldn't do well.

No written critique, and you probably won't get any feedback in the ring. Where ever you are placed in the class, if you get a ribbon, thank the judge when they hand it to you. If you want to find out what they thought about your dog, you can find them when they aren't judging, and not busy, and ask them.

Just look presentable. I've seen pants, jeans, skirts. Shoes that you can jog around the ring in (though the rings I've seen in UKC are pretty small, so it's not going to be an all out gallop like in AKC)

I don’t know if UKC allows the use of bait.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much! That was very helpful for me :). I realized there was another show in September we may attend as well. I’m already getting excited!
 

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Do it! Make it fun for your dog, and have a good time win or lose. It’s just a dog show! There are always more around the corner. You never know how the show will go. I show in AKC, and Carly didn’t win any points until she was almost 2. I showed her as a gangly adolescent for fun. My current dog didn’t step into the ring until she was 14 months old, never had a conformation class or any training, and went Best of Breed first time out. You just never know, lol.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
I can’t wait! Even if we don’t place it will be a good experience, there’s nothing this dog could do to make me disappointed in him. He is such a sweet boy, he melts my heart. The one in September is three hours away, so it would be a weekend over night trip. Which I’m totally fine with, it’s just convincing my SO... lol! I told him he could bring our boat and go fishing while we’re at the show so I think I’m on the right track ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you! I definitely will, I’m quite the shutterbug when it comes to the dogs :D
 

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Win or lose, we always take home the best dog. I believe that, even though I threatened to drop the whole lot of them off at the dog pound on the way home from a show one time. And replace them with a corgi.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Lol! I love my dogs, but I have also nearly dropped them off at the pound too before. I decided to take all 3 on a hike (over 200 lbs of dog) and they collectively pulled me down into the ground and then dragged me across the pavement! It’s funny now but at the time I was beyond livid and embarrassed. I hope they enjoyed it because since then only dog is allowed to go anywhere at a time.

I have been doing quite a bit of research, I found UKC allows use of bait but only at the discretion of the judge. I’ll go into it assuming it’s not permitted so we will be ready.

Also, by “blown out” do you mean with a hair dryer?
 

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Yes! Blown out is with the blow dryer. Fluff him up so he doesn’t have bed hair, lol. I just groomed Russ a week ago, and am always amazed at how nice he looks when he’s done. The blow dryer makes a difference.
 
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I decided to take all 3 on a hike (over 200 lbs of dog) and they collectively pulled me down into the ground and then dragged me across the pavement! It’s funny now but at the time I was beyond livid and embarrassed. I hope they enjoyed it because since then only dog is allowed to go anywhere at a time.


Ah, like the time I took 4 Italian Greyhounds to the vet all at once. I mean, how hard could it be? These guys are tiny. Well, they went in 4 different directions, winding themselves around each other, and me, in the process. It was a disaster. Never again!
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Haha! I bet that was a sight (I’m sure mine was too) :D

I always seem to come up with new ponderings, but I was curious if at shows they measure and weigh your dog to ensure they are within range of the standard or if they just take your word for it?
 

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Weight and height aren’t disqualifications in GSDs, in either AKC or UKC, so no to your question. Some judges will put more emphasis on size than others. My Carly is big, but she has a beautiful shoulder, great extension and drive, feminine. Her size didn’t stop her from winning once she matured. She finished in AKC with 3 majors. I even showed her a few times after she had her championship, and she won a couple of Best of Breeds for points towards her Grand Champion. Size, whether small or large, won’t hold back a good dog.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Good info! Rio is within standard size, so I wasn’t particularly concerned just curious. So it looks like the show in September is a go, I have motel accommodations set up and I’m waiting on his UKC registration to go through before I mail in the entry form. My SO is coming along but I have a feeling he is going to ditch us to go do something else for at least some of the time and will be taking the vehicle. Will I have a sort of designated area to have my things and for us to chill out and prepare before/in between classes? Are the grooming tables provided or is that something you bring along yourself? I was going to bathe him on Friday then spritz and blow dry him before classes on Saturday and Sunday so I don’t see too much grooming to be done.

Speaking of bathing, what shampoo do you recommend? Is conditioner also preferred, or is it more important to keep their coats coarse?
 

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You’ll have to bring everything you’ll need. Grooming table, blow dryer. Crate. Don’t forget a camp chair! There’s never enough chairs. There is a designated area for grooming, so that’s basically your camp out area. Stake out a spot there.

As for grooming, with Scarlet I’ve been bathing her the night before the show starts. Blow dry her good, and then in the morning of the show, yes spritz her down, and fluff her back up. Lately I’ve been using Cowboy Magic Rosewater shampoo. I love it. No conditioner. I get it at Tractor Supply near my house, but you can order it from Amazon too. Get an empty shampoo bottle and dilute the shampoo down. A little goes a long way.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Awesome! Your insight has been invaluable, I only hope this thread may help other wayward beginners :). A grooming table - is this a must have? TSC is hardly two minutes from my work so I will definitely pick up some cowboy magic.
 

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I don't show conformation but boy I love my grooming table and blowdryer.

I do bathe and blowdry my boy before obedience competitions. I just want us to look presentable in the ring.

Keeps me on a decent bathing schedule and the blower takes out so much loose hair it's awesome! I use it when they swim, too. Works better than toweling and helps blow out all that coat that comes up when they swim.

I had delusions of less hair on my floor when I bought the blower and THAT didn't happen. But I do love it. And I'm not that old but I am past the point already where I can bend over or sit on the floor long enough to get all my dogs bathed and groomed.

I also find the grooming table super useful for regular stuff. Got a scraped foot and I need to look at it? My boy recently aliced a paw pad and had his foot wrapped for over a week. I did his bandages up there, what a difference...
 

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Yes, a grooming table and blow dryer are super handy to have around!
 
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