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I drove almost 700 miles round trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas this weekend to show the girls. Spent a boatload of money, as usual. Drove there in a MINI Cooper stuffed to the gills.

Sage looked absolutely fabulous. Moved like a dream. Took 2nd both days in the American Bred class. Grrr. If this dog ever matures, she's going to be something else!

Carly was rat-tail naked. No "panties" (as my handler calls her butt fluffs), and a tail that was just sad. The coat on her neck was thin. You get the picture. :eek:

Carly has 13 points. Needs a major to finish. Hot Springs is a 3 point major, on the nose. Everyone shows up.

On Saturday, Carly wins her Open class. Then Carly goes Reserve. A major Reserve. ARGHHHHH!! (And was completely dumped on Sunday.)

It was A LONG RIDE back to Oklahoma City...
 

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ahhh:( Been there done that with my male, the dog never left the ring without a reserve and most were majors,,atleast you got some points going,,close close ..

I used to tell him he was always the best man never a groom:)
 

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well it's been awhile since I've been in the ring, like years, but here goes;)
classes are age/gender separated, like 12-18, Novice, Bred By, Am bred, Open,
the winners of each class go into Best of Breed against each other (male & female)
They then pick a Best of Winners and a Best Opposite..I BOB gets the points.

You need so many points (15 I believe) to become a CHampion, that includes 2 majors,,majors are, you have to compete against a certain amount of dogs in that show..(majors can be tough, because there arent a ton of dogs competing)

Reserve is basically a 2nd to the Best of Breed winner,,should for any reason the BOB dog turns out to be a fake (not gonna happen),,the Reserve dog would get the points and BOB..:)) Kinda like a beauty pagent if the winner can't fulfill her obligations the runner up gets it LOL..

Diane can probably better explain or fix my mistakes , she's more current than I am:)
 

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Hope you don't mind, but I've never shown in AKC so I was wondering if you could explain "open class", "major" and "reserve" to me :)
/back in the 60's when American fancirs were importing a bunch of German dogs, the breeders of American dogs didn't want to compete against them all of the time. So AKC started the "American bred" class. Any dog bred or born outside of the USA had to be shown in the Open class. this was not just for German Shepherds, but also for Rotts, etc.

A major is an entry of either sex that is good for 3 points or better. AKC has the country divided up into regions and the count needed for points in the regions can vary.

Reserve is like runner up to Miss America. If the Winners dog or bitch is not entered correctly, then the points go to the Reserve of that sex.
 

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Unfortunately I live in the region (Texas, Colo, Okla) that takes the most bitches to make a 3 point major (14). If I go to Kansas, Arkansas, or Missouri, it takes anywhere from 8 to 10 bitches to make that same major. I think the numbers are determined by number of dogs in that breed registered in that area (I wouldn't swear to that though).

Carly has a 4 point major, and 2 major reserves. One Best of Winners and one Best of Breed. And a few other reserves sprinkled in there. You have no idea how I wanted that darn major this weekend!

My breeder likes to call a reserve "first loser", LOL. :p
 

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Oh, and I enter Sage in American Bred, and Carly in Open. Have to split them up so my handler can show both of them. I'm certainly not getting in the breed ring!
 

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Oh, and I enter Sage in American Bred, and Carly in Open. Have to split them up so my handler can show both of them. I'm certainly not getting in the breed ring!
And would "breed ring" mean just GSD specific? Is this the most competitive class? Is there a difference in prestige or merits to showing in Am.Bred vs Open class?
 

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Open seems to be for mature bitches and dogs. It use to be the most competitive class. Nowadays, it seems to be the American Bred class that has a ton of entries.

Breed ring just refers to showing in conformation, as opposed to obedience, agility, etc (sports).
 

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Ah interesting. So even though AKC doesn't have double handling, the owner does not usually handle the dog? Are there AKC competitors that will show their own dogs? There are some SV people that will do this also - I remember Liesje mentioning that she handled Nikon herself. I have seen AKC conformation lessons and classes at training facilities. Are those mainly to prepare the dog for handling, physical checks and training the trot more so than teaching the owner handler skills?
 

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The GSD ring is dominated by handlers. There are owner handled dogs, but all the shows I go to have either handlers, or their helpers, showing the majority of dogs.

You might get me in the ring if I had a small dog, but frankly, I couldn't run around the ring to show a shepherd.

I take my girls to training classes every week. They get in the ring and we practice stacking, gaiting, and getting their teeth looked at. Sometimes we take them in, other times I get a handler friend that trains with us to take them in.
 

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Yes, the classes are for both the dogs and handlers. The juniors (the kids) practice with their dogs too.
 

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About how long do the mature large breed dogs go in the ring? About how much conditioning would a GSD preparing for the AKC ring typically get before a large show? For the SV ring, I do bike work, hiking uphill and running with the dogs so I wondered how preparation goes for the AKC :)
 

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I guess it depends on how lazy you are. :p

I bought a bicycle and a bike leash attachment so I could roadwork the dogs. And frankly, Carly could lose a pound or two, so I need to get after it. She looks a little bit like a chunky Malinois right now.

My breeder has these enormously long dirt runs that have very low "jumps" set every so often. Kind of like cavaletti's for horses. Her daughter also used to bike her GSDs up and down their very steep winding road to condition them when she was a kid.

AKC conformation isn't very taxing, unless you are at a specialty. All breed shows have rings that are really kind of small for shepherds. Specialty shows have HUGE rings, and there is quite a bit of running. I couldn't make it around those rings once, much less the multiple times the judges like to send you around, LOL.
 

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I show my own dogs.

American Bred is the most competitive class these days, but yes, Open is for the more mature animals. When I started, it was the most competitive class in the breed
 

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By the way, you ALWAYS show for reserve. ALWAYS. If the dog that won WD/WB was entered incorrectly, the reserve animal will get the points.

I have a friend that got a major on her English Cocker that way.
 

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I'd hate to wish an incorrect entry on someone, but I'd sure take those points! That major reserve is just maddening though. Almost got it. Almost...
 

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Good info Diane. Thanks!

Jackie: have you noticed if there a difference in perception when showing your own dog vs having a handler show your dog? In the SV, people very much frown on handling your own dog and judges will call you out for it. What is the protocol in AKC? I always liked the idea that in AKC, you could present your dog in a dignified manner without having to run around like a lunatic with a soccer ball around the outside ring!

How would a WD/WB be entered incorrectly and disqualified?
 
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