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Ok, I would love to get into showing my GSD in conformation, mainly just for the fun of it. I already show her in Obedience, Rally and starting her in schutzhund. She has great drive and does well in all those sports and I want to try conformation. I am aware that her color is not the normal standard colors. Should I just not bother to enter her into a show? or do you think I could still enter her without getting laughed out of the ring? I am a total newbie to GSD conformation and just trying to learn and decide if I should try to enter a show or not. She is AKC registered. Thank you in advanced! She just turned a year old.
 

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I saw someone with a blue at the last show i went to. They didn't win, but everyone was too busy gaping at the dog's sound structure to laugh or anything. The one person who did react rudely was met with severe disapproval and in the end, the dog came in second ( only lacked first due to coloring). But it really depends on the particular people at the show. Some are relaxed and fun. Others are quite rude and put you down.
 

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If you're talking AKC conformation, most people will tell you that you're just throwing money away. Although she doesn't have any major faults, and is a beautiful girl with pretty good conformation, her glaring weakness is the coat. So unless you run into a bunch of bitches at a show that have bigger faults than the lightness of the coat, you're probably not going to be very successful. It doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, its something fun and its just learning some more about a different venue, but the show world is very very complicated, with people knowing what judges will put up their "type" of dog, and showing under those judges.

AKC is very heavily dominated by black/tan saddlebacks. It's very difficult to achieve a championship with any other coat. Judges have their preferences and then there are a lot of complicated politics that get involved as well. If you're interested in learning...do it! But if your end goal is a championship...its going to take a lot of time and money on your part.

BTW...most judges SHOULD NOT and WILL NOT put up any kind of recessive issues with coat. Blue is a genetic problem, and what is considered a serious fault...I'm surprised that dog got as high as 2nd no matter what its structure looked like. Can't comment since I didn't see the other dogs...but they must've had bigger issues. If a blue dog was the only dog at a show, I would expect the judge to not put it through to the group stage.

Maybe someone who knows AKC shows a little better will chime in, but on the website, pale or washed out colors are listed as serious faults as well in addition to blues and livers. Such a blond tan could be considered pale/washed out by some, but don't quote me on that.
 

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My opinion...AKC conformation...I wouldn't do it. Your dog is beautiful and you're doing awesome with her! AKC conformation (especially GSDs) can be rough. I spent a lot of years showing other breeds in AKC and I'd never want to own and show a GSD in conformation. JMHO and there are tons of people who love it...you might even love it! But if you're wanting to try conformation...I almost just want to recommend you do it with another breed, tho it feels a little disloyal for me to say that lol.

I would go to as many shows as you can and watch the type of things that go on. Stand close enough to hear people's conversations, go to the grooming area and watch the grooming of the GSDs before their ring time. Get to know which classes are which and how things are generally done. Don't bring your dog :) just observe.

I'd suggest finding a breeder or a friend that shows in AKC conformation to help you in the beginning.

Yes it's expensive. Entry fees alone are a lot, but the real cost is the travel. It's a real bummer when you spend $500 on a show weekend and end up not winning something. But when you win...well it's pretty exhilarating :) but...you lose more than you win usually so...mentally it can be tough.

Anyway...just my opinions :)

Julie


Sent from my iPhone using Petguide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the responses :). If AKC is so political, would she have a better chance in UKC? I know that there is still a breed standard and conformation is still serious in UKC, but are they not as biased on this type of color? Would she ever have a shot at winning anything? Thanks again!
 

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UKC is going to judge per breed standard. Yours has nonstandard coloring. I think UKC would be a good choice. My understanding is some of the people aren't quite so serious and uppity as they can be in AKC.
 
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