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It's ok, Selzer. At my first match, someone handed me a dog and a number. They called my number, and I went in the ring. Not my dog, so I wasn't really paying too much attention.

Turns out I had a male dog in the bitch class, and worst of all, HE WON. How embarassing. fortunately, before the ribbons were handed out, someone said, "uh, that's my dog and it's a HE!" I guess the judge should have been more embarassed than I.

My champion bitch loves the ring now, but as a puppy, she hated it. I got one of those soft food tubes that campers used and filled it with fish canned cat food. It stunk but I could use it as wonderful bait. I took her to the next show, and she won best puppy and got her first reserve ribbon. So these things can be overcome. don't give up!
 

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Cherri, I do remember the judge. He used to be great, but now he's old, and he's not really doing official judging anymore, just matches. He teaches handling classes and helped my husband finish our first bitch. In cavaliers, that's HUGE, because there are a lot of pros and long time breeders. New faces get lost in the crowd. I think GSD's are probably like that too, based on what I've seen. I only know Jim Moses. ;-)
 

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Kris, that's ok. Ask around for good "novice" judges. They'll be nice to you. And watch the judge before you go in the ring instead of yaking to your friends. You'll have a sense of what they will ask.

It can be very fun. I really enjoy spending that time with my family -- hubby handles (usually), I groom, and my kids are getting into grooming too, and hopefully in a year or two, handling.
 
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