|Posted on December 31, 2012 at 5:55 AM|
This was written for the Choban Chatter but I also wanted to share it here. It was Sehzade's first dog show experience. He had a lot of fun!
I enjoy showing in UKC. The environment and people are great! I’ve made many friends while showing in UKC shows and have noticed that almost everyone that I meet at these shows also show their dogs in AKC. I’m finding more and more people showing in both venues. I can be at an AKC show and friends from UKC will come ringside to support us. It’s a wonderful group of people and the judges are also great. It’s a much more laid back environment and not nearly as stressful. I enjoy it because it’s fun to spend the day having fun with your dog and friends that all have the same things in common. Everyone is so supportive of each other and help each other out when needed.
Earlier this year, I was looking over show schedules and saw there was one coming to the area again. I’ve shown there in the past and really enjoyed the venue, so I decided that I would enter Nisa and Atakan to practice with them and just have fun since both are now Champions and I didn’t need any points or competition wins on them. I just wanted to get them back out there after a break over the winter and refresh them. I then started thinking on how I wished that Sehzade was old enough because I wanted to start practicing with him. I was looking over the premium when I realized that they were going to hold a Novice Puppy Class. Novice Puppy is not a licensed class and any wins they would get would not count. It was just for puppies 3 months old and under 6 months old to have practice in the ring and to have fun. I contacted the Show Chairman and asked her about it. She told me that the Novice Puppy Class was going to be held both days after Best In Show and gave me other details about it. I decided to give it a try.
The day finally came. March 10th, 2012 was Sehzade’s first dog show. That morning I loaded up Nisa and Atakan in the truck and headed to the show. I left Sehzade at home because the Guardian Group was first to go in the ring after the Junior Class started the show. After Guardian breeds were done, they would then hold the Guardian Group. That gave me plenty of time to run home after Group to drop off the older ones and pick up Sehzade to head back to the show. I only live 10 minutes away from the show grounds so that made it very easy to do. I took Sehzade back to the show grounds and everyone was waiting to see the new guy in town. People just loved him. Several of my friends had also brought along young pups to show in the Novice Puppy Class. It was puppy play time in the parking lot! All of them got to meet and play together. He had met my friends Saint Bernard pups and they were having so much fun together. The one pup was only 1 month older than Sehzade and the other one was just a baby along for the ride.
While in the parking lot, there was a whole group of us people. Sehzade was great meeting all of these people. My friends were holding him and hugging him all up! There was even a woman in a wheelchair and I had no idea if it would scare him or not but it didn’t faze him one bit. He even went up to the lady in it so that she could pet him. At one point, he had laid down beside it like it was no big deal. I was impressed! We then ventured into the building to watch the rest of the show. He was a proud boy walking through there. He held his head high and nothing bothered him at all. He greeted everyone and other exhibitors were coming over to greet and pet him. They all talked “puppy talk” to him and just had fun with him. Sehzade eventually made himself comfortable and just laid down to watch everyone and all of the dogs. He was such a good boy and so quiet. He just seemed happy and content.
The show was ending and he was not upset one bit by all of the commotion from people cheering on the Best In Show dogs. It was then our turn to go in the ring. They announced that it was time to get ready for the puppies. The judge stood in the ring practically cheering “Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!” She was so excited to judge all of the puppies that showed up. They went in alphabetical order and of course Sehzade went in first. As soon as we walked into the ring, I heard the judge exclaim “Oh! Wow!” That just set the rest in motion. Sehzade had a lot of fun and I didn’t expect much from him being that he had no experience. He stood fairly still which surprised me and he was so goofy while running around that ring with me. He was thrilled about the running part and so happy to be out there with his momma. The judge had fun and was laughing. She had asked how old he was and when I told her that he was only 4 months old, she said “No wonder he’s all over the place with those legs!” We both had a good laugh and he had a lot of fun. We all know how this breed grows and matures! He behaved better than I expected and he got his first blue ribbon for First Place. Once she was done judging all of the puppies, everyone went back into the ring together for Novice Puppy Group. It was fun and the judge looked over all of the dogs very closely. She then started teasing everyone with saying “How are these puppies going to look 1 year from now?”, “Who was the best puppy today?” and “Who wants this ribbon? Who wants it? Speak up! Who wants this ribbon?” Nobody said a word and she had a huge grin on her face. She awarded it to the little Australian Shepherd pup that was fantastic. She thanked all of us and congratulated everyone. She really enjoyed herself judging all of the puppies.
As we were leaving to head home, she had walked past us and stopped to tell me that Sehzade is a nice pup and good luck with him in the future. That was nice of her. We left and headed home. We went back the second day and had the same great experience. It’s amazing how many people stuck around the show grounds just to watch all of the puppies and cheer them on when they did their final gait around the ring as a group. Everyone enjoyed it. The judges and other exhibitors all knew they were just young pups and made it a pleasant experience for them. People were approaching them left and right to help socialize them and make it fun for them. Everyone was so gentle and happy to see them. I’m very pleased with how our first experience was with showing in Novice Puppy. The goal is to just have fun with them and get them used to the people, dogs and environment. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for him. He had a blast!
I will, without a doubt, do it again in the future. It is a great way to get a pup out and get them socialized and used to the show environment without being overly exposed since it’s a smaller venue. The exhibitors and judges are wonderful with the pups and know they are there to have fun and have a good experience and they do just that with helping give it to them. Since then, Sehzade has gone on to show in UKC with the big dogs and he loves it. I have no doubt that the experience we had with the Novice Puppy Class helped him realize that it’s a fun place to be. He has shown in 3 different shows since turning 6 months old and has been awarded 3 First Place ribbons for Puppy Class and 3 Best Male placements while earning points towards a Championship. He was as happy as could be at those shows too. His first time out with the big dogs, the first judge he was under said “He’s a nice pup! He’s going to be REALLY nice once he gets older.” That just made my day and gives me hope for his future show career. We also had some laughs from people ringside and the judges in the other shows. He’s just a goofy youngster still and has a lot of learning ahead of him. Everyone enjoyed his puppy antics though. Sehzade enjoys it and enjoys being out and around everyone and the other dogs. We are looking forward to getting him back out there as he gets older and has more training.
Here are some pictures from Sehzade's first dog show.
*Published in Choban Chatter ~ Summer, 2012 ~ Volume 22, Issue 2*