Oxfordshire Show

show5Second Show ever.  Another Open show, another AVNSC class.  This time the Oxfordshire And District Canine Society on 5 March 2017.  More on offer for AV Terriers here, so we entered me into Postgraduate Dog and Open Dog.  I was the only entrant in AVNSC PGD and won the class, only to come third (!) in Open.

When you win a class, that entitles you to be judged ‘best of’ AV alongside the winners of all the other classes within that group.  If you win best AV, you then get judged alongside all the other breeds to become Best Terrier, and so on and so forth until Best in Show (like Crufts, yeah?).

What mummy didn’t realise is that if you win one class and then don’t come first in another, you’re a beaten dog, so you can’t move up the judging scale.  We should have withdrawn after winning PGD.

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But at least we won a class!  And daddy even came to this one!  He took pictures.

Onwards!

Bucks Open Show

So my first show was on Saturday 28 January 2017, after only 3 ringcraft classes…

show3There are a range of different types of show, primarily Open and Championship, the main difference being that at Championships you can get CH qualifications and often, at Open, you can’t.  Then there are Breed-specific Open/Championship shows.  In each Show, you enter by “type” of dog, so Working/Terrier/Toy/Utility and so on.  I’m a Terrier, obviously.  Within type, you enter either a Breed Class, so that might be, in my case Welsh Terrier, or if your breed isn’t represented, AV or AVNSC (Any Variety and Any Variety Not Separately Classified).  At large Open shows, I’m generally in AVNSC because there are too few Welshies around the UK show circuit to put on a specialist judge for the breed.  That means I could be up against any terrier… Within your breed class (or AV), you enter the class representing your age, sex and show qualifications thus far, based on number of wins/rankings.  So if you’re new, you might be a Novice Dog.  You could enter any class above that too, so Limit Dog, Open Dog – but other dogs who have had a certain number of wins can’t come back down the chain to enter a class open only to dogs with fewer wins – so that’s good for newbies.

In the Bucks show, I was in AVNSC OD (Open Dog) as there were few other classes available for judging.  It was a class of 2, and my competition was a Champion Manchester Terrier…

show4I was judged on my stand, my movement, my alertness as a terrier and my structure… I didn’t beat the Manchester Terrier, but that was ok.  I came second in my first ever show!

What did we learn:

  • That every dog has a “show side” and this is their best profile, so it doesnt really matter if you’re facing left or right in the ring, so long as you are showing your best side.
  • Paw placement is important.  A correct natural stand (stack) will make everything else fall into place, but this starts with the paws.
  • That grooming is a hugely significant part of showing, and a half-hearted groom won’t show off your best features.
  • That people have “show outfits” and mummy needed to up her tweed game.

Starting a Show Career

In January, we started going to Ringcraft classes.  Primarily to socialise me better after I got into a few fights over the Summer last year.  Also, I quite like ‘standing’ and everyone always said how nicely I stood.  After all, 90% of a dog show is just standing in a lineup, right?!  I’ve attended Crufts before, as a breed representative for Welsh Terriers in their Discover Dogs stands, and I always enjoyed that.  Mummy thought that would be all we’d ever manage.  Not so!

show1So, we started Monday night “school” with the Buckinghamshire Canine Society, who run ringcraft classes locally.  At just over 3 years old, I was almost certainly the oldest pupil there… mostly lots of puppies of various sizes.  And absolutely no other Welsh Terriers.  Lots of Italian Greyhounds, Frenchies, retrievers etc… In fact, I think I was the only terrier of any breed!

Safe to say, I absolutely LOVED it.  Like, really really loved it.  I was fed cheese cubes to stand nicely, I got to meet other dogs who liked to stand around, and got touched by strangers.  The Society were holding a show later that month, so I got entered into that…

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Chuck for Crufts Champion 2018

We’ve not updated our website in over a year.  Sorry about that!  We: moved house, moved kennel, moved jobs and have had much to do…

One of these things was turning me (me!) into a Show Dog.  That’s right, a full-on, ring-trained champion.  We started by attending local ringcraft classes once a week.  Mummy’s vision was to one day qualify for Crufts.  One day.

That day took less time than expected, as it happens.  It took precisely 4 months and 4 shows to qualify… Mummy is still in shock…

So my blog will get updated a little more regularly than before, will lots of interesting news about my flourishing show career!