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