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BISD Polls: Dog Show Attire, Consecutive Shows, Welcoming Newbies and Finding Majors

Each week Best In Show Daily asks readers to chime in on a topical dog-related question derived from a recently published article or blog. Today we’re taking a look at your views on lucky charms in the ring, the number of consecutive days you’re willing to show your dogs, the best way to welcome new exhibitors and the frequency of finding majors. Enjoy these summaries to see how your fellow fanciers voted in last month’s polls.

Exhibitors have a variety of favorite items (including their dogs) to take into the ring for good luck. Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.com.

Lucky Charms and Fashion Favorites
A strict dress code may not exist for dog show exhibitors, but there are definite choices to be made when it comes to show ring attire. In a recent edition of DFR titled, “What to Wear: Junior Edition” Kayla Bertagnolli provides a little insight into the choices available to young handlers – both ladies and gentlemen. The girls have plenty of fashion options to consider, including second-hand and never-worn suits, whereas the boys can always spice up their look with a pair of wild socks or a clever bowtie. We wanted to know how much consideration Best In Show Daily readers gave to their ensembles and learned that for the majority of respondents, it’s the accessories that matter most. Forty percent told us that they’re never in the ring without their lucky show lead, and another 27 percent are never without a favorite comb or brush. Fifteen percent of the ladies let us know that fashion – or comfort – rules when it comes to a favorite blazer, skirt or shoes, and five percent of the men expressed pride in a lucky jacket, tie or pair of socks. Good luck may be more important than fashion when it comes to putting a dog show outfit together. In fact, 13 percent of respondents indicated they take a lucky charm into the ring.

Consecutive Dog Shows
In “Short Circuits Benefit Owner-Handlers,” contributing writer Rhoda Springer extols the virtues of a two-day show weekend. Although three-, four- and five-day clusters are the norm these days, Rhoda expressed concern that the Saturday-Sunday combo is going the way of the Dodo bird. With show weekends getting longer and longer – some stretching into double digits – we were curious to learn from our readers what you feel is a manageable number of consecutive dog show days. Exactly one-third of those who answered our question indicated that three days are ideal. About another quarter, or 26 percent, are in Rhoda’s camp and prefer the traditional two-day weekend. One out of five respondents go to extremes and told us “there’s no such thing as too many dog shows,” and another fifth are happy to go to four shows in a row. A single voter indicated that when it comes to spending the weekend at a dog show, one day is plenty.

Welcoming Newbies
In her weekly feature, “Shows Closing,” Senior Editor Christi McDonald presents the many fun and innovative special activities offered to exhibitors at upcoming all-breed shows. Raffles, auctions and armband drawings are just some of the events that entice seasoned fanciers to enter their dogs, but what’s the best way to welcome new exhibitors to the world of purebred dogs? We wanted to know how you think newbies can be introduced to the dog sport, and more than a third of those who responded to our poll, or 35 percent, indicated that a personal invitation to a club event is always nice. Nearly another third, or 31 percent, feel that Meet the Breeds events are best as they allow time for social interaction with both fanciers and their dogs. Twenty-two percent like the idea of guided dog show tours for spectators and new exhibitors, and another 9 percent think that “I’m With the Dog Show” buttons are great conversation starters. Three percent of respondents took time out from their busy schedules to let us know they put in all those miles because they’re professional handlers. Only 3 percent of respondents feel that website promotions and email blasts are the way to go.

Finding Majors
In The Back Story titled, “What Did That Title Cost?” Billy Wheeler takes a look at phenomena of breed entries made up by the same breeder/owner. “Now that’s a red flag for me,” Billy says, acknowledging that in the less popular breeds it’s sometimes unavoidable. However, rare breed or not, it’s no secret that entries have been shrinking across the country in virtually every breed for the past decade at least, making it difficult to finish a worthy dog’s championship. So with this in mind, we wanted to know how difficult it has become to find majors in your breed. The responses from readers indicate that even a three-point major is a rarity these days. Seventy-eight percent, or nearly eight out of 10 respondents, indicate that majors are few and far between. Eight percent told us that finding majors is easier in bitches, whereas only 2 percent said the same thing for dogs. Eight percent of those who participated in our poll feel that there are plenty of majors to go around, and another 4 percent indicated that only the professional handlers are able to pick up majors on their clients’ dogs. Surely it isn’t just the rare breeds that are a rarity in the show ring today.

All of us at Best In Show Daily hope that you enjoy participating in our poll questions. Feel free to join in the fun by sharing your opinion each week about the issues that affect the dog world. It takes only a single click on our home page (www.bestinshowdaily.com) for your voice to be heard.

Written by

Dan Sayers started “in dogs” through a chance encounter with a Springer Spaniel in 1980. A student of dogs ever since, he’s shown Spaniels and Hounds in the conformation ring and breeds Irish Water Spaniels under the Quiet Storm prefix. A dog lover with a passion for the creative arts, Dan has worked as a freelance writer, photographer and illustrator for many years. His feature articles and columns have appeared in Dogs in Review, Dog World and the AKC Gazette, and his design work has appeared in dozens of publications in North America and abroad. An interest in all things “dog” brought Dan to Best In Show Daily, where he gets to work with the most dynamic group of fanciers every day. He lives in Merchantville, New Jersey, with his partner, Rudy Raya, Irish Water Spaniel, Kurre, and the memory of Oscar, a once-in-a-lifetime Sussex Spaniel.
  • Anon. August 9, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    I am a newbie to dogs. I got involved by going to shows near my hometown, and googling breeders of breeds I liked when I got home. Having a website, as a breeder, is very useful for someone like me with no connections but a lot of drive.

    • Kathy G August 10, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      It is best to study the BREED STANDARD as listed with the AKC. Take a copy of
      the standard with you to the dog shows and sit ringside to see if you agree with what the judge is placing as it compares to the breed standard. If you are not familiar with the terminology, then you need to learn that first. Go to many shows. Talk to the
      people ringside and ask their opinion on the dogs as they are shown. Chances are
      you will receive many different opinions on the “correctness” of the dog. If there are any breed seminars open to the public, attend them. Judges can give awards and ribbons to whomever they wish – some are unfamiliar with the breed standard but they judge. Just because the judge puts you up, gives you a ribbon, a trophy, a title doesn’t mean that you have a standard dog. If you are interested in a certain breed then you should study all aspects of that breed first.

  • Linda August 11, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    My puppy’s sister won 4 BOW in a row, for a total of 4 points. Makes you wonder why you got out of bed in the morning.

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