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‘P’ Is for Punctual

Let’s face it. We all have a lot on our plate between managing our dogs, going to shows and trying to have a real life, not to mention everything else that comes our way. One way to help minimize the day-to-day stress, I think, is to be on time.

Being punctual can seem like an impossible task for many people these days – myself included. As I mentioned in a recent DFR, our dog show world is very fast-paced sometimes. One minute you’re cleaning up camp at one show, and the next minute you’re in the ring at another event. The speed at which things move in the dog show world is one reason it’s important to stress being on time.

Punctuality can do a lot of good to help minimize not only your stress and mine, but also the stress of everyone around us. It demonstrates that you are dependable. It also shows that you have respect for other people and that you care not only about your time, but you care just as much about theirs. It also sets a good example for our friends, families and for young handlers too.

One thing for young exhibitors to remember is that being on time is always a good thing. But is being on time a must for junior handlers? Perhaps proper Junior Showmanship etiquette would say, “Yes, punctuality is a must.” Others may say that if a conflict arises it is OK to enter a Junior Showmanship class late.

As a former junior handler, I distinctly remember the issue of punctuality coming up more than a few times. Ring times would overlap, and I had to decide if it was worth it – or the right thing – to show in another ring with the chance I’d either miss my junior ring time or arrive late.

The proper thing to do in this case is to ask the ring steward ahead of time if the juniors judge that day would allow a late entrance to a class because of a ring conflict. This is what I always did, but in the back of my mind there was a fear that tardiness would not get me the success I desired.

If juniors are the future of our sport and we also want to encourage them to become involved in other aspects of the dog show world, how can a judge say that they would not allow a late entry into the class? Or if they do allow it, should they hold it against the handler when it comes down to placing their class?

I hope you can be the judge by leaving a comment below. Voice your opinion on being punctual for the ring, and be sure to let us know if you are a junior, a juniors judge, a parent or guardian, a fancier or a spectator.

And remember: Dogs Freakin’ Rule!

Written by

Kayla Bertagnolli is a 23-year-old from Ogden, UT, who's been involved in the dog show world her whole life. A former junior handler who learned about breeding Beagles from her mother Leah, she assisted several professional handlers and is currently working to become a Junior Showmanship judge. Kayla is passionate about photography and writes the twice-weekly blog, DFR. She plans to continue breeding and showing, and expects to stay involved in dogs "for life!"