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Starting Over For Junior Handlers

With December quickly approaching, all of you junior handlers out there are already a month into the new year, at least as far as qualifying for the big shows of 2013 and 2014 goes!

For all of those juniors who made their way up to the Masters class in 2012, it’s time to return back to your regular Open class. This is the first time in history anyone will have had to do this, and it’s likely to be a pretty rough adjustment for some. The only way to make the best of it is to keep positive thoughts and continue to work hard! Starting over from scratch can be tough, so it will be interesting to see how the competition at upcoming shows plays out with all of the classes flip-flopped.

As far as we know, no new rules are being presented for the 2013 show year. This is a good thing since most juniors are still getting used to the old ones. You can read about all of last year’s new rules in one of my previous DFRs here.

For those of you looking to qualify with five first-place wins from an Open class for the 2013 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, you have from mid-October 2012 to mid-October 2013. Don’t forget to keep your grades above a 3.0 GPA in order to complete your entry form!

And for the second year, in order to qualify for the 2014 Westminster Kennel Club show you will need to win seven Best Junior Handler awards, with competition, by October 31, 2013.

Now some of you may already be well on your way to being a month into the new junior year, but after AKC/Eukanuba many of you will be taking a break from shows. It’s important to remember to practice during the holidays and spend time with your dogs in order to be focused after the break!

If you haven’t done so yet and are interested in seeing if your name is on this year’s list of 2013 Westminster junior invitees it has been published and may be viewed now! Congrats to all of this year’s invitees! Sadly, the total is significantly less, down from approximately 140 last year to 96 this year.

It’s a new junior year with new things to work toward and new goals to set! Voice your opinions on the Masters class, and let me know who will be attending the big shows this year below in the comment section!

P.S. 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!"