It’s funny that when the seasons change the chatter starts going around about what is the “right” thing to wear – as if there is some strict dress code by which we all abide. Well, maybe there is no actual dress code, but for some exhibitors there are definitely the “right” and “wrong” things to wear when it comes to being in the show ring.

The crowd that seems to get the most chatter going on about wardrobe just so happens to be the younger crowd. Yes, I’m talking about junior handlers. Now boys, I know what you’re thinking, “OK, this doesn’t apply to me.” Well think again, because I have experienced first-hand convos with younger handlers on what they are wearing. Let’s face it, whether you’re a boy or a girl, a lady or a gentleman, what we wear inside the ring does matter!

To Pin or Not to Pin
There has been a lot of debate on social media about whether or not handlers should wear their AKC Junior Showmanship pins in the ring. My question is, “Why not?” I honestly cannot think of one good reason that it would be a negative thing. After all, it’s kind of silly to think it would be bad since the AKC provides them for you to wear, right? Many suggest that it may come off as looking like you’re an amateur handler, but why not show your support and pride in the one thing that many believe is keeping our sport alive – you, the junior handlers?

A young male handler sports these ever-so-classic shoes in the Juniors ring.

For the Fellas
If you ask me, the fellas have it made! One word: suits. Seriously, you can do so much more in a suit, so you might as well look good while doing it! Spice up your outfit up with a personal touch of some sort that will help you to stand out, but in a good way. You may even plan a day to wear something goofy with your other friends by having a wild sock or bowtie day. Those kinds of things keep it light, even though you know you will be competing!

This skirt may be too much for some people, but this time it worked!

Little Ladies

It’s safe to say that girls worry the most about what they will wear in the ring. It can be so hard to find the right outfits for young ladies to wear in the ring, so mixing and matching is the only way to go. The main goal is to keep it professional, but with a kick of freshness. Just be sure to wear clothes that will not distract your four-legged partners. And remember, finding girls’ suits for the ring becomes much easier as we get older, believe me!

When it comes right down to it, I think we can all agree that the most important thing to remember is that we not only want our dogs to look their best in the ring, we can also take pride in how we’re dressed as well.

After all, Dogs Freakin’ Rule!