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Old 18-04-2019, 07:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Weve done four shows so far, each time Freddie has received the highest rating for a puppy, very promising. Once he even got best male puppy in breed....okay so there was only one male puppy

In France you get a critique following every show, in fact as soon as breed judging is complete. His latest was the best yet, Im so proud of him. He was so incredibly naughty but still the judge (who was british) liked him. So far weve been judged (in the French equivalent of international champ shows) by French, Swiss, Slovenian and British judges. All have liked him which is lovely, one even became my friend on FB and send us tips and advice.

On Saturday, its our first show in one of the junior classes, under a very scary French breed judge. I just need to remind myself its a nice day out. Worst case scenario, well be home be lunchtime.

Ive been really lucky to find a British lady, a curly coated retriever breeder and judge, that lives locally to me and offers ringcraft classes which are brilliant.

If you want to have a go showing, do it! Ive been so lucky and a group of us, all with different breeds, go to shows together. Its lovely.
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Old 18-04-2019, 08:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Freddy sounds like he's coming along well!

Dog competition events can be quite social events, and like Nicola says, why not dip your toe in the water. It could be the start of a whole new hobby.
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Old 18-04-2019, 09:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don’t think he’ll ever be a champion but the ringcraft classes are so educational, learning about bone structure and movement. I’m really enjoying learning. We have a pretty wide variety of breeds too...lab, Goldie, working cocker, dalmatian, bullmastiff, Bichon Bolognese, Bernese and a Sussex Spaniel. Freestanding, hand stacked, fluffies and smooth. We’ve covered head, ear and eye placement and shoulder construction so far. Learnt the names for different parts of the dog in English and French. It’s like being at school learning about your very favourite subject!
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Old 18-04-2019, 11:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I used to use my old Beth in ringcraft to demonstrate handling to the junior handlers. Beth would handle on the fore or back, so ideal for Tee's, reverse Tee's or figure eights.
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Old 19-04-2019, 03:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I loved showing, unfortunately my Pointer didn't. It's a lovely hobby and a great way to meet like minded people. I wouldn't mind having another go one day but neither of my present labs are show material.
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Old 19-04-2019, 04:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've never shown my own dogs, always somebody else who happened to by "A bit busy at the moment." I've shown Flatcoats, Pointers, Labradors, Japanese Spitz and even a miniature Poodle. (And for someone well over 6 foot that was not easy!) I've even shown in both the Breed Ring and Gamekeepers Ring at Crufts. I've never stewarded at Crufts, but I have stewarded at the second biggest show, the LKA. But I always preferred the working side starting in competitive Obedience before moving to gundog work and qualified for the finals of the Game Conservancy working test, held at The Midland Game Fair. But we don't compete in anything these days, that part of my life is behind me. I've also retired from instructing and taking classes, although I do still occasionally go out with a couple of friends to do a little training. Dogs have been very good to me over the years,
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Old 20-04-2019, 12:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We’ve been to a show today, first out of puppy in a junior class where things start getting a bit more serious. Thankfully Freddie quite likes showing (apart from having his teeth looked at but that’s something we’re working on.)

The judge was a breed specialist, he breeds labradors and was president of the French Retriever Club so he knows his stuff. At Freddie’s age he can’t win anything towards a ticket or title but you just get placed, 1st 2nd etc and you get a grading Excellent, Very Good, Good, insufficient and a critique. People had filled me with terror but the Judge was lovely, couldn’t have been nicer and knew how to deal with a boisterous young male Labrador. First thing he said was that Freddie was a good size! I’d been worried he would be too big, he is tall compared to others being shown. Anyway the judge liked him, great critique, the only thing against him was that the judge felt his shoulders were a little too straight for his liking (the last judge said they were excellent so you can never tell).

We came second, as expected, BUT got rated as excellent. Excellent from a top breed judge is great stuff. Plus with coming second? You can come home early!
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Old 20-04-2019, 02:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wonderful Nicola! Now it's onwards and upwards.
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Old 20-04-2019, 04:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Our next is on 5th May, outdoors, which will be a new experience altogether.

Another lovely thing about today...the staff of the club running it were fabulous. From the gentlemen supervising the car parks, to pointing me to where there was a ramp not steps, the secretariat where I picked up the catalogue and located our ring and then a young lady asked if I’d like her to help. I didn’t really need help but said yes and she pushed my trolley and found us a spot near our ring, then offered to get me a chair. Gosh, what a difference a little bit of kindness makes. I think it was our nicest show yet.
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Old 20-04-2019, 04:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandyb View Post
I loved showing, unfortunately my Pointer didn't. It's a lovely hobby and a great way to meet like minded people. I wouldn't mind having another go one day but neither of my present labs are show material.
I bought a lab to be my foundation bitch. She really hated showing and it was then I discovered the importance the French judges place on full dentition. She had 6 premolars missing and that, combined with her timidness in the ring, meant shed never pass the test showing that she conformed to breed standard. No confirmation means no full pedigree. I kept her when I really should have passed her on but we all loved her and shes still with us now. Freddies mother is her half sister. The irony is that he will almost certainly pass confirmation but will never be used for breeding.
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