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Well, Pops has fitted in a treat. Her coat has darkened too which seems a common thing amongst yellows. She was very pale but is now a dark honey colour. It seems her Dad really stamped himself on his first two litters. I’ve seen photos of Pops litter mates and half siblings (the litters were born two days apart) and you can barely tell them apart.

She’s a pretty little thing but, boy, is she feisty. The good thing is she’s incredibly biddable, her recall is currently second to none, even when she’s playing with her buddies. She passed her puppy assessment with 100% which is brilliant.

She was entered into her first show at 4 months and 1 week and she got ranked as very promising and best baby in breed. The judge was very complimentary about her when he spoke to me afterwards. He liked Freddie too but felt his head was too big. Freddie is very masculine which isn’t to everyone’s taste I know. At the same show he got first place, was ranked excellent and was best junior in breed. By the way, his eyes aren’t really as pale as they appear.

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Fine looking dogs. :cool:
I love chunkys, though I've never had one. :D

I also like reading about the dogs in show. I just wouldn't have the time. :rolleyes:


:D
 

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I don’t really do anything else. At the moment the shows are outdoors and are way way too hot for me. From September we’ll probably do one or two a month. It’s expensive to enter, the travel costs are even greater because of the huge distances involved, you can only enter one class with each dog so it’s only worth going if you have a half decent dog. We’ve built up a collection of ribbons and “silverware” (aka silver coloured plastic) already.

It is fun, I’ve found possibly the only ringcraft class in France and am learning that there’s so much more to it than just running around a ring. A good handler can make or break a dog. Freddie is a total natural. He moves beautifully and will stand perfectly with his feet in precisely the right place to show off his angulation and top line. The judge going over him has been more of a challenge but we’re getting there. His next show is with the British judge Frank Kane, so I hope Freddie behaves. Pops is a work in progress, she moves well but hasn’t yet got her foot positioning quite right, not for me anyway...though when my ringcraft teacher handles her she does it perfectly! She’s entered in to the same show as Freddie but her judge is Shaun Williamson. It’s the retriever Club of France National breed show, so a bit of a biggie for retriever breeds, I’ll have the added pressure that their breeder will be there and probably watching me. Last time I took one of her dogs to a show where she was there was in 2007 and her daughter handled my dog for me.

It’s nice in France that as well as a placing you also get a ranking. Excellent, very good, good, insufficient for adults. Similar for puppies. You’ve achieved if you get an excellent but don’t get a placing and in certain shows this qualifies for a “red” entry on the dogs pedigree.

I’ve met some lovely people, not many lab people because they don’t talk to me because I have dogs that could be competition to them. Showing in France is not for hobbyists but for mostly professional breeders. If my dog wins, they potentially lose income. I tend to spend the day with owners of other breeds....polish lowland sheepdogs, Dalmatians (which I’ve also handled), Sussex spaniels and various other spangly breeds, Goldie’s, Bichon Bolognaise, Bullmastiff and soon a curly coated Retriever. I love dogs!
 

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Showing has never really interested me to any great extent. I’ve shown so many different breeds, Pointers, Poodles, Flatcoats, Goldens, Labradors, even Japanese Spitze. One thing I have never shown is my own dogs! In the last 12 years the only place I’ve shown at has been Crufts which is not easy, when you only showing once a year. My interest has always been more in the handling direction, originally in competitive Obedience, and later in gundog work, although these days I’ve had my fill of competition. I've judged and stewarded in the Obedience ring and Gundog Working Tests. About the only thing I've missed out on is stewarding at Crufts, although I have stewarded at the LKA which is the second largest show here in the UK. These days my competition days are over. I spend my time assisting our gamekeeper as a 12 months of the year job. But one thing is certain, I have had a LOT of fun with dogs over the years.
 

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I’ve done competitive obedience and agility in the past. I turned to showing because I can no longer run fast enough for agility and competitive obedience in France is something altogether different. The downside of showing here is that if they do well and in order to get their national and international titles, they’ll have to have competed in a field trial too. They don’t need to be placed but need to be graded at least “very good”. They also have to have been health checked, hips and elbows. Finding somewhere where you can learn the skills required is a challenge. Our nearest training is a 200 mile round trip away.
 
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Gundog training is very easy to find here in comparison. Few people will be much more than 30 minutes from training. The only down side is that some gundog trainers can be quite heavy handed, so people need to be rather careful, and be prepared to walk away if the training is not to their liking.
 

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I’ve done competitive obedience and agility in the past. I turned to showing because I can no longer run fast enough for agility and competitive obedience in France is something altogether different. The downside of showing here is that if they do well and in order to get their national and international titles, they’ll have to have competed in a field trial too. They don’t need to be placed but need to be graded at least “very good”. They also have to have been health checked, hips and elbows. Finding somewhere where you can learn the skills required is a challenge. Our nearest training is a 200 mile round trip away.
Crikey that's a trek! And I thought it was bad having to travel about 30 miles for a round trip to ring craft!
 

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I do 30 mile round trip for ring craft, obedience and flyball. Each in different direction. A trip to a big supermarket is a 40 mile round trip. Lol.
 

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I do 30 mile round trip for ring craft, obedience and flyball. Each in different direction. A trip to a big supermarket is a 40 mile round trip. Lol.
The nearest supermarket to me is about 5 miles away, but it's not a big supermarket. The nearest proper supermarket is probably about 20 miles away, but I tend to shop small and local. The gundog training stuff I'll probably do a lot myself, it is just the ring craft stuff I'll want help with.
 

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I can walk to my nearest supermarket in less than 15 minutes, but I drive because it is all uphill going home with the shopping. But then, I tend to only go about once a month. If I need anything in between then it's the corner shop just 10 houses away.
 

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I can walk to my nearest supermarket in less than 15 minutes, but I drive because it is all uphill going home with the shopping. But then, I tend to only go about once a month. If I need anything in between then it's the corner shop just 10 houses away.
I'm popping out soon to do my normal Saturday morning run around, and need to pick up more puppy food. I've got a fabulous local butchers who get me chicken frames for the girls, and a market stall where I get fruit and veg from. Anything else is the small pop in supermarket usually, and it's a ten mile round journey for me to do that, so definitely the car!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
The nearest supermarket to me is about 5 miles away, but it's not a big supermarket. The nearest proper supermarket is probably about 20 miles away, but I tend to shop small and local. The gundog training stuff I'll probably do a lot myself, it is just the ring craft stuff I'll want help with.
A good ringcraft class makes a massive difference. A good handler can make or break a dog. I was so lucky to find a class run by a British lady who has bred, shown and worked curly coats and Sussex and also judges. In my class we have a Dalmatian, a cocker, a Goldie, sometimes a Bernese but he lives in the UK most of the year, us and a bullmastiff. It’s great we get to swap dogs, learn about conformation, get hands on, get to pretend to be a judge, learn about the tricks fellow competitors will do to upstage you, the different speeds to move at for different parts of a triangle, for example, looking out for where the judge is and switching hands. We get different people to go over the dogs so they get used to being handled by others, testicles and teeth in particular. I’ve also looked at the online videos of Eric Salas. He has some great handling tips, though not all are applicable to our breed. I love it, so much to learn.
 
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Back in the days when I had Beth, we had several young handlers doing the KC Junior Handling, so Beth, being good handling on the fore or the back was the ideal demo dog. Tee's, Reverse Tee's, Triangles and figure 8's were the order of the day.
 

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Back in the days when I had Beth, we had several young handlers doing the KC Junior Handling, so Beth, being good handling on the fore or the back was the ideal demo dog. Tee's, Reverse Tee's, Triangles and figure 8's were the order of the day.
The junior handlers do those sorts of things but in actual shows there’s very little time for the judges to request fancy moves. The most complicated is a triangle usually and it depends on the size of the triangle to see if you can or need to incorporate fancy moves. With long sides and a short top you’d benefit from doing a circle at each corner to add additional distance and create Impulsion to drive forward along the top end where the judge really needs to see forward movement.

I noticed that as well as junior handlers there’s now a class for “senior” handlers...over 55. There’s hope for us yet!
 

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In the UK the junior handler classes is a handling class rather than a show class and most big shows hold a junior handler class. Something else often thrown in is to swap dogs and handle somebody else's dog. It's quite a flourishing organisation, with summer camps, with both competitions and courses. The highlight of the year is to be chosen as the guard of honour in the big ring at Crufts for the best in show judging.
 

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In the UK the junior handler classes is a handling class rather than a show class and most big shows hold a junior handler class. Something else often thrown in is to swap dogs and handle somebody else's dog. It's quite a flourishing organisation, with summer camps, with both competitions and courses. The highlight of the year is to be chosen as the guard of honour in the big ring at Crufts for the best in show judging.
Yes, it’s the same here. Most annoying as it’s usually after breed judging and before group judging and inevitably makes everything run later and later. Why they can’t do junior handling earlier,I’ll never know (apart from maybe a shortage of dogs to handle and judges).
 
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