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Last night grandson Ashley and I took Martha to her (and our) first ringcraft class. Although I've been a spectator at quite a number of shows and have a good idea of what we should be aiming for, it's how to get there that we need help with.

I was quite disappointed at last night's class, not with Martha, but with the way the class was run. It was obvious that we and another woman (Mandy) were the newbies there. The guy running the class asked Martha's age and I explained that this was not only her first class but ours as well (Mandy did the same). We'd both hoped to get some tips on how to get the dogs to stand etc but didn't get any from him. If it hadn't been for another woman standing by me, with a young Golden Retriever, talking me through a few things, the whole evening would have been a total waste of time.

The class was for all levels of experience and I think would have been far better split into separate ones, giving maybe half an hour more concentrated advice for each level, than an hour and a half of us mainly standing around doing nothing.

What's other people's experience of ringcraft classes? Am I expecting too much?
 

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Pretty much the same experience as you. We were ignored mostly and learnt nothing at all so after several attempts, I gave up and never went back!

We may have another go in the future but certainly not at the same class.
 

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Thanks Nikki. The woman I was talking to (with the GR) was far more helpful than the guy running the class and I think the only reason I'd have to go back there would be to get some tips from her.

There's a more local class but it's only once a month and I might give that a try.
 

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You'd think you would get lots of help and advice wouldn't you being new to the class but they seem to concentrate on those people and dogs that already know what they are doing.

I do think these clubs should have a seperate "starter class" for new people to showing, it would be much more useful and beneficial.

I would go back again and see if you get anywhere and also try the other class and see if thats any better.
 

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Sounds like you've had a bad experience, and I too would be rather dissappointed.

At the ringcraft classes I go to (albeit not so frequently now) they welcome newbies with open arms and spend extra time with them and their dogs showing them how their dogs should be presented for the show-ring, different techniques that can be used how to get them to stand and how to move them correctly etc. The more experienced people go for practice and/or when they have problems/are bringing out new dogs.

For me the above is surely the whole point of ringcraft...
 

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I took Mouse to ring craft classes twice. Like you Lynda, I wasn't given any advice or tips, the chap who 'judged' Mouse was so rough with her that it scared her, and all that seemed to happen was that people wandered in, stood about talking, ran their dog in a Triangle a couple of times, had the 'judge' man-handle it a bit, stood about talking again and then drifted home.

I got far more help and advice from a visit to a LF member who was lovely with me and Mouse.

I wouldn't go back to Ring Craft again- my 2 visits to the club were enough to put me off for life!

Becs and The Gang
 

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Sadly, many RC classes are the same right across the country :( at a show in Oxford a couple of years ago, there were a couple of Labs being stacked like Goldies - as they had been taught.

Sadly, the majority of clubs seem to run on a shoe string - and their advice can vary to a great degree dependent on the organisers own knowledge of showing.

There ARE good RC classes around - I don't go very often, but when I do - it is near enough a 40 mile round trip.

Hope you manage to find something.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
sue51 said:
at a show in Oxford a couple of years ago, there were a couple of Labs being stacked like Goldies - as they had been taught.
That's the thing Sue, we weren't even taught anything. Fortunately the woman with the Golden Retriever was aware of the differences and gave me some quite helpful advice (well, I hope it was :? )

There was no triangle, just straight across and back a couple of times and the week before, when I went along to watch, it was a match meeting and he appeared to have the dogs going the opposite way round the triangle to the way I'd always seen at shows.

The place I went to last night is around a 45 mile round trip so not exactly close, but I don't mind travelling if there's some benefit to it. There were times last night when I suspected we'd become invisible :roll:
 

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In my experience they are either very poor or excellent and it is very much down to the person who runs it / takes the class and goes over the dogs. I gave up with my local one - they were all bessie mates and didn't seem to know a thing about showing labs. I do have to travel quite a way now - but I certainly learn something every time I go. It is a shame that more show folks do not have the time to start more classes - (and I think finding decent reasonably priced venues can be difficult), they would be very popular!
 

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Lyndaloo said:
That's the thing Sue, we weren't even taught anything.
Without wanting to be nasty - knowing what you do and having some experience of shows and what happens there, you were probably better off than these people - i did give them some advice, but I was very new myself then, and asked one of the more experienced exhibitors to speak to them - they refused saying they would learn :(

Unfortunately, methinks they took their whole lead from that one experience plus RC, and sadly, don't show any more :( (nice pups as well :( )
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, it turns out the local monthly class isn't running in August, the next one being the 3rd Wednesday in September :( However, having spoken on the phone to the woman who's in charge and asked lots of questions, it seems as though it will be much, much better than the other class.

In the meantime we have a daily routine of me checking Martha's ears, looking in her mouth and generally working my hands down her body. Anyone visiting is invited to do the same. Hopefully that will help when I finally get her into the show ring. We've been to a local fun dog show and plan to go to another at the weekend, to get her used to be around lots of other dogs.

The showing is going to be my grandson Ashley's hobby but I suppose I'll have to bite the bullet and take her into the ring myself some of the time. I'd better search out some comfy shoes, higher necked tops and a good support bra :lol:
 

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Get as many 'strangers' to go over her as you can - Henry always allows me to look in his mouth but not the judges! :roll:
 

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lablandi said:
Get as many 'strangers' to go over her as you can - Henry always allows me to look in his mouth but not the judges! :roll:
:lol: :lol: :lol: Dogs! Don't you just love 'em
 

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Henry always allows me to look in his mouth but not the judges
Why do you want to look in the judge's mouth Jackie :wink: :wink: :wink:


Our ringcraft class is ok - not brilliant but ok. There are a few people who go without dogs just to watch and buy raffle tickets :roll:

Duds is a bit of a pain as he just wants to play. He stands nicely now if I hold some sausage but when the judge feels over him and looks at his teeth he tries to shake them off with a 'pi** off I'm concentrating on this sausage' movement and when we have to trot round he does it very grudgingly as if to say 'do I have to?'
 

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I worked/helped out a lady who has bred and judged spaniels for 20+ years as a teenager. I used to help get them ready for shows, walk them, train them and dog sit when the breeder was at shows with some of the other dogs.
I used to show my horses in-hand and wanted to learn how to show dogs. My friend/breeder who I helped used to show me at home and suggested going to ringcraft. She even lent me one of her show dogs to learn with so that it was a bit easier. She came along with me as she obviously knew all the people at ringcraft.
I was pretty much treated the same, and the person who helped me out? My friend and the dog I was with as I was pretty much shunned because I was a newbie.
During the break we went and got a coffee, people were happily talking to my friend about dogs, I'd say hello and I'd get one back then was pretty much ignored, even when my friend tried to involve me in the conversation.
I went a second time and the same happened again.
I thought I'd go one last time and the most I got spoken to was to ask me if I would be having a spaniel myself. I said not at the moment, I have collies but may show my merle. Eyes were rolled at me and I was told that merles don't show well and not to bother.

I never went again. I now am back living in Wales and hope to find a local ringcraft to take my choc lab bitch to. I'm hoping that I'm not met with the same response as I want to enjoy it, not dread it.
 

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Lynda it sounds like a bad class not that I have huge experience, Jack is starting junior handling with his first show in September :D

Found a class near to us, the first week was hard for him as a match night but he got stuck in, did everything incorrectly which actually gave the trainer and other junior handlers there a chance to know where to start with him.

Last week 2 junior handlers took time out to teach him and he also joined the adults to do his bit around the ring which again picked out points he had and hadn't understood.

They are a friendly bunch and I am very pleased with it so far :) especially as we get a cuppa nad biscuits at the end :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What a pity we don't live a bit nearer to your class, Carroll.

I'm going to give the class one last chance tomorrow evening and if it's not better I shan't bother going again and just go to the monthly, more local one. If it hadn't been for the fact that I'd explained that Martha, Ashley and I were complete novices, I would have suspected that the guy running the class had looked at me and thought 'At her age she should know what she's doing' :roll: Maybe I should hang L plates round my neck :lol:
 
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