I will never really understand dog shows and I’m pretty sure I don’t want too! It has to be the strangest thing out. You rock up at some park, usually before the sun has woken up, set up tents, cages, crates and tables. Find a long list of numbers to go with every dog – make sure all the entries ae complete and get your dog ready. Luckily it doesn’t take much to get a labrador ready. Grab a wet cloth and make sure they are basically clean. If you feel really special trim their tail so it has a nicely rounded end. Nothing compared to those standard poodle show handlers. Wow they look amazing, but really how long should you spend on your dogs fur????

Any way eventually you get to go in the ring, so you take your dog on the smallest lead you can find, trott them around a ring, with other dogs, that they can’t play with and wait for the judge. They then check out your dog, whiel you try to encourage them not to play with the judge. Can be difficult for the labradors and then it’s time to trott again. The judge eventually (can seem like hours at big shows) makes a decision based on the breed standard. Well that’s what is supposed to happen, but rarely does. It is of course the opinion of one person, who may have a certain bias. For example American judges like big labradors – scratch Stitch, although he is still filling out. European judges tend towards smaller, lighter labbys. Scratch Stitch – he’s going to be a boofy boy! Then there are Australian Judges who sit somewhere in the middle. Of course it doesn’t actually seem to have any consistency – you can put the same dogs in the same classes for two shows on the same day and get completely different results!!! How does this happen? Well, as I said “I don’t get shows!” I don’t understand any of it. What I do know is that it’s fun to be with your dog – who wouldn’t enjoy some one on one time with their best friend (even if you are being judged). I also know its a fantastic opportunity for the students of Labs ‘n Life to get dressed up and proudly show their dogs. These students often don’t have a lot of opportunities to be proud of themselves, showing is definitely great for them. The last thing I know is you always take the best dog home!!!!!

So I show Stitch on occasions – he now knows what to do in the ring and can be shown by anyone, so that’s pretty good. My girls loved their mini handler class last year and want to do it again, so maybe I can retire soon LOL! Anyway if you look at is as a fun chance to be with your dog, good friends and their dogs then it’s a good day. For those of you who show dogs more seriously do not be offended, I admire your dedication! It’s just not me! Of course the Royal Adleaide show is looming and at Labs ‘n Life we have 34 dogs entered, including 7 teams! Most of our dogs, all of the teams will be shown by our students. I will jump in the ring with Stitch and while of course I’d love to score a ribbon just getting a cuddle from my little man and seeing the smile on the faces of my girls when I run around the ring will be enough!

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