Dog Showing


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Should You Pay A Professional Handler To Show Your Dog? 

Professional handlers win many dog shows, and very frequently. How is that so? But just consider it a moment. They work at their jobs all day, every day, not just at weekend shows, as do most of the people who complain about how much winning is done by the professionals. There are hundreds of professional handlers who has gone from early-morning breakfast until nine or ten at night without any food because he or she was too busy to stop.

Yes, they really work at their jobs. Allow me to make you a prediction: given an equally good dog on which you spend as much time as do the professionals, and when you learn how to show a dog as well, you will win just as often as they do. Many a time you will see the top professional handlers placed last in a good class, with an amateur in first place. So let's not complain when professionals beat us, but let's watch them, learn their secrets, equal their knowledge and ability, and you'll come out on top. Aside from costing you a lot less, I believe you will have a great deal more fun if you show your own dog and you will learn about dogs a lot faster.

A good professional handler, one licensed by the American Kennel Club and one who is a member of the Professional Handlers Association, will usually charge $20 to $30 to show your dog at a show. This does not include the entry fee - it might include the trimming charge, or the transportation charge, but it might not!

If the dog wins a Group, an additional charge is made, but this charge is usually agreed upon in advance. The owner gets the trophies but it is customary for the handler to keep all the prize money won by the dog. This in part explains why the professional handlers will always try to take into the show ring only good dogs who are really ready for competition. Naturally, they want prize money. The amount of prize money a dog wins is offered by and determined by the show-giving club, and usually varies according to the number of dogs entered in any given class.

In a way, it is unfortunate that there are too many owners who are so anxious to show their dog that they cannot wait until a dog is mature or in the proper coat or weight before they start to show. The professional is in a much better position in this regard. He can wait until a dog is ready to be shown because, if he is a good handler, his services are much in demand. He may even have a waiting list. He can choose from many dogs which one he thinks is really ready to go.

When a person employs a professional handler to show his dog, he is inclined to come to the show only if it is convenient, because he knows the dog will be properly cared for and handled. When he is going to handle his dog himself, he must be there at the appointed hour and he must stay until the time when the dogs are released. However, it is during this time that you learn so much about dogs and about shows. It is during this time that you meet other interested people, that you have time to see other dogs in your breed, and see where yours is better or where it is not.

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