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Studying The Results Of Experienced Handlers
Good advice for people who want to show their dog is to watch the good handlers in your breed. It is also wise of you to know your breed well. Here is one very good reason why this is important: A novice watches a good handler show a dog. He sees the handler place his hand on the dog's rump, between the hipbones and the tail set.
The handler makes sure the judge has seen him do this. The judge looks at the same spot on the other dogs in the class and gives the first prize to the handler of whom we're speaking. The novice, if he doesn't know why the handler acted as he did, mimics the handler when he shows his dog but with disastrous results. Why? The novice did not know he was pointing out a fault in his dog whereas the handler was pointing out a good spot on his dog.
The Standard of perfection for the breed in question states that this breed should have a medium-high tail set. The smart handler noticed when he came into the ring that his dog had a very good tail set but the other dogs in the ring were faulty at this spot.
Where the competition is keen, these things count quite a lot. The handler placed his hand on his dog's good spot, the judge saw it, recognized that the dog excelled here, looked at the other dogs, realized that they were faulty here, and gave the award to the handler. The novice, if he doesn't know his breed, does the same thing, but instead of pointing out his dog's good spot, he points out what may be his dog's main fault, a poor tail set. The same situation might exist regarding throat on a dog, or clean-cut shoulders, or good feet, or any number of spots where a dog excels, when pointed out, it may help the decision come your way.
It is best if you do not try to point out good or bad parts of your dog until you know very well what they are and how best to point them out, and until you are able to recognize as soon as you enter the ring whether or not it is to your advantage to point them out. When you feel you do know, please don't be obnoxious about it. If you cannot do it in a nice way, don't do it at all.
At times during a dog show there has been two excited handlers who decided to show the judge how good their dogs were. They got so intent on what they were doing, each trying to outdo the other, that the judge became annoyed. He said they were insulting his intelligence - that he could and would find the dog of his liking without any further help from the handlers. This could prove disastrous results for you if not taken into account during a dog show.
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