My first experience at a dog show was ironically a shit show. I was so nervous the whole time I never really got settled in and relaxed. This continued for the next couple of years or so. I want to help anyone reading this article to get better acquainted with going to shows more quickly. First ill explain what is absolutely a none negotiable from day 1. Second well talk about sportsmanship in the ring and I know we all “know it” but yall need a refresher. Then ill share some good hacks for you guys to groom your dog the week before a show.
Some of the things I’m going to share with you are things I do now to this day and if I had started doing them the day I started going to shows I would be a lot further along with my reputation. So, the next time you find yourself at a show make sure to talk to EVERYONE! Talk to people about their dog, how the dog was bred, who the dog’s sire and dam are. Talk to them about how long they’ve been breeding and if they were planning on dropping a litter any time soon. The best advice is to be genuinely interested in the answers. Don’t fake this because they will know if your doing it just, so they can be polite and ask about your situation. If they don’t it’s ok, sparking a conversation isn’t for them, its for you. Its for you to get acquainted with people in your niche that most likely you will see at every show. It’s true I did talk to a lot of people when I first started but I made the mistake of only associating myself with people that we’re winning. I didn’t purposely do this, I wanted to know what I had to do to start winning in the ring. Now when you catch me at a show I’m shaking hands, petting dogs, holding conversations with complete strangers because I now understand they you YOU reading this are my community!
Sportsmanship! I’m tempted to sight the definition here for some of you all because it is not resonating. I’m not talking about the handshakes you see after some wins or loses. What I’m talking about if true sportsmanship and true understanding. We’ve all been in the loser’s circle just as much as the winner’s circle, some more than others. When we are at a show that’s held in the middle of nowhere we’ve all traveled far to get there and don’t want to go home empty-handed. Win or lose we need to all keep in mind we are in this together. Without one another showing up there would be no awards given out because there must be someone who loses if there is to be a winner. Remember that next time.
The last thing you all need to learn is how to groom your dogs. When you run into an experienced dog man and show-goer like myself from the moment I see you I’m breaking down your dog. I’m talking about intensely! Mostly because I’m an admirer of the breed but also to see what advantages I have or don’t have over you if I were to show against you in the ring. That’s right, I love dogs and I love American bullies, but make no mistake about it, I’m there to win. I’m there to show you what superior preparation and a superior dog can do. That competitiveness starts and stops with the show ring. So, here are some tips to get your dog to look as good as possible out there. 1. Never wash your dogs with less than a week to go before the show. You want the coat nice a clean and you want any white spots to be so white it almost pops off the coat. Then you want to make sure the coat in nice and shiny to blind someone when the sun catches it just right. 2. Brush their coat until every hair is sitting flush to their bodies. 3. Their nails should be short and trimmed. This isn’t a last-minute thing. I always know when someone doesn’t give it much attention or no attention at all and I’ll tell you right now, it looks sloppy! Also depending on surface long nails can throw up the structure and look of the feet. There are two other things I do but I cannot bring myself put them in this article. So, if you made it this far Dm, email, or text me and I will give you the last two secrets.