Show Dog People

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by HayleyMarie, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. HayleyMarie

    HayleyMarie Like a bat outa' hell

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    What made you decided to show?

    What are the pros and cons of showing?

    What breed did you pick and WHy??

    Edit: How did you get into showing??
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  2. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    I've wanted to show a dog in the breed ring since I was little, something about being super competitive and having the best example of your breed. I chose danes because there is nothing in my opinion more gorgeous than a well-bred dane with that "Look at me" attitude.
     
  3. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

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    I remember seeing Westminster on regular tv( yes that many moons ago) and thought that it was cool. Back then I thought of it as the ultimate showing off your dog. and lets face it who doesn't like to show off their dogs. LOL Little did I know that every person on the end of that breed may not own that dog. That was my first glimpse of the show world. 6 years ago I had the chance to try it. That and family and friends didn't think I had it in me. Truthfully I wasn't sure I had it in me. But I've never been one to let others tell me I can't do something. So I tried it, and found out I liked it.
    Pros are, it can be fun, its a good way to bond with your dog, meeting new people and getting together with old ones. For me its the ultimate hobby. I can interact with people yet I don't have to if I don't want to. You learn to be an awesome packer. LOL
    Cons are, there can be quite a bit of drama behind the scenes. It can get lonely at times. It is expensive. Its alot of hard work, not only at the shows but before and after the shows.

    I am sure there are more pros and cons, but those are what came to mind.
    As far as what breed I picked and why. I picked Dalmatians, because I love how flashy they are, yet great family dogs. And because I have had a dal in my life since I was two and I can't see ever not having one.
     
  4. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I assume you mean conformation shows?

    It was sort of a natural progression. I became involved in dogs when I was 11 through a 4H dog club, which I stayed in until I aged out and still help with (sorta makes me feel old though LOL). The club was all oriented towards old fashioned obedience but one of the advisors showed Collies and Belgians. As I got more involved in dogs, through 4H and the local training club I made more and more dog friends and many of them showed in conformation in addition to other stuff. Then when I became involved in Belgians, it was sort of expected that you'd get a CH as well as performance titles.


    LOL the cons would seem to outweigh the pros for sure ;) The biggest pro is the people I've met and become friends with through showing. And it's fun to meet goals - finish a dog, finish a Bred-By dog, etc. It's competitive which a lot of people like but at a point, you realize it is what it is and may not be terribly meaningful. I've done it so long though that it's hard to imagine not showing in breed. Plus early on my vision of a perfect Belgian was one with a CH and lotsa other titles.

    Now the cons...

    Well it's expensive. Sometimes really, really expensive. And depending on the breed and how determined you are to finish your dog. it can become all consuming chasing those points/majors. It's almost like gambling in a way. In performance, you can be pretty sure your dog will do well prior to entering them. That isn't the case with conformation at all. The popular show breeds are extremely hard to finish without a handler, especially if you are a newbie to showing. Most of those breeds require a certain "type" to win. The less common/less competitive breeds are generally not handler breeds but you face other challenges with them. Such as just trying to get enough together for majors, having to travel further, having judges who don't know (or sadly care) what they should be looking for in your breed. But as a newbie, you are much better to go the route of the less popular show breeds. Finishing your first show dog on your own in any breed is hard but in the really competitive breeds, it's almost impossible.

    And then there's a system at work with the conformation shows. They are set up so that only a certain number of dogs will finish every year. If too many dogs finish or there are too many majors in an area, the point system changes to make it harder. In the popular breeds, it's not uncommon to have 20 or more class dogs/bitches competing against each other at shows, yet only two of them each day will get points. Did I mention this can become expensive and all consuming?

    Still a bad day at the dog show is still better than a good day at work. I always have fun at the shows, it's hanging out all day with my dogs, my dog friends talking about dogs! And my involvement in it has taken me places I'd have never gone otherwise and made me friends I would have never met.

    I originally showed GSDs and Belgians but the Belgians came first and my involvement in showing GSDs didn't last very long. The Belgian community is generally pretty welcoming to newbies and it is possible to show your own dog to a CH. The GSD show scene is extremely competitive and right from the start I was urged to get a handler "if I really expected to finish my dog" by just about everyone. Plus Belgians are a breed where a dog can be BISS at the National and win the Versatility Award (highest scoring dog in combined performance venues). Not so much in GSDs.

    Like I said, I had friends who showed before I got involved in it. And I already did obedience and agility with my dogs so it wasn't hard to start going to conformation shows. Plus I was still Juniors age, so people were pretty encouraging ;)
     
  5. PitBullLove

    PitBullLove Member

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    What made you decided to show?
    I had been involved in 4-H since I was 8 and finished my first dog in AKC when I was 11 years old. I got more into it after that and people began asking me to train and handle their dogs, and I started to enjoy it more and more but recently have been drifting in and out of the show world because of how busy things have been lately and there aren't many shows during this season where I live anyways.

    What are the pros and cons of showing?
    Pros:
    So many great people to meet, it's a great way to meet other dog lovers and breeders, and a great way to get more involved in dogs if showing is something you decide to do and something you decide you like. I met Romy through a dog show! :) I enjoy it because I love dogs. I always have fun at shows.

    Cons:
    It's freakin' EXPENSIVE. Entry fees, hotel fees, the price of gas. It is all VERY expensive. And although you do meet a lot of great people at shows, people in Conformation and especially in certain breeds are RUDE AS HELL. There have been dogs poisoned at AKC shows, and I've had people bash on me or stare at me and laugh while I am in the ring because I called their handler out on being abusive. The last show I was at POLICE came. Yes. To a dog show. It's something you'll see as you get more and more involved, it also depends on the breed you are involved in and who you are involved with. Some people are really nice at shows, some breeds have nicer people involved in them than others for some reason. But we're all there because WE LOVE DOGS! So why do people have to be snobs, why can't we all just get along?! :cry: It also has a specific system to it, as posted above. And also a specific pointing system depending on whether you are involved in AKC or UKC. If you do get involved in Conformation, be involved with other clubs, too. Agility, Flyball, Dock Diving, Weight Pulling, Lure Coursing, and whatever else. A GREAT breeder I worked with actually dropped out of the Conformation show world and got primarily into all those other sports specifically because Conformation people were so snobby and caniving to her.

    I'm not trying to scare you away at all though! :) I'm sure it depends on where the shows are, too. That's the way they are here sometimes.

    I would suggest buying a few books on it, too, and familiarizing yourself with it and the point system, etc. etc.

    What breed did you pick and WHY??
    I started with showing Boxers. The first dog I ever finished was a Boxer, which was a huge feat because Boxers are very competitive in AKC. I also got into agility with a different Boxer at this time and got more and more into the show world. I began showing American Eskimos, Greyhounds, Dobermans, and APBTs as well. Now, I usually just show APBTs for the breeder I work with and anytime I'm at a show I usually end up being asked to show someone's APBT. I love everything about them and I really enjoy working with them and showing them, they are my pride and joy. If I'm not showing a dog I stand at the side of the ring, moving around so I can see the APBTs, squinting my eyes, guessing the bloodlines, lol, ya that's me. Buuut I rarely agree with the judge's choice when it comes to UKC APBT's now so I decided not to attend the last few shows I was going to go to. It's a waste of money and time if the judge doesn't know jack about your breed and picks the worst example of the breed.

    How did you get into showing?
    I began with showing Boxers and then got into it more and more and found a few breeders to work with. Now I stick with UKC because for one I primarily train and show APBTs and the people are nicer for the most part. I won't even get started about my thoughts on AKC here, but if you PM me down the road if you decide you are interesting in showing a dog in AKC I'd be more than happy to talk :)
     
  6. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    When I got Strider his breeder suggested I try showing him for fun, since it would be a good bonding activity and help me with my anxiety.

    It helped with my social anxiety a LOT. Basically I knew that no matter what, anybody I talked to at a dog show would also like dogs so there was that common interest. I've made a lot of friends through showing. It is expensive and that's obnoxious. Mostly I just show locally. Strider finished his int'l CH in 2 days of showing. Then he got attacked by a dane at a show and I stopped taking him since he didn't enjoy it any more after that. He's neutered now.

    Kaia I got specifically for showing and sport. Since she's co-owned the agreement is she needs to finish her confo before lure coursing in case of injury. I forget how many points she has now. 7 or 8? But no majors, because nobody enters enough bitches for majors lately. :( Her co-owner handles her in the ring because I have a 'hitch' in my get-a-long, so the other gal is able to present her MUCH better in the ring. I've taken her out for breed when we had more than one dog competing and needed an extra handler. It was fun. I'll probably save up to get her entered for her int'l CH this next summer and possibly do some UKC with her.

    Edit: As for why borzois? I like living with them. They're awesome and fun. Surprisingly, show grooming a borzoi is SUPER easy compared to even smooth collies.
     
  7. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    I don't consider myself a dog show person, that said I have shown dogs. Far more time I have spent in confo with other animals-a decade in fact

    What made you decided to show? Showing was just kind of something I did. When I was 8 I got a rabbit. Then I joined 4-H. Then ten years went by and I had a small farm of rabbits, guineas, goats, a few steers, and yep dogs.
    I got sick, had to liquidate the farm, moved to Colorado and decided life was dull without a dog. I joined the Colorado Springs Kennel club in the effort of finding a dog "the right way." Folks there encouraged me to try my hand at confo and I did show a few dogs before I found my Booker from a BYB in Kansas. Best $600 I ever spent.

    What are the pros and cons of showing?
    Pros- Ribbons are pretty and titles do improve values of puppies you may produce and help you network to disburse those puppies.

    Cons - I'm just beginning to wrap my brain around the concept of doing the right thing. Doing the right thing by whom? Is a person who campaigns their dogs for years only to retire to the back of the breeding shed and then sold and resold and resold again to produce more puppies really doing right by the dog? I have met dogs who are six years old - have had eight owners - don't know their name - but are breed champions and gain their owners $1500-2000 a litter as a stud that is valued little above their titles. You will meet these people at the show ring and you will watch them do incredibly well in the ring and see their dog's names in the top ten lists, but at what cost?
    Building dogs like this "reputably" generation to generation can create monsters of success and as worthless as udders on a bull.

    Then following up upon that showing is about trying to impress someone. Otherwise why would there be rankings? You will hear some of the dirtiest crap about people who should be united in their love of something but instead it's all about one person getting a leg up over another.

    Then there is cost. I know people who seriously spend 50K a year on costs related to dog shows. Now these are people who are gone at shows at least 50% of the weekends in a month but that's a serious amount of money to consider.

    What breed did you pick and WHy??
    I wanted small, healthy, pretty, biddable, and I got a papillon. For awhile I wanted a corgi, instead I went papillon and honestly... I love having them. The only hang up I have about them is that the other major breeders within the breed infuriate me both in their business dealings and their blatant stubborn as a concrete mule philosophies.

    Edit: How did you get into showing??

    I'll instead tell you why I got out of showing. I am a husbandry ethicist of sorts - When I got a dog who was a purebred I wanted a dog to be my buddy - my companion - my friend. What I discovered is the more I talked to people involved with the ring was that titles were more important than the dog itself. No one talked me about their dog Skipper but instead talked to me about Specialty Champion Lord of the Loom CGC TD (despite only going to nursing homes twice for photo shoots) or their latest litter of Champion Flugelhounds that should just be exceptional for the ring despite never going on a Flugel hunt in generations.

    So I stewed on what kind of dog owner I wanted to be and I decided - My dog is the same animal in or out of the ring. I don't like most of the people around the ring so why am I trying to impress them? Beyond that I was tired of people telling me how I should and should not be with my dog to be "successful." Odds are I'll never have a dog with a Ch in front of his name - I'm ok with that-it certainly doesn't make me thing more or less of any dog I own either way.
     
  8. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    You can find this attitude in people in all venues, not just conformation but it is certainly not the attitude of everyone involved.
     
  9. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    I know we don't always agree on things.. But I totally have to agree with this. I saw way too many shady things in my short foray into the show world. Heard awful things.

    Because I imported Smudge, and didn't support a local breeder I was told Smudge was ugly. I should be ashamed to own 'it'. I should be ashamed to try showing him, my breeder should be ashamed to have sold me him.. I had one nice lady tell me that Smudge was fairly nice, and the catty people were jealous.. but I was getting turned off..

    There are nice people out there, but I kept running into some shady ones. I was put down too many times and do not have a thick enough skin for confo. I heard retched stuff. People were open with me that they dyed their dogs. Open about adult 'alterations' like tail amputation so they could take their Canadian CHs stateside.. Wanted to prove they could CH a tailed dog..

    The only nice local cocker person I found.. I visited her home and found all her dogs lived on wire in small crates outside in a kennel building except her current prospect. She was nice.. but the lack of socialization, human interaction the rest of her dogs were getting turned me off.. Found it was the norm. I was introduced to people at shows who'd gush about their current house dog. Often as 'Specialty Champion Lord of the Loom CGC TD' never Oreo or Skipper..

    If I stick to cockers I never think my grooming will be good enough to win in the ring.. The majority of people I tried to show against had 20+ yrs experience. Many were house wife types who I heard had put second mortgages on their homes so they could show every weekend. I'll never have that drive. I'd like a CH.. but I don't forsee that happening now.
     
  10. HayleyMarie

    HayleyMarie Like a bat outa' hell

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    EEEKK!!!

    All your stories are freaking me out lol. I guess I will have to look more into showing and if I am really "that" commited to do it. Or even if it is worth it. After all there are other dog ventues to compete and play in. Plus there is an issue of finding a mentor and since Cane Corso's are so rare here thats gonna be pretty much impossible. I have no idea what the CC crowd is like here.

    P.S thanks for all the awesome responses.
     
  11. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    There really are ugly people no matter what you do, from performance, to shows, to you next door neighbor. They always have crap to say about somebody else and what they do. Sometimes you gotta learn when to realize some people really just don't ****ing matter.

    I think it has more to do with how established something is, rather than the venue itself. Showing has been popular for a long long time, and has an established heirarchy and set of rules, especially compared to something like flyball or something,

    Give those other sports long enough to have regular winners and establish an identity and get some money involved, then watch the egos go to work.

    I personally do not like confo shows at all. I think they prove very little and do NOT steer the breeds involved in a good direction.

    I used to be a part of GSD only confo shows, only because I was part of club that did them. I coped by setting up early, drinking all day and cooking food :), then tear down when it was done. it was more SV type stuff, not American AKC shows, i have no idea how those go. But the majority of the people were at least nice, though there were a few that were nice to people's faces, and would berate them as soon as they left.

    There was certainly politics involved at all levels, but if you just enjoy the people and your dogs, who cares? The majority of people were competetive and were good sports, like it should be. But there are always some that take it a bit further. One show I was involved in had a new young dog over from Germany, just imported. Very highly regarded, considered to be one of the top dogs in this country. He got beat by another dog in his class at the small confo show. The owner was ok with it, but the people behind him were just pissed beyond belief and trashing everyone involved.

    That day, I think the right dog won from what I saw and know. The other dog had more intensity, just in gaiting as strange as that sounds, you could see more power. I don't care how they really look, but he had power. It was hot and the judge made them run a lot. That dog was in much better shape, much better muscle everything. I also had the opportunity to do protection work with both dogs. While the one from Germany did decent work, the other dog was much stronger, and I liked that.

    The lesser known dog was also owned by someone that was putting on the confo show and maybe he was placed first in that show because the judge liked the person putting on the show? maybe, that's what everyone said and in my opinion the right dog won. He was stronger, and it was obvious, he had better stamina and really the only difference i could see physically was the one everybody thought should win had much blacker blacks and was very red in color where the other didn't have as rich of pigment. BFD is what I say, the dog worked better outside of the show and buried that dog in terms of stamina and strength in the show.

    Anyway, that dog never beat the German import again. I know because i'm friends with both owners and both owners are friends. In fact the one guy does almost all the helper work for the other guys dogs. They compete for the right reasons. But one has more money, buys the right handlers for the shows and his dogs win a lot :) . Politics ?? I'm sure there are some.

    I just watched some video from the lates national seiger show here in the states, a dog that placed very highly was absolutely pathetic, bred by an sv judge who was there, and co-owned by some money players in the game, and shown by a well known german handler. Another dog that showed very well, placed much lower, but was obviously a much stronger dog but owned by a little guy in the sport bought as a puppy and trained by her and shown by her and shown very well, but was not going to win anything other than appreciation from those that know what to look for.

    There's politics to a degree in the sports I do, and it bothers me to a degree, but really, the only reason I do it is because i love spending time with my dogs and the people I train with. I love the progress and things we do. So in the end it those people all caught up in that really don't amount to **** to me. Others might hold them in a different light, i find it a bit sad sometimes, but mostly i just let them do their own thing, it doesn't change what I do.

    Find what you like, do it, and have fun. Let those that don't matter talk all they want.
     
  12. Mina

    Mina BRT - "the black watch"

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    On the plus side, showing (yourself) can be excellent for your doggy. It provides a different type of socialization which cannot be had in most other venues. Conformation showing, if done correctly (making it fun for the both you), can really help "round out" your dog!

    If you are sociable, you will be able to make some wonderful friends (and, inevitably, some not-too-wonderful-enemies) along the way. As far as the expenditures are concerned, if you happen to live in an area where there are plenty of shows, unless and until you get serious and decide to travel, competing locally is quite inexpensive. And fortunately for you, Hayley, with Corsi, grooming requirements will be minimal.

    On the down side, the reality is that these events are seldom "fair". And no matter how "good" your dog is, or how expert a handler you become, that the proverbial dice are loaded against you in favour of the professional handler, and the dog which has been campaigned. This does not mean that you will not win, only that you're not playing on a level playing field, and will probably not win as often as, perhaps, you should.

    Personally, I'm not a huge fan of conformation shows. However, if you compete solely for pleasure (both yours and your dog's), and understand the simple ground rules, this can be a wonderful activity to do with your dog! And if your dog is decent, he/she will eventually finish.
     
  13. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I very much doubt you'd have the same sort of experience Kat or Mafia posted about in Cane Corsos.

    I have been showing in AKC conformation for about 15 years and have finished several dogs and haven't really had those experiences. I have shown Belgians, GSDs, Greyhounds and a Briard. I've had the experience of some snide or snarly remarks now and then but usually from someone who's a poor loser and nothing on a regular basis at all. In fact, usually everyone congratulates the winners and goes on their way or stands ringside and chats after the show.

    If you showed up at a show in my area as a newbie with a Belgian, myself and several other people would talk to you about your dog when we saw you ringside. We'd say nice things about your dog, even if they weren't what we'd personally pick out. We'd tell you about our dogs and what we do and probably encourage you towards training in obedience or rally or agility if you weren't already planning to. If you didn't seem to have anyone to help you out with grooming, we'd offer for you to come by our set up the next day and we'd help you groom your dog and tell you what to buy. We'd exchange email addresses and invite you to become FB friends. Afterwards you'd be contacted through our email loop when we are trying to plan where/when to show, so no one (including you) has to pay to go to shows where no one else will be. That is IME more typical of how it works with the lower number breeds. Everyone needs to be at least polite to everyone else or no one's dogs are getting any points and no one new will ever become involved with the breed.

    As far as how people keep their dogs, the majority of people I know keep their dogs as pets. Many do other things with their dogs. Some breeders do have kennel only dogs but it's generally not well looked upon by others. The people I know mostly don't care who you got your dog from or don't say if they do. They mostly just care that you show up when you're entered and don't break the major ;)

    I suspect having a less common, less competitive breed, your experience will be much more similar to mine. Of course, your attitude towards others in your area will also affect how you are treated. I don't see that really being an issue for you though. And don't worry if you don't have anyone to help you out who has the same breed as you. You aren't looking at a breed which requires special grooming or handling finesse. Find a place that offers good conformation handling classes and take your puppy. You will meet all kinds of people who show that will give you advice, critique your handling and help you out at your first shows. And of course, you'll learn how to handle your dog :)
     
  14. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    I'm curious about this. In what ways does conformation showing provide socialization that performance sports don't? I've never shown a dog in confo and probably won't anytime soon, unless I decided to show my corgi ironically, LOL.
     
  15. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I so think you should her!

    Good conformation classes can be a great socialization experience for puppies - lots of real hands-on handling by strangers coupled with treats. And shows can be crazy! I've had my dogs fallen on, stepped on, gating knocked onto, etc at crowded shows ringside. I don't know that it provides socialization beyond what other venues do but there is a certain hectic environment that goes with big, crowded conformation shows. FWIW I know dogs who are very successful in agility but "can't handle" being in the conformation ring. Not that I think it's a temperament test or anything.
     
  16. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I am a reluctant show person lol.

    I show the whippets cause I should. Its ok, I don't find it fun. They find it ok, but its not high on their list of things to do. Running agility, a round of rally or a day coursing is much more fun for them and me.

    One of the issues I have with showing, other than the politics is that if you have only one dog and you show it there is little you can do to 'improve' your dog if its not winning. In agility you can train harder, take lessons try new things. With conformation if you dog is a little to small, has a less than preferred physical trait it doesn't matter how much you do.

    You won't find too many people showing dogs who only have the one. Its usually breeders or owners who are showing cause they have a friend who is a breeder and they are showing the dog they got from their friend. These people often have multiple dogs and if one doesn't win much they dont' show it unless they are tying to help someone 'get points'.

    Showing JRTs is a little different, and a little more fun. But not much lol. I enjoyed showing Kat a little. But a part of the deal was the pride of showing off what *I* produced. I can't say I have the same push to show Seren, even though she is nicer. I likely will show her a bit. But once I find out what she enjoys I will likely concentrate on that.
     
  17. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    Ah, that makes sense. I guess since most OB/Rally trials I go to are huge confo shows, I wasn't thinking of quieter, performance only events (though I have been to those as well).

    I actually have a coworker who wants to show her for me, haha. I told her she may not do so well (LOL) and that made her more determined. She breeds Frenchies, but is surprisingly levelheaded. She's outraged that such a functional dog with a great temperament would get overlooked for something short and fat, and she's determined to get Keeva in the breed ring, lol. So the mutant corgi may be shown yet.
     
  18. HayleyMarie

    HayleyMarie Like a bat outa' hell

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    Thanks for all the great input guys..hmm I have alot to think about...
     
  19. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    All I can say about showing is that you will have a lot more fun if you join a breed club and get to know the other people in your area showing. :)
     
  20. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    If you want to just try it out, check into IABCA showing first. It's awesome! You can show in a t-shirt and jeans if you want, don't have to do tons and tons of grooming, and the judges give you a written critique of your dog. I love those shows. Plus if you end up in BC you can head south to the working dog expo IABCA show here . There's tons of corsos and filas... ;)
     

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