We realise that the world of dog showing has taken a beating in the eyes of the general public in light of the tragedies at Crufts this year. Although in an ideal world these atrocities would never happen, the rest of the dog showing community should not be tarred with the same brush. The German Pinscher Club and our members always have the interest and well being of our dogs as our top priority. We show for pleasure and as a hobby purely out of our love for our chosen breed and dogs in general. All our experiences at Crufts have been positive and we are privileged to have shared the experience of competing in arguably the biggest, most recognised dog show in the world along side the like minded people of our club who share similar values with regards to our breed.
We would like to share one of the many positive experiences our members have had at Crufts 2015. Thank you Debbie Fitton for taking the time to share your story:
Hall 4 Ring 20 – Crufts 2015
A little over a year ago we said a sad final goodbye to our Dobermann – Bentley and our rescue dog Omar (from the Gambia) became very subdued but anxious around other dogs. After a very wet and cold dog walk in February a ‘friend’ recommended we try ring craft to build up Omar’s confidence around other dogs so I joined my local group. Southampton and District Canine Association were very friendly and understanding and exposing Omar to other dogs in a controlled environment did help him.
About a month later my ‘friend’ invited us to attended a local show and we entered Omar in the Novelty Classes, he really enjoyed all the attention he received and of course his story is of interest to all who ask. We started to attend local shows linked to mainly charities over the next few months and came home with rosettes from the events we attended. We even introduced our godchildren to junior handling … It’s safe to say we had the “show bug!”
Windsor Championship Dog Show was nearing and my ‘friend’ asked if I would like to help her with her “German Pinschers” of course I was thrilled to be asked, so with my themed outfit (the colours of the German flag!) I took one of her beautiful dogs into the ring! I must have done an OK job at handling as she later asked me to help at Bournemouth Championship Dog Show!
Bearing in mind that apart from visiting Crufts and attending less than a handful of Championship Shows and handling at just two, Crufts 2015 was to be my third time in the ring at this level! I felt just a little nervous to say the least however, I knew I had the support and encouragement from my dog showing friends.
It’s a totally different feeling showing someone else’s dog, being looked at by the judge and trying to ensure you have presented your charge in the best possible position – the stack, not to mention ensuring you respond to any questions correctly. Trying not to let nerves get the better of you as you demonstrate your dogs movement around he ring , making sure you have control but also not too much tension on the leash to allow for a free flowing gait. Then comes the free stand whilst the judge makes their selection probably, the most nervous part of the class. Waiting to be acknowledged and placed against the other dogs in the line seems to take far longer within the ring than it does when you are a spectator!
Showing Tauri at Crufts
These are all the feelings I had in Hall 4 Ring 20 on Friday! Despite all the nerves it was an amazing experience and a fantastic opportunity, one I hope to repeat in the future. The professional and experienced handlers make this all look so easy, it’s not and takes a great deal of practice, expertise and I think a genuine bond with your dog.
Through ring craft and the dog shows we have attended we have met some wonderful people who are like minded – owning rescue dogs, German Pinschers and of course other breeds. The events including Companion, Open and Championship shows have all been welcoming and fun, we would recommend this addictive past time to all dog lovers! It keeps you more active and fit, encourages your dog to be more social, accept handling by others and they enjoy being part of a day spent with you.
I must confess that I am now hooked on showing, in fact our social calendar for 2015 is based around the shows! We will of course continue to support local Companion Shows with Omar and our own German Pinscher puppy Tala – Brintala’s Athena at Fourfitz having completed her first Open Show at 7 months with great success is now booked into Championship Shows. We are even exploring the possibility of travelling to Europe to enter shows. I hope to return to Crufts in 2016 with less nerves, more confidence and my own dog!
Heather Smith of Tubize and The German Pinscher Club & Karen Wakefield of Brintala’s German Pinschers & Sally Clark – Thank you all for your guidance and friendship … See you in the show ring really soon!