In the Ring
Stiff Competition: Exhibiting as a special puts your dog against formidable opponents.
Anne H. Bowes
Showing dogs in the breed ring can be broken into two main elements: exhibiting “class” dogs in pursuit of championship points and an eventual championship title, and exhibiting “specials,” dogs that have already completed their breed championships and now compete only in the Best-of-Breed class.
Most dogs that have “finished” (completed their championships) are then retired from the conformation ring for breeding or to compete in performance events. However, a small percentage of champions pursue a specials career: They’re exhibited in many shows throughout the year and compete for a place in the all-breed rankings. These lists are maintained by several different organizations, including Dogs In Review, Dog News and Show Site. Dogs are ranked according to their Breed, Group and Best-in-Show wins.
If you finished your dog’s breed championship, consider continuing to show in the BOB classes to see what you can accomplish. Before you start, attend some dog shows without your dog to watch the BOB, Group and BIS judging to learn what’s involved.
Set your dog’s career goals
Your first step is to set goals for you and your dog. Enter as many shows as you can within six to 12 months. Start by showing your dog locally to judges who liked it when you were showing it in the classes. If you didn’t keep notes on the preferences of the judges you showed to in the classes, start now.
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