Dog Show Business

Train dogs early for future success.

By | Posted: Thu May 26 00:00:00 PDT 2005

Page 2 of 3

Sudsy lived for the show ring. As a puppy he went Reserve to the Open dog that went on to Best of Variety at the Poodle Club of America. He won the group at Detroit and Chicago from the classes with me showing him, and at that time I was not a mature and well-known professional handler. I was just a rabid dog show person who had some idea of what I wanted in a show dog to be proud of.

I would spend long hours teaching Sudsy and myself how to achieve that goal. In all I think he won a total of 49 groupsa lot in those daysand one Best in Show. Ch. Bang Away of Sirrah Crest, the great Boxer, was out at that time, and in the East where we all lived and showed dogs 'Bang-Bang' was well nigh unbeatable, and shown every weekend. We snuck off one weekend and did get the Best!

Then along came a wonderful book on raising your dog to be a show dog: socialize from an early age, breed for brains and temperament, and then raise the pups to be what you want them to become! As time went on dogs were raised and trained by many handlers to know that their businesstheir real life's workwas to be a show dog, whether they were Sporting dogs, or Hounds, Terriers, Working, Herding, Toys or Non-Sporting.

When Jim and I were married, the first very good dog that we bred was a Standard Poodle by the name of Ch. Rimskittle Rampant, aka 'Horsie.' She was 26 inches tallthe biggest pup in the litterhence her nickname. A multiple Best in Show winner, she was a delight to show and to live with.

When she retired, her coat came off and she was trained (sort of) as a hunting dog. The instincts were there, as well as a very good nose for birds or rabbits. It took her an entire summer to learn how to swim effectively, but she was a natural retriever. She was not gun shy, as we lived in hunting country and she was used to the sound of shotguns. The first afternoon in hunting season we took her down to the barn wherein resided a pesky flight of wild pigeons. One was shot and Horsie bounded off to bring it back, but it was in shreds! I was livid and let her know how upset I was. Jim gave me a look that said, "I don't think that's exactly how you are supposed to respond to that problem!"

"Shoot another bird," I asked him. (I am not a good shot.) Without a thought Horsie dashed off and brought the bird back, this time in proper fashionbut wait... the reason for this story is this: Horsie was very sound at both ends, standing and moving, but she had been shown all her life on a fairly tight leada Resco, not a choke. That afternoon, bringing the pigeon in from 100 yards out, I saw and reacted to a wonderful sight.

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