Tuesday, January 31, 2012

PSA: New Handling Classes in Fryeburg

Telling Tails in Fryeburg is offering two levels of conformation handling classes with Beth Collins, plus something new called Organized Mat Time.

Organized Mat Time is akin to a show-'n'-go for conformation handling. The hour-long session is run like a dog show, complete with classes, groups, and a judge. (The basic flow depends on how many participants and which breeds show up.) Even if you have private or small-group handling classes, "dog show practice" like this is invaluable for you and your dog. You get to work on your handling technique and get comfortable with the basic flow of a show -- and you'll have your instructor there to help. I wish more places offered this type of instruction, since matches are so hard to find these days. (The large group handling classes at It's a Dog's World come close.)

Here's the class schedule:
  • Beginner Handling: 3 weeks on Mondays, 2/20 - 3/5, starting at 5:45 PM. Cost: $75.
  • Advanced Handling: 3 weeks on Mondays, 2/20 - 3/5, starting at 7:00 PM. Cost: $75.
  • Organized Mat Time: 3 weeks on Mondays, 2/20 - 3/5, starting at 4:30 PM. Cost: $10 per session.

Pre-registration is required, even for Organized Mat Time. You can book online at the Telling Tails website, or call 207-642-3693.

For more information about the handling classes, see the Conformation page on their website or send an email.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

PSA: New Handling Class Sessions

It's a new year, all righty. If one of your resolutions was to get into a handling class to get ready for the spring shows, you're in luck — opportunities abound at training centers everywhere! Here's a short collection of training classes local to southern Maine. It's not an exhaustive list, so please send information if you know of others.

Saco: Penny Cary of PETIQUETTE hosts her classes at Finish Forward Dogs. Classes start(ed) Thursday, Jan 5th at 7:30pm, then Jan 12th at 6:30pm for remainder of session. Contact FFD for information about current openings or to register for the next session.

Also in Saco: Penny hosts handling classes on Wednesdays at Paw-zn-Around. Contact Penny for more information.

PSA: Conformation Handling Seminar in York, ME

The information in this PSA was pretty much borrowed wholesale from IADW's announcement. If you'd like to know more, call It's a Dog's World at 207-363-0099.

Conformation Handling Techniques with Sue Burrell

Wonder why your dog seems to always place a certain way in the show ring?

What was that judge thinking?

Bring your dog to the top by learning how to be a better handler with improved techniques.

National/International handler Sue Burrell will present to you handling techniques which will help you accentuate your dog's best assets while covering up minor flaws. She will explain how to show your dog to the best advantage. Take this opportunity to study with Sue Burrell and gain from her years of knowledge and insight in the show ring!

Concerned you may not remember everything presented? Not to worry! Katherine Burrell will be on hand and can video tape your session, if you wish, for purchase so you can refer back to Sue's advise again and again.

Seminar Details

When: Sunday, March 11, 2012
Time: 9:00am - 3:00pm
Cost: Participant: $75.00/handler Auditor: $37.00
Seminar Includes: Full day seminar (30 minute lunch break), handouts, and light snacks

*** it's a dog's world encourages attendees to bring a brown bag lunch as there will be opportunity to ask questions during the lunch break. There are several sandwich shops located within 4 miles of this seminar site. ***

****Special Offering****
For those of you not able to attend the seminar, Bill Burrell will beavailable for private evaluations after the seminar.
When: Sunday, March 11, 2012 Time: 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Cost: $50/evaluation
Pre-registration Required — Call to secure your evaluation!

it's a dog's world
3 White Birch Lane
York, Maine 03909


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Your Feedback is Needed!

The Dog Show Superintendents' Association released a survey today asking what people think of the new Group Realignment proposed by the AKC. If you haven't been following this story, AKC has been working since 2008 on this initiative. Basically, it splits the current 7 groups into 11 groups by subdividing the Hound, Working and Sporting Groups according to function, and then shuffling around some breeds to more closely fit their functions to the group descriptions. The Miscellaneous group would disappear entirely, and breeds currently in that group, or awaiting admission to it, would be assigned directly to the other groups.

For example, the Hound group would be divided into Sighthounds and Scenthounds. Looking at the proposed realigned groups by breed (current as of July 2011), the Scent Hounds look pretty much as they have, with the addition of the Treeing Tennessee Brindle. The Sight Hounds include some breeds that have been in FCI and/or CKC shows for years (the Azawakh and Sloughi), plus a new breed called the Cirnecco dell'Etna, or Sicilian Greyhound. The CdE is currently an AKC FSS (Foundation Stock Service) breed, and has been admitted to the current Miscellaneous Class this month.

Here in Beardie-land, the Herding Group remains largely unchanged. Some of the breeds that had been added to the Herding Group would be moved to other groups after realignment. We get to stay right where we are.

As with every change to the way dog shows are held, the repercussions reach farther than to just the name of the group you're showing in. Remember that the change affects everyone from judges to hosting clubs to parent clubs to ring stewards. Speaking just as a humble ring steward and as a newly-minted Chief Steward who already has her work cut out for her finding enough warm bodies to cover seven rings every day... all I can do is cry "Uncle!".

Not that these changes will show up right away. The implementation date for the realignment would occur in 2015 sometime.

(And, as with every change, we all know that the ultimate aim is to give more money to the AKC. We know their employees have to eat too, but geeeeez.)

With all the repercussions in mind, the DSSA survey attempts to capture the concerns of a wide variety of dog fanciers, from the ringside spectators to the handlers to the judges. They'd like to hear from you, too!

Take the survey here.

Background Reading

If you'd like to catch up on the proposal and how it affects your breed/group, here are some links to follow. All of these are PDF files from the AKC website.

So... What Do You Think?

What do you think of the Group Realignment? Will your breed be affected? Is your all-breed club prepared to cover the additional expense and need for warm bodies? Is your Judges' Selection Committee tearing its collective hair out? Growth and change are inevitable, but that doesn't mean that they're always easy.