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Costs of conformation showing?


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I have no idea about dog showing at all and am unsure if I will ever get this far, but is anyone able to give me a run down on basic costs or just list requirements of breed showing?

I assume there are membership fees, entry fees, equipment and grooming gear. What is required of the handler, in terms of dress, shoes and workout? I used to show horses and miss it dearly but am limited in both income and ability now and wonder if looking down the dog show path might be for me. How many shows are available each year and how often should a dog be shown? Is there a high point or championship/dog of the year? Do the dogs show across many disciplines? When do you retire the dogs from show life?

 

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read or reply. 

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Assuming you are in WA and you are talking about a Hav I’ll take a guess- but I have a large breed in a different state so might be off a bit.
You’d need to join Dogs West, fees will be on their website and there are bound to be pensioner rates if you qualify. Entries $14 to $17 most shows, perhaps more for a few prestigious events like the Royal. Grooming table, trolley or crate (can often groom on top of a trolley/crate and skip the table), can be expensive but you might pick up one second hand. 
Almost all WA shows are at Southern River so not much travelling. Whatever brushes, leads, shampoos etc are used for Havanese, you’d need that advice from your breeder. Probably a dryer- but plenty make do with what they have at first. Gazebo for shade, folding chairs etc - but you might not need a whole set up with one small dog, someone might share their shade or there might be enough room undercover at the ground, need a WA person to answer that. 
I don’t know how many shows per year in WA, they should be on the Dogs West website. As for how many to attend that is entirely up to you. Some go at every opportunity, others pick and choose. Often a good idea to show a youngster a bit to get them used to to the environment, but after that it’s just down to how much you both enjoy it and your own goals. 

There are various point score/dog the year competitions. Dogzonline run a lot - although a bit interrupted/skewed by the COVID impacts in recent times.  
Handler dress runs the spectrum from mother of the bride to neat trousers and a nice top and jacket. Sensible shoes you can move out in, I use sketchers. It’s fine to compete in different disciplines, how common that is depends a lot on the breed but it’s  personal choice. But at conformation shows there is usually only the show and perhaps sweepstakes, other disciplines have separate trials.
Probably best to go and watch a show or two to get the local feel of it. Also bound to be some shows on YouTube.

i should probably add- the main requirement is a mains registered dog from an ANKC breeder. Can’t show limited registration dogs. 

Edited by Diva
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Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I live rurally so youtube is a great suggestion in the covid age :) I figured with the price of puppies at this stage it may be worth looking into getting one that I can do more than just potter around the garden and cuddle with. I don't currently have a dog, but am keeping my eyes open for one (or two) and any toy or small breed is on the radar. Thankyou for the reminder to be looking for mains registered. I do love the fussing of the grooming and primping on show days, already have a crate and sounds like my old horse show gear and outfits may suffice initially. Plus the wagon to drag it all there! I am not really interested in breeding dogs as I could hardly bare to part with my home bred ducks, but I assume they need to be entire for conformation shows? Is it easy to assess the dogs adult conformation at a puppy age? Are the male/female classes separate? Is each breed shown separately or do they all fall under "type"? Are there age classes, then all champions in together for supreme? 

 

How do the points work in dog showing? Do you have to qualify for the royal? I must admit, I am not a big fan of the perth royal show having been numerous times with horses, but I do very much enjoy the agricultural show circuit following it - are there dog classes at ag shows? Or is that more on the agility side? What is sweepstakes? 

Sorry for all of the questions, I have tried to read up online but seem to only get american based websites and know things are very different in Australia, especially Western Australia. Is there a link to that information that anyone could provide? I would probably only travel to high point shows if the dog shows promise. Do you retire show dogs at a certain age? My last mare came home with a supreme at 18 years old so I am open to long show lives, but am unsure if it is the "done" thing in the dog world. 

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This has an outline, the basic structure is the same across Australia

https://dogsqueensland.org.au/owners/showing-your-dog/

and this is dogs west  https://www.dogswest.com/dogswest/Home.htm

 

you start by entering an age class for your breed, male and female classes. If you win you go against the other class winners in your breed for best female/male, then best of breed.  Then against other winners in your ‘group’, then all the group winners (there are 7 groups). Somewhere along the way you get knocked out- could be in the first class, could be at the very end. Sweepstakes are for a particular age group all in together, like all puppies or all veterans.  No championship points in sweeps, they are an add on to a show. 

Ag shows here often have a dog section but I don’t think so in WA- you need local advice.

you can show desexed dogs, same system and same shows but separate competition.  Most shows have neuter entries here, not sure about WA. No specific age to retire. Considered a veteran at 7 I think but still can compete in ordinary classes.  Championships aren’t won at a single show, but based on accumulated points, and for Supreme Best in group and best in show wins. 

Edited by Diva
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If possible, get a dog from a breeder who is currently competing successfully in the show ring. Tell the breeder what your goals are; he/she may be willing to sell you a show-quality pup and mentor you through the process.

 

Competing in both conformation and other disciplines (“dog sports”) is a lot of fun. I’ve competed in Obedience and Rally with the traditional breeds but I’ve actually enjoyed it more with my non-traditional breeds. I’m not aware of many Havanese competing in dog sports in Australia but I can think of no reason why they wouldn’t excel at it. 

 

Here are are links to two US-based dog sports Facebook pages for Havanese owners.

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/6789076422409

 

https://www.facebook.com/AgilityHavanese/

 

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Thanks so much for the links and info! I have some reading to do :) 

@Diva I have found a show near by to me on the link you provided, fantastic! I will for sure go down and check that out. 

@DogsAndTheMob I have been following US based dog forums for a while and everything looks like so much fun!  I don't have much of an exciting life with very little recreation so getting to shows might be a good goal for me. 

 

I appreciate the responses, thankyou :)

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As both an ex horse and dog 'shower', I though it might be helpful to give a comparison (I did led in breed shows with my horses (and they had a couple of registrations - eg: part bred Arab, ASSP, buckskin etc) ).

 

I am comparing non specialty (ie: breed specific) shows - so an Ag. or all breeds show for horses and an all-breeds dog show.

 

The three biggest differences are the number of class you are eligible for, show structure and what you have to do to get 'evidence of success' on the day

 

Classes:   With a horse, it was normal to do a couple of classes per registration (ie: their age/gender class PLUS best head and/or best trot and/or best colour and/or etc).   So if your horse had a couple of registrations, you could easily do 6-10 initial classes in a day (more if you win and go back in).   With a dog, you usually only have one class (eg: Havanese - Puppy Bitch).  There may be a guineas etc you might be eligible for - but work on the one class only.   Having said that, if they win (or come 2nd) in the class, you will continue to go against others until there is a 'final winner' (either in that category or overall).  So you may go in the ring more often - but there is only one initial class you enter for

 

Against different breeds:   Horses generally compete against the breed only.   Some shows have a 'ultra supreme' where all best of the breeds compete against each other, but not every show, and when I was involved it was not seen as the 'ultimate' and some people would not even stay for it when they were eligible.   Dogs are entirely different.   Each breed is part of a 'group' (eg: Havenese, Pekinese, Chis, and a couple of dozen other breeds are all in the 'Toy Group'.  There is also a Hound group, a Terrier group etc (7 in total).   At a dog show, the Havenese compete against each other as a breed, then the winners of all the Toy Group comes together to compete, and then all the winners of the various groups come together to compete to work out who is the best in the show (overall, and all the age groups etc).  And the 'In Group' and 'In Show awards are highly coveted

 

'Evidence of Success' - I wasn't sure what the right word is, so I will try and explain.  My first experience of in hand horse show was a co-worker.  She would come in to work on the Monday with 2 huge tri-ribbons (and I mean huge - bigger than you would see for any BIS at a 3 day Championship dog show).   I was amazed when I found out she had won the equivalent of best of breed.  With a dog show, being the best male in your breed is a challenge, and if the best of your breed is just that - Best of Breed.   If you are the best male of your breed in a horse show you are Champion, and if the best of your breed, you are Supreme Champion.    Win a dog Best of Breed and you may get a handshake from the judge.  Win a horse Supreme Champion and you get a huge ribbon.  It was not unusual for me to come home from a horse show with a half dozen massive ribbons, when if I had the same success at a dog show, I may have come home with a couple of small (single) ribbons.   I was never fussed about ribbons, so neither worried me - but for a 'show and tell' on a Monday, horse shows was much more impressive :rofl:

 

Having said that, a 'challenge' at a dog show gets you points to become an Australian Champion and above - and I personally found a 20 point challenge certificate very satisfying.   No such thing with a horse.  Both dogs and horses have point score options which is worked out on show results, but there are no 'challenge points' in a horse show

 

I am not saying either is better or worse (and that whatever level of success you have - it should be fun) - just that having done both, these are the three things which stood out for me.

 

 

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Thanks @BDJ that's really helpful to me :) I had a little buckskin for a short time, with multiple breed registrations and man, that was a long day at a breed show! The Andalusians following her were a breeze in comparison, plus, no make up, no plaiting :laugh: .  To be honest,  I was initially drawn to the havanese breed because of their long flowing "mane". I truly enjoy the brushing and grooming aspect of animal care. Shih tzus look quite fabulous too, but I prefer the face and sturdiness of the havanese that I have seen online (I am yet to meet one in person!) 

 

One class per day would much better suit my current abilities, thanks for explaining the structure. I work much better with a goal in mind, so I will have to learn more about this point system. Having the comparison of best in breed/show to champion/supreme of supreme horse makes this all a lot clearer to me :) 

 

 

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I'm basically a dog sports person .. obedience, Rally and Agility, but I was lucky enough to  get a show quality boy from a WA breeder, who when she found I had a mentor (who she knew) who wanted to show Rory for me, he came to me on Main Register.  So I was lucky not to have to learn to handle, but it took a while to sus out the system.  For their Champion, they need to accumulate 100 points ... which they get by winning at Breed level, based on the number of dogs and bitches in their breed they beat ... then if they win Best in their Group, iit's more, and then Best in Show .. beating the winners of the other 6 Groups ... more still.   My boy started his career with a Best Baby Puppy in Show (!) .. no points for babies ... and finished his title just after his 2nd birthday with a 21 point Best of Breed and RUnner Up in Group 5 at Launceston ROyal, under an International judge ... a bit exciting.   He has gone on to be a Tri Champion (Tracking and Rally as well as conformation) and Neuter Champion .. he was neutered at age 9, and has titles in Obedience, Agility and Dances with Dogs as well.   So you never know where things will lead you.

 

Definitely go to any shows you can get to, and get to know some breeders whose dogs you like.  And as far as other disciplines go, wa is the home of some great positive dog training, so have a look on the Dogs West site to see what ANKC affiliated clubs might be near you.

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I have been watching a few vidoes on youtube which has been fun, now that I know a bit more about what I am watching. I am still a long way behind in some aspects though! I am definitely drawn to the conformation side of showing and rally obedience looks like something I might like to try. Is the difference between rally obedience and obedience just that one has written and vocal instructions, while the other does not? Most of the videos I have seen so far are from overseas. I really am falling more in love with the havanese breed the more I see. 

 

I am not at all good with social skills, living an isolated life, so finding a mentor or even talking to people at a show will be the major hurdle for me. I am already overwhelmed by the etiquette of contacting breeders and navigating the purebred realm. The closest show to me is next month and I do plan to go and watch, plus that would also be the closest dog club to me if I was to find a dog and join. 

 

Just wondering, and maybe a stupid question, but are experienced older or near retired show dogs ever available to novice homes? One that could show me the ropes? Say an ex breeding female or one who has achieved all they needed to at city shows and are ready to slow down to a country show level? I'd love to raise a puppy, but if this show road is one I want to go down as a serious long term hobby, I have time for a puppy later once I know what I am actually doing in terms of grooming and handling. I live on half an acre and while I want small indoor dogs, I have the space for a couple to run and play together on my off days. 

 

 

Edited by WanaHavanese
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Can I say I really like the way you're thinking this through, and the questions you are asking here.  As far as gong to a show and talking to people is concerned, it can be a bit hard.   Probably rule #1 is don't try to talk to someone when they're obviously busy getting a dog ready to go into the ring in a short time.   Just take your time to have a wander and have a look at the breeds that you like.  It's worth looking at the ANKC websit to see the list of breeds and the groups that they're in.  Some make a lot of sense.. like Group 5 .. Working Dogs .. pretty much msot of the stock working breeds.   Others have a weird and wonderful mixture. :shrug:

 

A good approach to not so busy people is to appreciate their dogs, and ask about some of the characteristics.   That would be an icebreaker.

 

On your question about Rally and Obedience.   Obedience is a much older discipline, and is very formal.  The dog/handler team are told what to do by the judge, and the exercises are laid out in the rules, and how penalties are to be applied.  Handlers are limited in what they cansay to their dogs and when.

 

Rally was introduced to have a rather less formal competition, which still requires good formal obedience skille .. heeling, neat sits. downs etc., but allows the handler to talk to their dogs, and encourage and praise them as they make their way round the course, which consists of a set number of 'stations' where there is a sign indicating the action to be performed by the team.. Some of those will be turns, others, things like have the dog sit, walk around the dog returning to heel position, and then once the station is completed, move on to the next numbered station.   Handlers (without dogs) have a period to walk the course and work out what they will be required to do.  The handler is responsible for getting round the course, once the judge has told them to start.   So in that sense, it's a bit more relaxed,

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I’m gathering your Albany way ?

The shows there are only held in Feb and Nov so the rest of the year you would have to travel .

Dec to March all shows in Perth are night shows from 6 pm .

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On 25/10/2021 at 7:41 PM, WanaHavanese said:

 

Just wondering, and maybe a stupid question, but are experienced older or near retired show dogs ever available to novice homes? One that could show me the ropes? Say an ex breeding female or one who has achieved all they needed to at city shows and are ready to slow down to a country show level? I'd love to raise a puppy, but if this show road is one I want to go down as a serious long term hobby, I have time for a puppy later once I know what I am actually doing in terms of grooming and handling. I live on half an acre and while I want small indoor dogs, I have the space for a couple to run and play together on my off days. 

 

 

That could be possible with a neutered older dog. There are neuter classes. It is a good way to learn the ropes.

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Thanks @Tassie for that clear explanation :) and for the reassurance in talking to people at shows. Often when I disclose being anxious about that sort of thing, people just say toughen up without offering ideas on best approach. I appreciate it. 

 

@Dogsfevr I am closer to Albany than I am to Perth. Night shows sound like a really great idea with the heat up there. I have family I can stay with, provided my future dog handles the travel and the families mini 'oodle. I would be unlikely to go up more than about 6 times a year though. Not a big fan of the city bustle. Are there show "seasons' and then an off season? That would suit me as well knowing when the break is.

 

@Rebanne that sounds like a great option for me. I think desexed dogs are cheaper to register with the shire here too and far fewer hoops to jump through in order to keep, so I would definitely be happy with a non breedable dog if I can still show it in conformation. Having to find someone willing to part with a well loved dog of that quality might be the hard part! 

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It may be helpful to join the WA Toy Dog Specialist Club

https://www.facebook.com/groups/154958747893226/

 

There’s also a FaceBook group called ANKC hopefuls, mentors and support crew, which aims to help new enthusiasts find support and mentoring.

 

Edited to add... It looks as if Albany All Breeds Dog Club is active in both conformation and Obedience. Joining and volunteering may be a way to meet people in the “dog world”.

Edited by DogsAndTheMob
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4 hours ago, WanaHavanese said:

 

@Dogsfevr I am closer to Albany than I am to Perth. Night shows sound like a really great idea with the heat up there. I have family I can stay with, provided my future dog handles the travel and the families mini 'oodle. I would be unlikely to go up more than about 6 times a year though. Not a big fan of the city bustle. Are there show "seasons' and then an off season? That would suit me as well knowing when the break is.

 

Covid has changed the shows in WA and will do so until mid next year .

As too how it resumes as past years who knows .

There is no off or on season but in the past March through April had many triple headers then shows spread through the year 

 

It is dedication to keep a coated breed for minimal showing .

 

Albany normally has interstate judges but have locals .

 

 

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