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Can someone take pity on this poor newbie and translate some items from a Premiun Lis

Discussion in 'Getting Started in Conformation' started by blaiseshimmer, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. blaiseshimmer

    blaiseshimmer Forums Regular

    Apr 16, 2015
    south TX
    Hi everyone who is curious about this thread...

    I'm seriously (as in sitting here with a stack of work and ignoring it all in lieu of a show printout...) considering taking me and my puppy to a show in May. The show is Allbreed, and will not only include Junior Showmanship but also NOHS (something which I hope to one day be able to do) but also will have a 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy Competition<this is what I want to enter).

    But I'm stumped right on page THREE of the Premium list, GROOMING Area. I already have a foldable grooming table with arm, a tack box, a lot of supplies I used to use when I showed cats plus a few (okay, a lot) more that is geared to this little guy. I also have a travel crate. And a foldable chair for me.

    But I don't understand what is meant by the following:

    'Limited Reserved Grooming By Reservation Only'
    From the list, I read it as you will need to reserve a space so you can poof and primp the dog only in that area. You can either pay to be in airconditioning (which is a necessity when you pair Texas+May), or free for just fans in a separate building. Considering that my puppy attracts dirt like static, I will be grooming the daylights out of him in the hotel, but is the grooming area also used by exhibitors as a staging/waiting area as well?

    'DAY CRATING will be provided and marked'
    Or is this where exhibitors keep their perfectly poofed pups (and one sheltie that somehow got muddy between the hotel and showhall) during the day of the show? Or only just before s/he goes into the ring?

    'RINGSIDE CRATING will be available within designated areas only and will be marked'
    Is this just for the microseconds before being in the ring?

    I attended a sheltie specialty show a few weeks ago and it seemed as though the grooming/staging area was mostly first come first serve, there was an impromptu aisle where you could walk by. As the dogs were called, they were picked up/walked to the ring. Is this a different setup because it's an Allbreed?

    I also see lots of mentions on this site and others about EXPENS. Um, what is an EXPEN?

    When I used to show cats, we were assigned a number and unless we requested to sit next to another particular exhibitor or within a breed, we sat where we were told to sit. Would this be similar, where breeds are placed close to each other?

    So far I have managed to confuse the daylights out me and am trying my darndest to not overwhelm myself in thinking this could all end in disaster :gaah(yup, kinda melodramatic...)

    On the very plus side, the 'dress code' is Casual Western Attire, so I can dust off my favorite pair of cowboy boots and re-learn how to walk quickly without stomping on my puppy (although this is about as 'country' and Casual Western Attire as I get...I assume that I still cannot wear jeans)

    Any advice or description as to what an exhibitor does before an Allbreed show will be greatly appreciated. (I've already emailed the people linked to the show's website, but I really need to limit my emails before I manage to get myself blacklisted even before I start...)
  2. Silaria

    Silaria Forums Sage

    Sep 19, 2008
    Aspinwall, PA
    While I can't address most of the questions in your post (I'll have to leave that to someone who does conformation shows), I can tell you what an X-Pen (Expen) is. It's short for Exercise Pen and is basically a larger pen than a standard wire crate that is configurable in a 4x4 square, rectangle or a octagon. You can see a picture of one here: http://www.chewy.com/dog/midwest-black-e-coat-exercise-pen/dp/45379.
  3. blaiseshimmer

    blaiseshimmer Forums Regular

    Apr 16, 2015
    south TX

    I have something like that; we call it the Puppy Play Pen and can be adjusted. Whew! So I have at least one thing down...

  4. ClantyreSheltie

    ClantyreSheltie Forums Sage

    Feb 24, 2010
    Fancy grooming space for people willing to pay, who will be there the duration of the show.

    For people who will only be there one day and need some space. Everything must be removed at the end of the day. This space is an AKC requirement.

    Probably for toy breeds.

    Nope. There are only three (two?) shows left that do this, it's called "Benching". Westminster is benched, Chicago is benched still? For all other shows it's a free for all.
  5. tofu pup

    tofu pup Moderator

    Aug 28, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Rachael's answers are good. I will also add a gentle request to please not groom your dog in your hotel room. As a rule, this results in extra hair, dirt, etc. in the room, which can lead to upset hotel management and one less dog-friendly hotel.

    You should be just fine to groom him at the show on the day-of. And honestly, at his age, he probably won't have very much hair (even two months from now). Give him a bath at home and keep him out of the mud (walk him on a leash, even in your backyard). Hold off on his meal before you drive to the show (he can have it once he arrives); otherwise he'll throw it back (and all over himself :ick).

    Don't get too hung up about making sure he's spotless, or on doing everything right in the ring; the most important thing you will be doing at this show is helping him to discover that dogs shows are FUN. Plan to arrive early in the morning, before the show is in full-swing, so it's a little quieter. Set aside some time to walk him around the building. Bring lots of cookies and be relaxed and gentle.

    Beginner Puppy is really aimed towards novice exhibitors (as well as, obviously, novice exhibits), and the judge should be patient and kind with both you and your puppy. They will NOT expect him to be completely "done up" with chalk, product, etc. (although if you feel confident in doing him, it's a great opportunity to practice). Again, the emphasis is on giving your puppy a super-positive introduction to showing. Perfection will come later.

    Good luck and have fun!
  6. blaiseshimmer

    blaiseshimmer Forums Regular

    Apr 16, 2015
    south TX
    You guys are great

    The show is unbenched...

    The show is about 3 hours from my house; part of me wants to stay home, get up at an unholy hour to drive up there, do the Beg Pup Comp, then head home where I plan to eat a gallon of ice cream because I probably would have tripped over my pup and crashed into the judge or slip through a series of grooming tables (you know how normal people have nightmares that they're walking around naked? Mine consist of me crashing into people...)

    Bathing the little bundle is the easy part; drying him is another. I would do all that at home, just use the hotel (if I decide to, oh, I dunno, get some sleep before the show) to get Kelby and me looking presentable, head to the show and have fun.

    I was just wondering as to exactly what I need to bring and where to place them. Since we'll be there just for one day (Saturday, when the Beg Pup will be held), can I assume I still need to bring the grooming table and whatever stuff I can put in my jacket pockets and put them IN the DAY CRATING area?

    There is a conformation class (walk-ins welcome) in Corpus where I'll try to head to at least once every two weeks since it's a 2.5 hour drive and I'll need to take some time from work until the show so I can learn what to do, and whenever we get the chance, we take Kel and Tal (our Shiloh) out to socialize them and get them acclimated to different sounds and people.

    And again, you guys are great, really appreciate all the advice.

  7. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    I love reading your posts, Brandy, they remind me of me when I was getting started. I've been showing my dogs for about 8 years now and I still have questions! It's nice to help another newcomer learn the ropes.

    Megan and Rachel have given you great advice. I'll just fill in the blanks a bit. Since Kelby is so young, you won't need to bring much for him. Bathe him at home the day before the show and keep him clean. I chalk my dogs at home the day before a show, so you can do that for practice if you'd like.

    If you're going for one day, take your crate, grooming table and for a puppy, I'd just take some grooming tools (pin brush, slicker, comb), spray bottle of water and one of conditioner if you want it and a towel for the table. I like to keep a package of wet wipes (the kind you buy for babies) too for any accidents or messes. I'd just take those things in a tote bag to make them easy to carry. You'll set up your table in the day grooming area with your crate next to it so Kelby has a place to rest when he's not being groomed or shown. It's also a good way for him to absorb the atmosphere, and gives you a safe place to leave him while you pick up your number, visit the ladies' room etc. He'll be safer in a crate than an x-pen. If you use a wire crate rather than a hard plastic crate, bring a sheet or towel large enough to cover 3 sides of the crate so Kelby feels secure.

    If you're wearing your show clothes to the show, an apron is a good idea to keep your clothes clean, especially if you're chalking. Or carry your jacket and wear an old shirt over your clothes until it's ring time.

    You can also ask what others suggest at your handling classes. It's a good place to pick up information and ask questions of people who show in your area. Remember, the important thing is to have fun with your puppy!
  8. ClantyreSheltie

    ClantyreSheltie Forums Sage

    Feb 24, 2010
    See if the show offers a new exhibitor briefing, some of them do.

    I travel back and forth to shows all the time, 3 hours is about my limit though, and the shows have to be timed so I don't have to be up at 4 AM. I also tend to do most grooming at home. By the time I get to the show, 80% of the grooming is done.

    I always hit the end of the down and back and wonder if I remembered to put on deodorant. :)

    I'm not a novice, I'm also not as experienced as Megan, I've finished one dog, put majors on dogs of other breeds, won a UKC Best in Show (on a Poodle in a hunt clip of all things) and I still get nervous. If your dog doesn't bite the judge or poop in the ring, it's been an OK day.

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