Max made his UKC championship in 3 events. Now, I am trying to get some wins in AKC and find the going a LOT TOUGHER.
I find that AKC is VERY political and have heard that there is slim to no chance of success against the pros because of their relationships with judges.
I can afford a pro but would prefer to win without that option.
What say you?? Am I wasting my time or relent and go pro??
We show our boys without handlers. We've had some wins but I'm pretty sure we've lost a few we should have won. In the long run, I'm pretty sure it'll cost you a lot more than it should to finish but there are still some good judges out there that judge dogs not people. I may change my opinion though, our young dog...and best...is just starting to mature so we're hopeful....I'll revisit this in a year or two. Good Luck!
I know the term "Kennel Blindness" and I hpoe that I am not a victim. I have carefully studied the Lab standard and measured Max against what is published. I have also observed what the judges are selecting as winners dog and find that some selections are "off the charts" with the dog selected having glaring faults.
In all cases, the faulty animal is being "handled" by a professional. That is what prompted me to seek some advice from the Lab owners who frequent this board.
As an experiment, I will use a handler in a confirmation show in a couple of weeks.
I will post the result (good or bad).
It's doable, but it might take a bit longer. You may already be doing this, but I suggest keeping track of what the judges are putting up and use that to guide which shows you choose to enter. That's what the pros do. I always had better luck with breeder judges. Do you have a local kennel club that offers handling classes? Those helped me a lot way back when I was showing. I would love to see what your dog looks like. Can you post a picture?
If you will look at the thread "Pictures" In Lab Chat, you will see a video of Max retrieving from water..I will try to get a better picture as soon as i can.
I think you already got all the advice you need from the other lab board. Getting a UKC Championship usually is nothing like getting an AKC Championship. Some dogs just aren't AKC material. Even the highest ranked UKC champion.
There are plenty of owner-handled champions. But you need to put the time and effort in. But if you don't feel like dealing with the politics, then a handler might be the way to go.
Max took his first points today..My handler was at another show so I did the handling. Managed to beat 3 professionals. Hard to do but the judge liked the way Max moves in the ring unlike the overweight dogs that have the "bulldog gait".