Although Patti has spent some time in the show ring, she hasn't exactly been a standout show dog. I had been so focused on showing Pi and Pesh that I had sort of put Patti's show career on the back burner. Add to that the fact that she had little to no show training, she just couldn't keep up with her siblings. Pi and Pesh finished their UKC conformation Championships in pretty short order, and both of them made big placements at our national specialty. Patti was the only one in her litter without any real show wins to brag about. Well, it looks like that's about to change.
The Norcal All Breed Club hosted three days of UKC events over March 21st through 23rd. Even though I had not had much time to prepare her for the shows, I wanted to give her some ring experience without over doing it, so I decided to enter her in both shows on Saturday.
Unfortunately there wasn't a large amount of competition in the sighthound group (at least not as much as there has been), but there were still enough dogs to make the competition somewhat challenging, and to give Patti an opportunity to get a competition win or two in group.
I'm accustomed to showing my dogs with a fair amount of handling on my part. I always hand stack them, and I occasionally use bait as well. Since I've started seriously working with Patti as a show dog I've had to resist my urge to hand stack her, because she doesn't like it, and without her cooperation she doesn't end up looking very nice. Some dogs are just that way when it comes to showing -- they prefer to free stack and gait on a loose lead. So, before we arrived at the show grounds I stopped by Burger King and picked up a sausage patty to use as bait, and hoped that it would encourage her to stand pretty for the judges.
Well, it ended up paying off quite well. In the first show she presented herself beautifully and won the group against two other dogs (a Thai Ridgeback and a Silken Windhound)! The judge told me that she showed very well, and that I should stop worrying about her and focus on how I can make the most of my opportunity to exhibit her.
She put on another good showing in the second show, but placed second to the Thai Ridgeback, thereby cutting her out of a potential competition win since the Silken had already gone home. It was late in the day by the time she was called to the ring, so she was lacking a bit in the enthusiasm she had earlier, but it was still a very good experience, and overall she made a lot of progress. I'm looking forward to showing her more in the future, and hopefully finishing her bench title soon.
She cleans up pretty good!