As somewhat of a graduation ceremony after taking the handling classes, and also to put our newfound skills to the test in the real world, I decided to enter Jaz in a local dog show. So I went ahead and signed us up for the Pacific Kennel Club dog show in Surrey. This event was the perfect opportunity to put our hard work into practice!
The PKC dog show is a four-day-long outdoor all-breed show. I entered Jaz for two out of the four days. This turned out to be the perfect amount – enough to get the full experience, but not so much that it’ll drive you crazy. Because it definitely can drive you crazy, as there is a lot of work involved! Not just the grooming leading up to the shows, but the prepping at the show as well. Driving to the location, setting up all your stuff, washing, drying, brushing and fine-tuning the dog… and once you’re done showing you have to pack everything up, wash your dog up and do it all over again the next day! Luckily, Jaz’s breeder is very hands-on, and she helped me with most of it!
In a conformation dog show, the dogs are divided into seven groups: group 1: sporting, group 2: hound, group 3: working, group 4: terrier, group 5: toy, group 6: non-sporting, and group 7: herding. The dogs in each group are first judged in comparison to dogs of their own breed. This happens in alphabetical order; Airedale Terrier, Border Terrier, Cairn Terrier… Lakeland Terrier… etc. Puppies and adults are judged separately and then go up against each other for “best of breed.”
Since Jaz was the only Lakeland Terrier entered in this show, we knew we would take home all the ribbons for breed (“winners,” “first,” “best puppy,” as well as “best of breed”). However, this did not mean that I could be lax about it! Most of the time, the judge’s only time of going over your dog (i.e. examining it hands-on) is during breed-judging, which impression will be crucial later on.
It is crucial to do well on the table, because after all the breeds of your specific group have gone through breed-judging, the “best of breed” winners will go up agains each other for group placements. More often than not, during group-judging, the judge will just look at the dog and no longer examine it up close, relying on his/her memory from breed-judging to recall which dogs are great/good/not so good representations of their breed.
The results of the group-judging will determine which dogs will go up against each other for the big title of the day: “best in show.” Unfortunately, Jaz didn’t place in group. This is not a big surprise, though, as she is still a puppy and a little juvenile looking. But this didn’t mean that the day was over for us! If none of the puppies place in group, there will be a separate group-judging of puppies only. On the first day, one of the puppies placed in group, but on the second day none did and Jaz had to go in the ring for a third time.
We ended up losing to an American Staffordshire Terrier, but it seemed like a close-call since the judged looked back-and-forth between the Staffordshire and Jaz a couple of times!!! I was so proud of Jaz for doing such a wonderful job! We might not have won anything, but we definitely put our best foot (paw?) forward and showed everyone what a beautiful Lakeland Jaz is!