Interview with an Owner Handler, Lynn Partridge
Where do I live? How many years have I been an Owner Handler?
Lynn Partridge: I live in Greenville, South Carolina. I’ve been an Owner Handler for eight years.
How did I get my start in my breed? In the sport?
Lynn Partridge: The first time I saw an Italian Greyhound was around 1995—THE ANGELS SANG! To remedy my empty nest syndrome, I got my first IG in 2013. I just wanted a pet, but I quickly learned that Italian Greyhounds aren’t really “dogs.” So, we got our Italian Greyhound her own Italian Greyhound to help keep her entertained and to snuggle with when I couldn’t be at her beck and call. (That’s how the breed gets you addicted to them.) In 2015, our first litter was born.
Have I always loved to show dogs? Have I always been a dog person?
Lynn Partridge: I got into the sport when I was 48 years old, which was the perfect time in my life to start.
I’ve always had dogs and loved animals, and I was a horse person “a lifetime ago.” I’d say that I’m not a “dog person,” but I am an “Italian Greyhound person.” That’s the breed for me.
Is there a story behind my decision to show my own dog?
Lynn Partridge: We had moved from Ohio to Greenville, South Carolina. My husband was encouraging me to get out and meet new people and do something other than working on the house in my spare time. So, I decided to let myself give this dog show thing “a try” and started showing on Memorial Day 2014. Turns out that I am pretty good as a Breeder/Owner Handler, with multiple Top 20 IGs in Breed and NOHS. My current Special is ranked No. 1 Breed. When my husband encouraged me to “get out and meet new people,” I don’t think he meant showing 20 weekends a year… lol! My hobby has turned into my PASSION and I guess I’m kinda addicted now.
What makes showing my own dog so special to me?
Lynn Partridge: Showing my own dog is special to me because I am connected to them from birth. That pup was purposefully bred with the intent to make the breed better.
In my opinion, is there a secret to having a great dog/handler partnership?
Lynn Partridge: My secret to having a great partnership with my dog is my ability to interpret the dogs’ slightest facial expressions and read their body language. My show dogs’ happiness is my top priority and we show as a team. It is very difficult to show a sensitive Italian Greyhound if it doesn’t want to be there—especially at first. With some experience, encouragement, and extreme patience, I can transform a hesitant pup into a winner. Knowing when to rest and/or retire a show dog is an important thing too.
Do I compete in the National Owner-Handled Series? If so, for how many years?
Lynn Partridge: Yes, since 2014.
What goals did I set for myself and for my dog in 2022? What about 2023?
Lynn Partridge: My 2022 Special literally took off like a rocket at 10 months old, winning an Owner-Handled Best in Show the very first day she competed in it. “Vibes” squeaked into the 2021 Top 10 NOHS from just one show cluster. In 2022, she finished the NOHS year as No. 2 Owner-Handled Italian Greyhound.
In 2023, I’ll be starting my next star. Since I’m a breeder, most of my Specials usually show for 12-16 months because I always have a new young one waiting in the wings. Italian Greyhounds can often start being very competitive when they are one year old, if they have that “it factor” that commands your attention and the conformation to back it up.
Am I going to Orlando? If so, what’s it like to have a top NOHS dog this year?
Lynn Partridge: I always finish the year in Orlando. Having another top NOHS dog this year is a testament of my dog’s quality and stamina, since many of those days we are in the Toy Group ring too. Competing in NOHS provides extra exposure and on the job training for me and my dog. Practice makes perfect.
Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences as an Owner Handler?
Lynn Partridge: Last year in Orlando 2021, I managed to get TWO of my Italian Greyhounds in the Top 10 NOHS. My 2021 Special was ranked No. 1 NOHS for my breed, and let’s just say that “V” always had her OWN OPINION as to whether she wanted to play “show dog” on a given day. My self-appointed newest Special loved to show, and I knew the judge really liked her better than “V.” So, 12-month old “Vibes” was my entry for Top 10 NOHS because she really had a good chance to win… right?
Well, I got to Orlando last year to compete earlier in the week at the all-breed shows, went to pick up my armband, and there was NO ARMBAND! SHE WAS NOT LISTED IN THE SHOW CATALOG EITHER!! Apparently, I didn’t hit “COMPLETE ENTRY” when I signed up to show. It was the same for my NOHS entry. So I cried a bit, kicked myself repeatedly, and blamed it on menopause. You can bet that I was much more careful making entries this year.
Are you looking for an Italian Greyhound puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder? Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home an Italian Greyhound dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
Italian Greyhound Dog Breed Magazine
Read and learn more about the playful Italian Greyhound dog breed with articles and information in our Italian Greyhound Dog Breed Magazine.
Italian Greyhound Breed Magazine - Showsight