So You Are An Owner Handler?

My husband and I have bred and shown Yorkshire Terriers for 30+ years. When I was a little girl I grew up in the country and had a multitude of different animals as pets. From horses to turtles. I found a picture of a Yorkshire Terrier in my world book encyclopedia as I was looking at what else? Pictures of dogs! The coat was so beautiful and silky and shiny! I said right then when I grew up I would have one.

Who knew I would not only grow up and own a Yorkie, but breed and show them. My kennel name is Sugarfoot. My grandmother use to call my grandfather Sugarfoot. I adored my grandfather and I figured what a fitting way to always have a sweet remembrance of him.

For the year 2018/2019 we are honored to have the AKC #1 NOHS Yorkshire Terrier. Multi Owner Handled Group winning, Multi Group Winning, BISOH, GCHB Tyava’s Sugarfoot’s Strike Force; his friends call him Stryker.

Stryker loves the ring and is an awesome example of our breed. We are very proud but humbled at the support he has received over the last year from Judges as well as his fan club.

If you are thinking about becoming involved in dog shows, my advice would be to attend shows and talk to as many owner/breeders that you can, (please wait until after they show). Most of us are more than willing to take time to answer questions.

Watch the breed you are interested in while they show. Then hang around and watch the groups. Watch those handling the various dogs and see what ring procedures are used and how the dogs are set up and moved.

Do your homework on your chosen breed. An excellent place to start is on the internet. Read books and go to more shows and ask more questions.

Find a breeder that you are compatible with and ask to go to shows with them. Carry tables, carry crates and make yourself useful. In turn you will learn the ropes and the mentor will be more than happy to share their knowledge. Hopefully a wonderful friendship
will evolve.

If you are consider a particular bloodline, look at those dogs with that bloodline that are being exhibited, if possible look at the parents as well as other offspring. Learn about genetic testing and learn to understand the results and how they affect your breed.

Study your AKC standard and if you have questions ask someone versed in your breed.

Don’t be in a rush to get your first show dog. Wait for the right breeder and puppy. Then with the assistance of your mentor, start to look for the best example of your chosen breed that you can afford. Keeping in mind the exercise needs of some breeds.

Practice, at home. When the big day arrives, get there early, as you might have a case of first show nerves. Relax, as it will travel right down the lead. Pick up your armband. Watch ring procedure. Remember to make it fun. Treats and a favorite toy are good to have on hand. When you leave the ring win or lose you will always be taking home the best dog! Yours!

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