Thu, 09/01/2022 - 8:03pm

Question of the Week

In the course of one month, how many weekends do you exhibit and how many shows does that entail?


Bonnie Threlfall

Cary, North Carolina

Having a breed that is judged so poorly (with rare exceptions) at all-breed shows, I seldom enter, so my answer is zero as an average per month. I do show at specialties that I can drive to, but will show at an occasional local show to get a dog out for experience. Not to be all gloom and doom, there are some judges who actually understand the breed (English Cocker, not Mini Setter) and will reward the (correct) “odd man out” in the usual assortment, but they don’t come around often.


Sheryl Roach

Broomfield, Colorado

Usually about two weekends per month.


Cheryl Gustafson 

Henrico, Virginia

I typically show one or two times a month. Four- to five-day clusters. Three dogs. Planning to show A LOT less, as I'm quite tired of judges looking at the wrong end of the lead. Not following the standard.   

I noticed this has started back to this in spades post-Covid. Thinking to stick to breeder-judges and specialties ONLY.

I will say without us breeders, the professional will have no dogs to show. Think about it, judges. Look at the dog. Know the standard.

I'm having several of my puppy buyers looking to show. How do I coach them about the fun of the sport? No one wants to be point fodder for the pros.


Patrick C. Byrne

Kansas City, Kansas

I wish I could say I show my dog every month. Unfortunately, he is a breed that does not tolerate heat so that is a primary factor in the warmer months. He is also a breed with very small entries, so that is a secondary factor: Even winning the breed leads to little recognition in the group, as the breed is seldom recognized, unfortunately.


Mark Francis Jaeger

Mason, Michigan

We peaked around 40 back in the 1990s. Since Covid, it's down around 14 to 16. And around four weekends that I judge somewhere.


Lilian Barber

Menifee, California

Having hit the big 9-0 last year I am no longer showing, but during the height of my Italian Greyhound “career” I would show my dogs at as many weekend shows I could reach by car and return home in time to go to work on Monday (occasionally on Tuesday). This went on for close to 50 years, since I’ve lived in California most of my life and dog shows here usually are one to three per weekend. Vacations mostly consisted of flying to the national specialty and showing there.  


Rebecca Ingersoll 

Benson, Arizona

It depends on the month. In September I will be at a show every weekend for a total of 16 shows in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona. 

I have a coated breed so how often I show depends on several factors. First, they have to be in coat and ready to show. Second, the choice of judge comes into play. Third is the location of the show (gas money, motel, etc.).


Meredith Ponedel

Van Nuys, California

All things being equal, there are times when I go to shows several weekends in a row – sometimes five or six, so we're talking 10 or 12 shows – and times when I have nothing to show for several months. Sometimes the show weekends are spaced out several weeks apart, involving a longer period of time. If I'm really lucky and my dogs coat up at different times, I could be showing for five or six months or more.


Tom Bavaria 

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

We used to show at 150 shows a year — about 42 weekends plus Thursdays and Fridays when they had clusters. Due to costs of entries, hotels, gas and meals, we are only attending local shows at this time


Bo Bengtson

Ojai, California

We showed less than 10 weekends in 2021, and our special still made Top Ten in the all-breed point system. And we didn’t always show every day of those weekends! This year we went to ONE show between April and the end of August (Santa Barbara weekend). I have always maintained that if you have a good dog and show only at the big weekends, you will be able to place high in the rankings anyway. You won’t be number one, but you will do well enough to keep you going.

There are entirely too many small shows without real competition at the breed level!


Karen Mull

Lititz, Pennsylvania

It depends on the month, but usually two weekends a month and at least two shows per weekend. I average about 50 shows a year.


Lori Elvera

Littleton, Colorado

Great question! Since I live in Colorado, our show season seems to be lumped into a few months (May to September), and if you have a coated breed like mine (Samoyed), we can oftentimes miss our entire "show season" due to blowing coat.

If we are in coat, I may enter one show: two days of a three-, four- or five-day show weekend. Many of our weekends are multiple days and it’s tough to request that much time off from work. Judges also will determine if I enter and how many days.


Janet York

New York, New York

I show in conformation about twice a month. The other two weeks I am doing rally, obedience or scent work. Each of my Cavaliers has different talents, and I train them accordingly. Doing conformation and performance gives me a good balance in the overall show world, and my dogs the best opportunities according to their abilities.


Joan Krumm

Poplar Grove, Illinois

I used to look for shows that were within 100 miles driving distance and would go as many times in a month as there were shows on the weekends mostly. Since the new cluster concept taking a month at a time in a geographic area, I do not show as often, and the show areas do not seem as clean at the end of the clusters. While these clusters work for the handlers, it has taken lots of the charm and fun of traveling to weekend shows and exploring other towns and cities. Promotions of dog shows in general to the public suffer the loss of purebred-dog exposure.


Carol Horner 

Bluffton, South Carolina

I am not “specialing” a champion at the moment, but when I do, it’s a total commitment for me. 

My specials are not hit or miss for me, so the champions live and travel with their handlers, and that means shows every weekend with few exceptions. It’s the road I took to earn top rankings for my dogs. 

Over the years dog shows have morphed from two-day weekend events into four- and often five-day circuits. Frankly, I think that’s way too much, whether you show your own dog or prefer to have a handler for a day or two, perhaps meeting the handler at the show for a ringside “pickup.” That’s what I did with my first show dogs nearly 30 years ago. I drove to the shows, taking one or more dogs with me, sometimes showing a puppy myself and using a pro handler for majors that eluded me. 

Much of a person’s show attendance depends upon his budget! Using a handler to campaign a special is an expensive proposition, plus you’re separated from your dog(s) when you cannot attend the shows.  

I think the show entrees are priced fairly considering how expensive inflation has caused fuel and motels to become.  

Working people don’t have the luxury of attending a four-day event very often, which is why the largest entries are usually Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.  

Still, a dog show is my favorite thing in the world to do. And so say my dogs …



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