Posted in dog behavior, dog shows / conformation, dog training, flyball, Realta Rosario Cooper, Stanegate Second Thoughts, tagged dog, dog show, dog shows, dog sports, dog training, dogs, flyball, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniels, IWS, Rose City Classic on February 2, 2010 |
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Or, at least, sometimes you don’t win. They’re not exactly the same thing. That’s what I’m trying to tell myself.
Take the most recent Rose City Classic dog shows. Both my dogs looked good. Stacy made Tooey look like a real show princess, and Tammy neatened up Cooper’s gundog cut. They’re both good looking dogs with nice movement.
But neither Tooey nor Cooper won Winners in the ring. Tooey came in first in her puppy class on one of the days, but then lost out to another beautiful bitch. Cooper came in 2nd and 3rd in his Open class on the two days — not enough to progress to the next level. So neither of them “lost” exactly — they just didn’t win.
And then there was last weekend’s Pineapple Express Flyball Tournament. Had Cooper been behaving himself consistently, he would have been much more likely to run more of the 64 possible heats. Instead, he got to run only 10 heats. The captain (rightly) pulled him because he was snarking at the teammate-dogs who were passing him at the start gate. And then, in a couple of the heats that he did get to run, some other dog on the team fouled — dropped the ball, ran outside a hurdle, or something.
All that led to fewer points than possible. Not exactly a loss — after all, he did get some points, and all the points count. He just didn’t do as well as I had hoped going into the tournament.
I think what went wrong was similar in both venues: a combination of handler error, overly high expectations, really good competition, and dogs who need more training and practice.
So what do we do? Get over the discouragement. Lower expectations. Maintain hope. Devise better practice. Work on it. Get support. And give it back.
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Posted in dog grooming, dog shows / conformation, friendship, Stanegate Second Thoughts, tagged conformation, dog, dog show, dog shows, dogs, grooming, IWS grooming, Rose City Classic on January 21, 2010 |
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I walked back into the grooming area at the Portland Expo Center, where the Rose City Classic dog shows are being held, to pick up Tooey. When I got to Stacy’s grooming space and saw Tooey, the first words out of my mouth were, “Oh, my God!” (“Thank you SO much” came later.)
I really, really wish I had taken a picture of Tooey before I dropped her off with Stacy last evening, so I could show you the transformation. She went from looking like a raggedy Muppet to a sculpted paragon of IWS beauty.
Rosemary reminds me that winning in a dog show takes more than a beautifully groomed coat. I know that’s true. A dog also needs structure and movement and attitude. I know that.
But, wow. Tooey looks like a fairy-godmothered show princess. Let’s hope she also moves and behaves like one in the breed ring tomorrow and Saturday.
And I should add: Let’s hope I remember to breathe and don’t fall all over myself while escorting Tooey around the ring.
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I can’t say much about this show since I wasn’t at the Portland Expo Center on the one day when Cooper got points in this year’s Rose City Classic. Jayme made him beautiful (she’s got real talent) and showed him in the Open dogs class. He won Winner’s Dog, so he went on to the Best of Winners competition.
That was held in conjunction with the Best of Breed competition, in which Jayme showed her husband’s dog, Orion. I never did catch the name of the woman who showed Cooper, where he won Best of Winners. (If anyone out there knows who she was, I’d love to hear so I can thank her.) Cooper finished the day with another 2 points.
Sadly, Rose City this year wasn’t a major. To become a champion, a dog has to win 2 majors, which are competitions in which more dogs compete — how many dogs are required for a major is determined by the AKC by region. Oregon is in Division 8, which currently requires at least 8 dogs for a 3-point major for IWS.
Later in the weekend, Cooper won Reserve Winner’s Dog. Nice, but pointless (so to speak).
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Tammy and Jayme brought Cooper from the Academy of Canine Behavior, so he could be shown in the Rose City Classic. Tammy, bless her, went to all the work to take care of him during the four days of the show, groom him, and try to rein in his enthusiastically distracted behavior. The top picture shows Tammy with Mowgli, Cooper’s somewhat calmer litter mate, and Jamie showing Cooper.
Cooper’s a very handsome dog, but he just doesn’t behave himself in the ring. He spins around, jumps, looks wildly around at everything going on around him, and generally has no focus at all. Tammy comforted me by saying that they wouldn’t normally show a dog who’s had only two weeks at the Academy, but that Cooper was too good looking to resist.
The chaos of 3,500 dogs and more than 6,000 people was just too much for him. We were lucky to get this one (somewhat deceptive) picture of him being relaxed (after Tammy spoke to him) for a few minutes up on the grooming table.
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