Monday, February 6, 2012

Another Dog Show Take Away

I've been meaning to post since the first weekend in February but, I've had a cold and just haven't had the energy.  On February 4, Miss Georgia went Best of Breed at a show in Doswell, VA.  It was a small Cardigan entry, no specials, but I'm still super proud of the little girl who is growing into such a lovely show dog.

In the past I've talked about all the crap you need to show a dog; grooming table, dryer, special shampoo, brushes, combs, chalk, etc.  Then there's the wardrobe considerations for the handler; color coordinating with your dog, making sure the skirt is long enough to cover your lady bits if you bend over, pockets, etc.  Of course there's teaching your dog to be a show dog; hand stacking, free stacking, gaiting, baiting, etc.  Then you go in the ring and hope for a win.  When it happens, it's exhilarating!  And then you get to the win photo....

Traditionally, you have a win photo taken for your first point(s), both majors and when your dog completes its championship.  There is a photographer at the show who will take the picture with or without the judge (with the judge is preferable), in the ring or at a designated photo area.  The photo is mailed to you, in a sealed plastic sleeve, within a week or two of the show.  You can usually see enough of the photo through the printing on the sleeve to determine if you want to keep it.  If not, you send it back and pay nothing.  If you open the sleeve and keep the photo, you have to pay for it.

Sounds pretty simple I mean, we take pictures all the time.  If you have dogs, chances are good you have literally hundreds of pictures of them - candids as well as stacked shots (if they are show dogs).  You've probably been in lots of pictures yourself too.  No big deal, right?  WRONG!

What they don't teach you in handling classes, or anywhere else for that matter, is that the win photo should be practiced as well.  Getting your dog appropriately stacked shouldn't be an issue - you've practiced the hell out of that.  Getting YOURSELF properly posed is an entirely different issue.  Which brings me to Georgia's recent win photo.
Click to biggify.

You'll notice that my face is obscured.  That's because I was so focused on getting G set up properly, making sure the collar didn't make her hair do weird things, making sure the lead wasn't dangling in an odd place, etc. that when the photo was snapped my face was NOT prepared.  I look like a turtle that has been goosed.  My expression is literally so distracting that you don't see the dog.

I'm willing to post an un-retouched photo if my dog show friends out there will share with me their less than flattering win photos too.  Send them to me at dina.delsman *@* and I will do a whole post of win photos gone wrong.  I need to know that others have felt my pain.


  1. While I don't have any win photos since I've never done conformation, I avoid getting caught on camera at all costs! Cameras very definitely do not like me! Posed, not posed, it's just not pretty!

    1. I'm not overly photogenic myself but, usually, I can pull off a halfway decent photo. This one was just bad on all counts.

  2. Oh no, after all the time you had to wait, too. :( I'm sure it's not as bad as you think, but it's a darn shame photographers can't just check these things before sending people on their way.

  3. Congratulations on the win for Georgia! I haven't ever had a picture taken with my dogs at a show, but if I do I will make sure to really really try to determine if I want it through the sleeve before opening it. But with or without a good picture, you'll always remember that win!