Trotting a dog around a show ring and posing her to advantage is a skill quite beyond my ken. Thus I was quite relieved when I ran into Tzuri’s breeder (Jose Diaz) at the Gulf Coast Schutzhund Trial / Breed Survey / Conformation Show, and he kindly arranged for a friend of his to be her “handler”.
Whew! I thought to myself as I slipped him a fifty dollar bill, I dodged a bullet and once again I can hide my ineptness.
Well, not exactly. Even with expert guidance dogs need to be pre-trained to strut a certain way and then stop and hold a pose which presents their best attributes in profile. It is, after all, a strict written standard of angles and proportions that she is being measured against.
Oh, Tzuri did okay.
For the most part…
I mean, like – it was her first introduction to dozens of dogs of all ages milling about on the show grounds just a few tempting yards from her. She barked and lunged (playfully) for about an hour, then settled down. Then too, I had abruptly turned her over to a complete stranger to maneuver her in strange ways, but even though bewildered and probably feeling like I had abandoned her, she played along the best she could.
Nevertheless, an 8-month old puppy with a mind of her own has her limits – like, when the Judge tries to open her mouth to examine her teeth.
That was embarrassing. The Judge can’t give her a grade unless she has the proper dentition, and Tzuri wouldn’t budge. They had to stop the proceedings and call me into the ring to see if I could manage her, but I had never asked her to submit to that kind of request before either.
Bad behavior notwithstanding, Tzuri got a gold medal and was evaluated in broken English by the SV Judge & Kormeister Helmut Konig as “promising.”
“Did you say that Tzuri came in second? That but for a fit of stubbornness she might have been in first place?”
“How many other dogs were entered in her 6-9 month puppy class?”
“Uh, like… one other dog.”
“So if Tzuri came in second, and there were only two dogs in the event, she received a prize for being last?”
“I prefer to say that she was runner-up and that the other dog came in “next to last.”
🙂 🙂 🙂
🙂 🙂 🙂