S'Dandi Shih Tzu
All Rights Reserved
2000 - 2008
Sally and Dick Watkeys
8235 Outer Drive South
Traverse City, MI 49684
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S'Dandi Shih Tzu
Just BePaws . . .
The Things People Say
Have you ever walked out of the ring without any points asking yourself why the judge said what he or she said? I have many times. After pondering the comments in my mind, I thought it would be fun to give all you owner/handlers a few of them. At first it made me angry, now it just puts a smile on my face. The reason for the smile is that I have decided when the judges need to rationalize their decision by telling me something negative about my dog, that dog is the one who should have won. Guess that’s why “playing” dog-show is always interesting.

Here are just a few comments my friends and I have encountered along the way.

“You have a beautiful dog. He’s just a little long-backed for me.” That was the first comment many years ago as we took 4th place in the Open Class. Looking at my dog, who was certainly not long-backed and who showed his heart out that day, I knew it was because I was new, a nobody, among many others more well-known.

As the Reserve ribbon was handed out with the points going to a handler, the comment was: “ This is a lovely, solid bitch. I really like her.” I had been in the ring for a few years this time and had a little more nerve, so I answered, “ I wish you had liked her just a little bit better.” The judge laughed.

“These girls are beautiful,” remarked the judge as she looked at the entries in the Bred-By Class. Neither of us won or took Reserve that day. I’ll let you guess who did.

“You have a beautiful dog. He just needs a little more time to mature.” At that I responded, “I hope he doesn’t need too much more time, he only needs a single point to finish.” That one really made me chuckle! You got it. Reserve, again, to a 4 point major.

Walking out of the ring with the purple/white ribbon again, the judge said, “He’s just lovely but not quite mature enough.” What is this “mature” thing? Either the dog is lovely or he’s not. Sometimes, I just don’t understand. Yes, I do. The win went to the handler.

“Beautiful dog. He doesn’t have quite enough neck for me.” My response was, “There is no perfect dog. If he had a longer neck, he wouldn’t be able to hold up his massive head.” And…massive, correct head was exactly what he had.

As I put my puppy bitch on the table after showing the above dog, the judge said, “Another beautiful dog.” So, I said, “I thought you might like to know that my boy got a 4- point major his first weekend out.” She had given him Reserve.

A friend recently had a similar incident happen to her. As she was handed the Reserve ribbon, the judge told her that her girl didn’t behave on the table. The Winner’s ribbon went to a bitch that also didn’t behave on the table. Go figure.

The next time a judge tells me that he/she really likes my dogs as I’m handed the Reserve ribbon, I think I’ll just say, “BUT?”

If you decide to comment to the judge, just be careful about what you say and how you say it. No one needs to be suspended for a comment considered disrespectful to the judge.

Some weekends are wonderful; some are very disappointing. That’s the dog-show world. If you’re lucky enough to have “beautiful” dogs, keep trying. One of these days, some very fair judge will acknowledge your “lovely” dogs with the right ribbons for those coveted points that make a champion.

I’ll never forget my first champion, his first major that was a 4-pointer with heavy competition in the ring that day. At a time when I was about to call it quits, this wonderful judge actually looked at the dog, I mean really looked at him and pronounced him her winner. Guess who was hooked for life at that point? There are terrific judges out there. Judges who will give you suggestions and hints. Those judges are the ones that are true treasures. It is my hope that the many provisional judges in the ring these days, will think long and hard before awarding the ribbons. Some day, I hope to see the best dog always win no matter who is on the end of the lead.

The above anecdotes have not been reported for any negativity. Hopefully, they made you smile. Some of you may have experienced similar situations. Take each experience for what it is and learn from it. Use each show to help you grow and improve.

Watch carefully to see what you can do to improve your handling skills. Keep a smile on your face, be a positive ambassador for our breed and keep trying. Sooner or later, it will pay off. The hardest thing for anyone new to showing is to stay motivated among the losses. Remember, we probably can’t out-show the handlers or out-groom them. We can out-breed them to produce the best puppy possible. Then, go for it!!!