WHO'S AT A DOG SHOW?
People often take one look at the chaos of a dog show and head for the parking lot! But once you know what’s going on, you’ll see less chaos and more of an orchestrated, if somewhat frantic, dance. So, who/what will you see?
· Grooming Area: Can’t miss this area with dogs of all sizes and shapes on top of tables being blown dry, teased, puffed and clipped. Groomers are spotted by the apron they wear and the pins and clips stuck to their clothes. Groomers are often pro handlers, too.
· Crating area: Often with the grooming area, or nearby. This is where owners plunk down their crates, chairs, coolers and other supplies for the weekend. If you are bringing multiple dogs, many shows allow you to sign up for an assigned spot prior to the show.
· Food and Shopping Vendors – Smaller shows usually do not have shopping vendors and the food vendors can be scarce, too. But larger shows are a great place to get dog equipment of all types. Many vendors will let you try items out before purchasing and if the item isn’t right after you’ve purchased, most will let you return or exchange it right away.
· Superintendent’s Table/Tent: This is where the show committee is located. Exhibitors and spectators can get info regarding the show(s), pick up catalogs and check for judging changes.
· Rings: This is where the conformation, obedience and agility will take place. They usually have numbers on poles by them and under the numbers a list of breeds to be judged, number of dogs in each class and the time.
· Judges: Found in the middle of the ring, ringside or at the professional photographer’s getting pics taken with new title holders. There are judges for every show class – conformation and performance.
· Stewards: Found ringside sitting at a table by the ring-gate (opening into the ring). The conformation ring steward hands out armbands to the exhibitors, lines up the exhibitors for the classes, arranges the ribbons and trophies on the table for the judge, calls each class into the ring, signals for clean-up as needed, and for the photographer. It is critical that they have the right dog with the right armband number as that is what the judge will use to record what place each dog wins in the ring.
· AKC Rep: This person circulates throughout the show, spot-checking to make sure all aspects follow AKC rules.
· Pro Handlers: Pro’s get paid to handle dogs in the ring.
· Owner Handlers (OH): The owner handles their dog in the ring. OH’s can be pros, too.
· Amateur Owner -Handlers (AOH): These are owners who handle their dog but are NOT pros and have NOT put a championship on a dog.
· Junior Handlers: Handlers under the age of 18. There are classes just for juniors where they are judged on how they handle a dog, rather than judging the dog.
· Performance Exhibitors: Handlers who compete in any non-conformation event.
· Official Photographer: Hired by the club holding the show to take pics. While it is okay to take casual pics, it’s not okay to take shots while the photographer is shooting so you don’t have to pay for the official pics.