Committed to the improvement of the breed by breeding for health, temperament and better structure in dogs that have the ability to herd.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How many times is too many?

I did Awards Records from the AKC for Zoe, Mitcham and Ell. They are my three Champions and I was curious how many times in fact they were Winners, Reserve, Best of Winners or BOB/BOS.

I also noticed the number of times they were in the ribbons. In Cardigans, there are usually small enough entries that everyone gets a ribbon. Sometimes not, but very rarely. I compared these records with my own and noticed that in all the days of showing only one did not get a ribbon one day (she was 5th out of 5).

So my question. how many times is too many? how many shows do you enter before you call it quits? I didn't think any of the wins were prolonged...even if I did finish Ell when she was three (but only showed her 3 days in the last 18 months).

Its very rare that you get a dog or bitch that finishes in three days with 5 point majors. It happens, but again....very rarely. Its not a slight at anyone's dog not being good enough, but the odds???

What is a reasonable amount of times? 25? 50? 100? I know some people only show to breeder judges. Or at specialities. The wins when they are won are very respectable. But how often can people do that?

Mitcham was shown 18 times before he earned his CH title. 16 days he was WD, 2 he was RWD. Of those 16 times he was BOW 7 times and BOS 5 times. His three times out as a special (a move up really) he was BOB all three days for majors towards his Grand Champion. He finished quickly, but only had competition in the Dog classes three times. His points were all cross over points. Its hard to finish a male dog in Briards because most people do not keep them.

So what's my point? I don't have one. Just curious as to the madness. I showed both Zoe and Ell 40 some times. Each of them was RWB 14 times and WB 8 or 9 times. I don't think that is awfully many considering I live in an area with not many majors.

As my dogs improve and I am in the breed longer should I/will I only show to breeder judges or at specialties? Will I only show to certain judges and only enter when they are within driving distance? Its thought provoking

I"d be curious to hear what you think about this subject.


StubbyDog said...

I think you have to know why you're showing a particular dog, and what you want out of it.

My first Champion, I had no "plans". I was just showing for fun, and he finished in 13 weekends of shows if I remember right, so that would be approx 26 individual shows. It wasn't hard to finish him, might have been faster if I'd had any idea what I was doing LOL. With Leo, I again didn't really have any plans, was just showing to have fun. I don't know how many shows it took him, but again it wasn't really that long and he finished pretty young.

When I got Lizzie, there was a bit of a shift. When I had something that was a step up in quality, I wanted to be able to go and compete at some of these bigger shows. So I took her to bigger shows and supported entries. I went to the California national with her! Which seemed crazy until she won her class LOL. She was the oldest dog I've finished, but I was proud of the placements and comments she got along the way. I'm taking a lot the same approach with Nash. I could push and find more shows with points for him...but I'm not really in a hurry. He's just now coming into himself and looking good...I want to be able to take him somewhere and know he has a darned good chance to win. And yeah, I like having a nice dog and showing him off.

But your average, nice show dog? I think it just depends on whether the person is still having fun. If they aren't...well then I think it's time to revisit.

penni said...

One of the things that I think happens to us (especially when we live where there are few shows) is that we enter regardless of the judges. It's really important to bring some pressure to bear on the show-giving clubs to give us knowledgeable judges. They don't have to be breeder/judges, but they should have been through the CWCCA judges education program, and have demonstrated that they know and like Cardis.

We have six nearby show days a year, so I always enter every day and then kick myself because I showed to a judge that does not deserve an entry.

I believe taking a more active role in judge selection will make staying close to home more attractive.

Getting a Championship in under 20 show days requires strategy, great grooming and showing, and luck. It might be interesting to put up a poll of some sort to find the average number of shows a dog must attend to earn that CH.

Red Dog Mom said...

Sam finished in 9 shows but he was also 7 years old. I think how many times you show really depends on a lot of things - your wallet, the area you live in, how far you are willing to drive for shows (we need 11 bitches for a 3 pt major!), the judging panels, etc. I also think you have to chat w/your mentors a lot. Get their opinion of the dog(s) you are showing to see if it's worth it to go on. Also, keep really great records on the judges you show to - what kind of dog do they put up or do they put up handlers. You can spend a lot of money going to judges who will never put up your dog - not because your dog isn't deserving but because your dog doesn't fit their interpretation of the standard.

Baledwr said...

I don't think I've shown a dog 40 times...even a pemmie and they are MUCH harder to get majors on. I did get about 10 major reserves (including specialty) on Shaniko (pemmie).

It depends on the dog and the competition. I like to show them several times as puppies, then not push till they are ready. And that means mature, even if it's at 3 or 4. A lot of people show when a dog isn't ready to win and get disappointed when it doesn't. I try to plan it and not waste my $$$/time. Plus, people remember your dog at the bad times much more than the good, lol.

With time (24 years and counting) I go to less shows but that's distance/time/money. The last several I've gone to about 4-5 weekends a year. I've finished or put majors on several dogs that way. I am somewhat picky - there are judges I skip or go further for, show venues I won't do even if they are close, etc. Mostly it goes back to what dog is ready when I show.

starrynights said...

Very good question! I find that the longer I am in this crazy game of dog showing, the pickier I get.

My first bitch, Kimi, was the queen of major reserves. I recall showing her a lot and losing a lot. LOL. Sometimes because the judges didn't deserve the entry, as Penni said, other times because of, ahem, behavioral issues and other times because of me! I had one judge tell me to my face that he liked my dog, but that I blew it with my poor handling. Ouch.

So after taking some time off to show other people's dogs (helpful for learning to handle better) I am back in the game again. But this time I am much more choosy about which shows I go to. Most often my decision is based on how it fits into my busy schedule, location, budget and how important it is to me. Like Mandy said, I will attend smaller local shows, often just for one day, to get ring experience. But I usually save my time and money for bigger shows like Portland and/or Richland.

I wish I had kept track of how many shows it took to finish Kimi. She didn't finish until she was 3 and more mature, both physically and mentally, and then she took back to back 5 point majors to finish with a bang!

I remember feeling bad that it was taking so long to finish her. Now, not so much. I am ok with taking my time and letting the dogs come into their own.

Kaye said...

I am still on the fence with Sky, she did win RWB first day out, but from then on it was all about the *too* much white. If I had deep pockets, yes. But considering how many judges won't get past the white, it seems monetarily foolish to take her back out.

I think how ever long it takes to point a dog is all in your own perception. If it takes 40 shows, and you are happy then it was worth it.

solsticekennels said...

I think it depends on where you are and what you show against. Sometimes you have a flyer (I did with PJ he finished with 4 majors)out of the 6-9 class) but when you have good competition you tend to share the wealth a lot in an area so it takes longer I think.

Lindy was 4 years old and had a lot of shows under her belt she either won or walked. We had some behavior issues between 1-2yrs and a litter of puppies at 3yr so she had several breaks.

I know I have retired 3 cardis after I evaluated them and chose to pull them from the ring so I don't think there is an enough/not enough answer, just more questions.

Traci said...

I've kept track of most of the shows I've entered in and how the dogs placed.
It took Kota 7 wins, and he finished at 19 months old. (I didn't keep as good of records with him).
Sedona was shown 20 times before she won her first point! She was shown a total of (interestingly) 50 times to achieve her CH. I showed her from January 2007-February 2010. There are huge chunks of time taken off in between there, but after Feburary of this year, I sent her with a handler and it was the best thing I could have ever done. He finished her, showing her a total of 17 times. Some would have given up, but I just couldn't. There are so many things I LOVE about her and wanted that CH on her before I bred her.
Chance was shown a total of 27 times and won 8 times.
What really was disheartening, is that both Sedona and Chance were better than Dakota, but they were so much more difficult to finish. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with where I showed the dogs. Kota, I finished in CA/OR and WA. The other two were shown in AZ/CA/NM. It takes a gazillion dogs/bitches for majors here. :(
So now that I've gabbed for a year, I guess you can tell that I am far from the person to tell you how long is too long. As long as you and the dog are having fun, it's not too long. As long as you believe in the dog you're showing, go and have fun and take your chances.