Ratesdownload (1)
Skyscraper 3
Skyscraper 4

Back To Basics – Fundamentals Before Flash

Click here to read the complete article
218 – March, 2023

By Jessica Braatz

Whenever I have free time at shows, I watch juniors. I love watching the new talent and how they interact with their dogs and peers. I love seeing their days made by pink ribbons and kind words. As I watch, however, I have noticed a shift from fundamentals to flash. While some are showing true to their breed standard, others are showing as “flashy” as possible–and being rewarded in junior showmanship.

Thinking about this and its prevalence in our sport as a whole, Wayne Cavanaugh says it best in his article published in The Canine Chronicle, November/December, 2019 (pg. 74) titled DOG Show, or Dog SHOW? Regarding the current climate of dog shows, he poses the question: “why must a dog ‘nail the free stack’ from 10 feet away, regardless of the breed?” This is true for juniors as well. Why must a junior’s dog nail a freestack? Does this at all affect a junior’s handling ability?

When I was showing in juniors, I was asked endlessly to go around and freestack my dog in the middle. This was often in Best Junior or the end of a class and used as a deciding factor. How did my dog’s “flash” impact my ability as a handler? Shouldn’t it be judged on my ability to show off my dog’s breed specific attributes? I never showed breeds known for freestacking. My setter’s ears would goofily come up as he happily wagged and then leapt for his reward. It was never as pretty as the doberman’s freestack. I encourage judges to ask juniors to “present their dog,” and I encourage juniors to be ready to shine. This simple shift opens the door for handlers to show off their breed specific talents–the fundamentals–rather than generic “flash.” I want to see people rack up setters in a few seconds. I want head breeds shown off. I want large breeds walked into their stacks. I want to see juniors present their dogs in a way that makes them shine to their breed standard, demonstrating a complete understanding of the breed they are handling.

Click here to read the complete article
218 – March, 2023

Short URL: https://caninechronicle.com/?p=257936

Posted by on Mar 19 2023. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed


  • April 2024