Asta, Jeni and I attended the Four Seasons Belgian Shepherd Club UKC show today and had a wonderful day that resulted in lots of ribbons. It was the first show for both girls and I am very proud of both of them.
For those of you that know nothing about dog shows (and I was just like you not very long ago at all), 2 Brown Dawgs has some great posts about how they work, like this.
Both girls were the only Icelandic Sheepdogs there, which is not uncommon. It does mean that they both got Best of Breed (first out of one… ha) but they did both have to go into the ring to gait, stack and let the judge go over them and both handled this very well. Asta was a tad nervous the first time but got much more confident as the day went on so it was a great learning experience for her. Jeni, who is primarily an obedience/agility dog, has next to no formal “conformation practice” but knows how to stand nicely, walk well with me and tolerates people touching her, and because she is built well she has a great natural stack and lovely gait. One of the judges commented on how nicely she moved which was very appreciated.
Because they both won Best of Breed, they moved on to the herding group, which is where all the winners from the herding breeds go against each other. Asta did not place in group either show, which was a bummer but is understandable – she is a nine-month-old puppy at her first show and the rest of the dogs in group were Champions that were pros in the ring. However, practicing moving along the ring with other dogs is always great and she did very well.
Jeni got third twice in Altered Herding Group, and she was excellent both times. Jeni, who is not meant to be a show dog but tagged along for fun, has a few obvious faults (nothing disqualifying but, she isn’t perfect by breed standard) so I did not expect her to win big or anything but I was just so happy with how she handled herself. She was very focused on me as well, and was not at all bothered by the other dogs being so near to her. This is a dog who could not even hear a dog barking or see a dog hundreds of feet away without going into a lunging, barking frenzy a year ago. She stayed quietly in her crate all day when not in the ring, despite lots of dogs barking around her, and she didn’t bark or fuss once in the ring!
It was a very long day (about 10 hours), and both girls were champs. Of course, they both settled in for well deserved naps on the big bed once they got home!