By Marieann Gladstone

You are about to step into the ring with your Cardigan.  Glancing around, you check out the competition.  You know nothing about today’s judge.  You only have two minutes to help this judge make a decision.   How do you make the most of those two minutes?

 You have entered a dog that comes close to what the Standard describes as a correct Cardigan Corgi, one that even excels in breed type and is reasonably sound and in good condition.  We will assume that and that you have also honestly evaluated your dog's shortcomings and good points.   That’s step one.  Show the judge a dog that deserves to be in the show ring!  Know what you have on the other end of the lead.

  You’ve bathed, brushed and trained your dog to gait and show as a show dog.  The Steward calls the class, you hear your number called and you follow the others into the ring.

  You only have two minutes.

The class gaits as a whole group.  The second handler runs up the first dog, which turns around, while his handler gives a verbal correction.  The fourth dog isn’t lead broken and holds up the balance of the class.  The handler on the fifth dog pauses often to allow room to gait her dog. 

 The first dog now stands on the exam table and the handler constantly adjusts the dog while the judge tries to examine the mouth with some difficulty.  

 The second dog is set on the table, facing the wrong way and the judge indicates to turn the dog. 

 The third Cardigan displays a very wide straight front, and is too heavy.  Topline rises over loins lacking a moderate tuck-up.  On the down and back, the dog pounds as it approaches the judge.  Two minutes.

 The handler on the fourth dog is busy watching the next ring and doesn’t notice that his dog has done something to have to call for “Clean Up”.  Two minutes.

 This is a dog show.   AKC rules and the light of day indicate the importance of time and it is up to everyone to make the best of those two minutes.

 It is very frustrating when exhibits do not make the most of their short time in the ring, and also when they fail to exhibit sound typey dogs in proper conditioning. New exhibitors are not the only ones at fault.  Many seasoned exhibitors, as well as the professional handlers do not show their dog to their best ability.  Judges can make their initial rough evaluation on the first go around.  It is up to the exhibiting handler to make the most out of those two minutes.

Know what you have on the other end of the lead.

 Be at the ring on time!  Don’t hold up the class or the judge.

 Pay attention!  Know what pattern the judge is using and which way your dog should be facing on the table.

 You are in THIS ring with THIS dog at THIS moment in time.  Keep your attention in THIS ring with THIS dog at THIS moment in time.   It seems obvious, but judges only have two minutes to evaluate each dog, and if you can’t be bothered presenting your dog, your judge will lose interest in you and your dog, and find a worthy winner elsewhere.

 If you should fail to come away with the top awards, and you decide to ask the judge later for comments, by all means do so, but do not come up to the judge to critique your dog without the dog!!!

 Make the most of your two minutes.


December 2004



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