We never attended any exhibition shows with our first
dog, Maico, though he grew up to become a handsome Labrador. In
1985 we got our second Labrador, Robin, and with him we attended
some shows. Our first show with Robin was the Norwegian Winner Show
in Sjølyst in 1986. Robin had learned that he often got his
treats if he sat down, so he practically sat all the time while
in the ring! But though he hadn't been trained for show he became
2nd best Junior Male with an honour prize. With that our interest
for exhibition shows started to increase, but we only attended a
few more shows before we lost interest.
In 1992 we finally got our first toller, Anya. We were curious about
most things in the dog world, and wanted to try many activities
with her. So you can say she was our guinea pig. Anya attended several
shows, she was trained for hunting and tracking and she had several
litters. So when we first started our career as active dog owners,
we tried almost everything.
Now we've shown our dogs for more than 10 years, and both the positive
and the negative aspects are clearer to us now. Showing your dog
doesn't demand much training in advance, so it can be a great starting
activity for inexperienced dog owners. At shows you will meet a
lot of nice people, you can exchange views with other dog owners
and you get an objective evaluation of you dog and/ or your breeding.
People that achieve good results with their dogs on
their first shows often become devoted for life. Though the results
may vary later, they will still remember the excitement, and they
will keep striving to get that feeling again.
People that get negative comments on their dogs at the first shows
will most likely give up showing. Many people seem to think that
you only find envy and gossip ringside, and you do find that, but
if people could be more objective when they evaluated their own
dogs, there would probably be less envy and gossip. Not all dogs
are born winners, and if you are honest with yourself, you will
probably see why the other dogs do better than your dog.
Different judges will have different favourites, the dogs have their
rainy days and the owners definitely have days when they should
have stayed in bed.
We often hear people saying that the breeders often win with their
dogs because they know all the judges. Of course that can happen,
but on most occasions there are other reasons for that. Breeders
often have several dogs to chose from, and they will seldom show
a dog that is not fully fit for showing (properly trained, well
musculated and in excellent coat). They also tend to know what kind
of type the judges like, and they will show only dogs of that specific
If one has good sportsmanship and an objective view on own dogs,
showing is a great activity with your dog. Since we're breeders,
there are many reasons for us to show our dogs. But in short terms
it's mostly about getting the judges opinions on our dogs, and of
course the excitement of holding the leash of the BIS-winning dog…