Showing Your Bullmastiff Or Bordeaux
Above is friend of mine showing LonelyCreek's
Mr. Bowdious as young dog. Probably a year old here. Sam was
invaluable help when he found us, Wanting to show our dogs but
knowing NOTHING (less than nothing!). Sam and his wife were very
patient and beyond helpful not only in teaching us to show but
helping us improve our breeding program.
Six years later this is
link to me in the ring
with Brezzy Hill Cash is King went Winner Dog Best of Winnr
for Major at Joplin MO Nov 7th 2010. Funny thing he sets down
twice on me. I am not a professional handler! I could write a
page about all the mistakes I've made (make) The thing to
remember about going in the ring is have FUN and make it fun for
the dog or they will not like showing then it is very difficult
to finish them. And remember judges are people to! Be nice! even
if you don't agree with who they put up (chose to win) that day.
It's just an opinion sometimes I agree and sometimes I don't.
But I paid for their opinion and that's what I got. If you
really don't like the judge don't show to them again. On that
note I have NOT found judges "for sale" or "political" I have
found people that like to claim/believe this. It has been my
experience (most of the time) judge just pick who they like or
whom they feel best meets breed standard. It is nice to have
handler and dog move together and listen and give to one
another. I watched a you tube of a bullmastiff not paying
attention to handler and being very disrespectful in ring. Talk
about a night mare! The dog finally tripped the female handler
and she fell down. I'm surprised the judge didn't dismiss them.
Again the judge has opinions wheather type is
most important (great head)top line, bite, movement, bone,
overall size, it all matters what the judge feels is important,
and maybe you do have the best dog in the ring and turned in a
terrible proformance that day, it all matters.
Where to start?? Good question. If you have good
kennel club in your area they should be holding Conformation
Classes. Here you should be able to find some good instruction
and meet people that are going to local shows that SHOULD be
willing to help you. If you meet Ms. Bossy of the club that day
please don't be put off and excuse her "know it all" attitude
until you find Mr. Helpful and Miss Polite that aren't looking
to knock you down to elevate themselves. Just google largest
city around and "kennel club" to locate one closest to you.
Earning your AKC (American Kennel Club)
Championship is usually the goal of showing your dog. What
people are doing is proving their dog conforms to their dog's
Bullmastiff Breed Standard And therefor worthy to be bred
(reproduce) and pass on quality traits to their off spring
(sometimes called "gets").
There is something to be said about showing in
the AKC. It is the top of the standard to register your dog
because they are the ONLY club that insures correct pedigree
through DNA testing. In other words all the other clubs out
there just take your word for it that you bred "Sally" to "Duke"
and these are their off spring. The problem with that is
pedigrees are not always correct if "Deasel" got to "Sally"
To earn one's AKC championship it takes 15
points and within those points there must be 2 majors earned
(major amount of dogs present).
Link to AKC page that explains more. I have seen dog earn
their championship in just a few weekends usually if they are
mature (at least 18 months old) and are exceptional dogs. But it
usually takes a while (a LOT of miles, hotel rooms, sign up
fees, getting up EARLY, finding a parking place, shampooing
dogs, and last but not least running around the ring with your
dog). One reason is you may drive 200 miles and only one or two
other dogs in your breed signed up so when you win you have only
earned 1 point. As you can see to get to 15 can be a job!
I have shown in the "International
Dog Show CLUB" (they call themselves International All Breed
Canine Association) the key word here is CLUB. To be a TRUE
international champion a dog must earn championship in 3
different countries. So this Club hires judges outside the USA
and calls themselves "International" which is okay the bit
deceiving part here is most of the time any dog can earn it's
International Championship in ONE weekend. Because it's not just
ONE dog and ONE bitch (proper word for female dog, I didn't come
up with this word but ALL judges use it so get used to it if you
plan to show as I was told by judge Mr. Fredrickson) as is the
case in AKC ring. But any dog or bitch that has merit can earn
their "International" Club Championship. So it's a fun weekend
where you show twice in one day so you have done 4 shows in 2
days. It's good training for a young dog. My "beef' is with the
use of the word "International" as any TRUE International
Champion would feel a bit slighted by the use of this title.
Having said that it IS easier from our European friends to at
least get to the show in another country! It's like us driving
to Ok or MO or TX. But still you have drive, sign up and show up
and win to earn this. One thing I do like is it's way smaller
show and judges write comments about your (beloved) dog and we
all like to hear nice things about our friends.
A word about UKC Champions (United
Kennel Club) in this club again there are usually only about
300 - 350 dogs at show (most AKC shows are 800 to 1200 average
with larger shows 2000 to 4000 dogs there) so a BIS (Best in
Show) or Group placement in a UKC or International Club show is
quite different than in an AKC dog show. Now in this show a dog
has to earn 100 points to earn championship but if dog/bitch
wins (there is only one winner per sex per breed per show) they
earn 25 points. And there are 2 shows a day (the reason there is
NO way AKC could do 2 shows a day is the amount of k9s present
competing. AKC shows usually go 8:00 to 3:00 or 4:00 or even
later, believe me it's an ALL DAY thing if you stay for BIS) so
4 shows a weekend. Therefor a dog could and often does earn
championship in one weekends if you have nice dog.
Now I'm not being disrespectful to any of these
clubs. They are fun and exciting weekend (lots of work!) and
great way to get in practices for the real thing the AKC shows.
:) Okay my opinion folks, hold the hate mail if you feel
differently. Just trying to point out the huge difference
in the amount of competition, work, effort, travel and sometimes
quality of dog with a CH in front of their name depending on
which club you have competed in.
Here is a couple more great links about showing
Your Bullmastiff .... ... ...
Diagram of show ring and more instructions