I know what I'm up against and am willing to try anyway..

Discussion in 'The Breed Standard' started by gemjunkie, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. gemjunkie

    gemjunkie Member

    I would like to understand what someone looks for in a puppy to show? My girl is on her way to 5 months. I know breeders, having good experience can and do pick out puppies they find exceptional by the 8 to 11 week period... Um, how? I'm going to have my girl evaluated tomorrow when I sign her up for he first classes (confirmation and obedience) since the trainer for her 'class' is going to be there.

    I got pick of the litter by what my understanding of 'breed standard' is. I met the litter 1/2 a dozen times for a couple hours at a time to see what the standing was of the puppies and I picked one that was in between the most outgoing and the most reserved and the one I personally thought looked the best. (No I'm not an expert but I intend to get myself a LOT more educated from here on out.)

    I brought her home at a bit past 9 weeks, a little early I know but she did GREAT! I've been socializing her with people, places, noises and other dogs in hopes she will not reject another dog someday when I get one. I take her EVERYWHERE they'll let me take her in. I'm even considering DELTA for her she is SO good with EVERYONE.

    Is there anything more I can do? She knows how to sit, lay and come up. Is pretty darn near potty trained (haven't had an accident for a while but she's only 4 months, can't crow too loudly yet). She will go right into her crate when I ask. I am having an issue with the barking sometimes, she is a talker.

    And wow, is this breed smart or what???!!! SO true they aren't quite 'happy' with a pat on the head w/o the treat for a job well done.. :p *cough-she's such a brat - cough*

    I have also dealt with the 'snobbitude' as I like to call it. I have emailed 2 local people with NO reply that are on the local corgi club. No I'm not giving up, now that the holidays are past, I'll be emailing AGAIN.

    Any suggestions/answers/advice for this stuborn new corgi mom here?
  2. glencorgi

    glencorgi Senior Member

    Now that's a loaded question. ;)

    Good idea. One stickler point - these are conformation classes. One shows in conformation (with an O) to determine how well their dog conforms to a standard. This is one of those nit picky things that can determine whether some people will take you seriously or not.

    Okay, before I answer some of the questions earlier in the post, what things did you look for structurally?

    EXCELLENT! :) The more she is exposed the more unflappable she'll be in the show ring.

    Bait, stack, give ears, expression, stand, gait, loose lead, paying attention

    Persistence will help.

    Okay, what advice or pointers did the breeder offer?

  3. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    Conformation showing is full of snobs - not to say that all show people are snobs. It is not an honest game - not to say all judges are not honest.

    Even for the experts a Corgi at four-six months is difficult to assess if he /she is going to be a winner. I had a Pem who everyone I knew gave up on. He didn't win his first challenge certificate until he was three years old. And from then he won 18 (it takes 8 to be declared a champion in New Zealand). plus Best of Group awards and a Best in Show.
    There are certain basic things that are apparent when a Corgi is only 4-8 weeks old but that is about all.

    NZ has reverted back to allowing dogs to be shown in conformation from three months old. So a lot of baby puppies would be trained up to some extent for showing at the youngest age possible. I had all my Corgis ready at around four months old . Some are naturals but all require walking at a fast clip without breaking into a run and walking to heel, instant stopping when required to a standing position and as much as possible with all legs square, alert with ears erect and head carried upwards (never drooping towards the floor/ground.
    Then there is the table inspection which has a whole range of actions/non actions for a Corgi and the handler.

    Agility and no doubt, herding and trialling, are more fun for Corgi and handler.
  4. gemjunkie

    gemjunkie Member

    Well, she measured up pretty good. The trainers said she does have good form, nice teeth (who doesn't at almost 5months?), is attentive, has very striking color and is an over all very pretty girl. BUT that doesn't mean she will show well..*SIGH* And she was classed at the small end for her breed at this age. Also, said, it doesn't mean she will not grow to perfect standard in the next 2yrs either. So, it was neither encouraging or discouraging, it just was.

    What did I look for? I looked for a nice straight back, and a puppy that looked 'right' to me. And of all the nutty things, one that was, pretty to me mostly.... I know, I know, no experience but it was a gutt thing.

    She starts her basics next Wed. I'll be the handler. I had the option to have someone else train her but I opted to learn for now.

    Everyone today was very nice but, this is just the beginning.

    From here out, I'll go to the brags section with progress (if there is any ;) ). I'm hoping she'll be ready by May to try a local show. That's just short of 5 months away, and she's really smart so, we'll see.

    Thanks for the help!

    *Was amazed at the rules for training/showing if your dog goes into heat as well, that didn't even occur to me until I read that on the paperwork! Doggie diapers, what fun.*
  5. glencorgi

    glencorgi Senior Member

    Okay, here's what I look for in a potential show prospect. First the overall package, proportions and general balance. Depth of chest, a little wider in the front is preferable to being too close. Shoulder angles, length of upper arm, proportion of length of ribs to length of loin. Shorter hocks and nice strong rear. Nice head, good ear set, good bone, nice oval feet in Pems, round ones in Cardigans. Nice level topline. Scissors bite. For a show prospect I am going to gravitate towards the more outgoing and confident temperament and personality. In Cardigans, tailset is going to be important too.

    Now there may be one puppy with all the attributes I'm looking for, that will be pick puppy. Now one puppy might have a better front while another might have a better rear, virtues might exchanged tit for tat amongst the puppies. Overall I want the most solid package possible.

    What you can from owner handling is invaluable. IF you don't have it, get a copy of the Illlustrated Standard and read, read, read and then read it again.

    Good luck!

  6. gemjunkie

    gemjunkie Member

    Funny, you mentioned a lot of things that they said they liked about my girl.. Very outgoing and friendly, 'bold little one isn't she? That's a good thing!'. Like 'nice feet'... Something i NEVER would have thought of but I guess it's a package thing in show isn't it? Something they said about the nice contrasting white to red, to red to black.

    They said A LOT of things that I didn't understand between each other too, hmm-ing and ha-ing the whole time, nodding and poking, getting her to walk and stand and run and jump and sit and rubbing her front and rear. Also said I need to do more reading as well... :eek:

    And this little ham soaked up the attention like a little doggie sponge!

    Sorry I wasn't a little more descriptive yesterday but I'd been up since 3am with a fish tank issue and wasn't thinking too clearly by the time I posted here and today, everything from yesterday is somewhat blurry.

    I'll be sure to ask the trainer again about what they said about her next week. Beyond them saying just because she appears good, it doesn't mean she will show well...

    Thanks again everyone
  7. glencorgi

    glencorgi Senior Member

    Yep, a show dog is a package and what one hopes to get is a package that conforms to the standard as closely as possible. And IF there is one puppy in the litter with the list of virtues and qualities I mentioned in what I looked for - well that is the pick puppy and 98.99% of the time the breeder isn't going to let it go. IF they do, it will more than likely be on a co-ownership.

    If you'll notice I said nothing about color and or markings factoring into what I look for. Obvious mismarks and/or fluffies would be automatically eliminated from puppies to consider for the conformation ring. The internet byb puppy farmers are predictably infamous for labeling their puppies with full white collars and nice blazes as "show quality." Ain't necessarily so, that's just icing - I want a full bodied cake underneath. It is what is underneath and how it is put together under the nice contrasting white to red and red to black that matters. For example, in a Pem I'd take a plainer puppy with a little rounder foot that had excellent shoulders, upper arms and strong rear over a flashier one with a collar and blaze that was cowhocked.

    What breeds do your instructors have? And what venues do they participate in with them?

    As I said, you need an Illustrated Standard (http://www.pwcca.org and look under publications). When we started handling classes - many, many years ago now ;) we were expected to have some understanding of the standard when we set our dogs up. Years later, when I was teaching I would ask questions about whatever breed I was examining - how they were supposed to be set up, what a judge in their breed would be looking for - truly educational for me. Learning about other breeds, helped me get to know my own better - structurally. Everytime you read the standard, you should pick up something new or a light bulb go off that you finally get a certain section. It is a life time study and I can thank my internationally known judge friends ;) for impressing that in me.

    Very true - there is a whole different environment when it gets to the show buildings and rings.


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