handling classes

Return of the Newbie

It’s said — mothers of small children will have to help me with this part — that after you give birth, you gradually forget about the pain you went through. Otherwise, every mother would have only one child. I’ve felt that way about finishing Dinah sometimes — but even through the fifteen gazillion broken majors, the terrible coffee, rain, snow, dark of night, and pre-dawn alarm clock settings, we’ve had ourselves some fun. Haven’t we?

This spring, I found myself with some time at home after completing a contract assignment at the end of February. It seemed like the perfect time to stay home and raise a puppy, soooooo… before I had really grasped what was happening, it was St. Paddy’s Day, and Val and I were squinting through a snowstorm as we drove past Erie, PA with no other company but the “Les Mis” soundtrack.


Meet Rowan (Burlesque Doing It Her Way)! She comes from our friend Laura, and was born at Laura’s mom’s house. I’ve been a fan of Rowan’s dad Bean since I saw his first show photos, and I’ve admired Rowan’s mom Leeza’s parents for ages. (Beanie also goes back to Dylan — Am/Can CH Breaksea Gone West — so he’s distantly related to Dinah and Badger.)

Rowan is currently 5 months old, and she’ll be making her ring debut in the 4-6 Month (Beginner) Puppy ring at our local cluster shows, the Southern Maine Coastal Classic. She becomes an honest-to-goodness class bitch at BCCME’s Regional Specialty on June 1, when she’ll be exactly 6 months and 4 days of age.

We’re currently practicing our ringcraft on Thursday nights with Penny Cary, the trainer and handler who helped finish Dinah’s CKC championship. We’re in good company over there; a number of my kennel-club compadres and their class dogs have joined in the fun.

Come by the show on May 19 and look for Rowan in the 4-6 Puppy ring! Auntie Val will show Rowan while I’m off playing at being Chief Steward.

About the New Newbie

We were waaaaay overdue for a move from Blogger and a site redesign. A thousand thanks go to cartoonist Michele Trifiro of Kabuki Cartoons for allowing us to use one of her hilarious works as our new site header.

If you’re on Facebook, you can visit Kabuki Cartoons’ Facebook page to see more of Michele’s works. Tell her Dog Show Newbie sent ya.

If you find that a particular cartoon really describes your dog-show experience, you can always visit Michele’s Zazzle store and order a copy of your very own, printed on apparel, drinkware or other goodies.

PSA: Summer Handling Classes in Fryeburg

Telling Tails in Fryeburg has just announced its summer handling classes with Beth Collins.

The Beginner session lasts 3 weeks and runs from 5:45 – 6:45 PM on Wednesdays: 7/11, 7/18, and 8/1. Cost: $75.00.

The Intermediate/Advanced session, which meets on the same three Wednesdays, meets at 7:00 – 8:00 PM.

Cost for either session is $75.00. FMI: call 207-642-3693 or visit www.TellingTailsTraining.com/conformation.

PSA: New Handling Classes in Fryeburg

Telling Tails in Fryeburg is offering two levels of conformation handling classes with Beth Collins, plus something new called Organized Mat Time.

Organized Mat Time is akin to a show-‘n’-go for conformation handling. The hour-long session is run like a dog show, complete with classes, groups, and a judge. (The basic flow depends on how many participants and which breeds show up.) Even if you have private or small-group handling classes, “dog show practice” like this is invaluable for you and your dog. You get to work on your handling technique and get comfortable with the basic flow of a show — and you’ll have your instructor there to help. I wish more places offered this type of instruction, since matches are so hard to find these days. (The large group handling classes at It’s a Dog’s World come close.)

Here’s the class schedule:

  • Beginner Handling: 3 weeks on Mondays, 2/20 – 3/5, starting at 5:45 PM. Cost: $75.
  • Advanced Handling: 3 weeks on Mondays, 2/20 – 3/5, starting at 7:00 PM. Cost: $75.
  • Organized Mat Time: 3 weeks on Mondays, 2/20 – 3/5, starting at 4:30 PM. Cost: $10 per session.

Pre-registration is required, even for Organized Mat Time. You can book online at the Telling Tails website, or call 207-642-3693.

For more information about the handling classes, see the Conformation page on their website or send an email.

PSA: New Handling Class Sessions

It’s a new year, all righty. If one of your resolutions was to get into a handling class to get ready for the spring shows, you’re in luck — opportunities abound at training centers everywhere! Here’s a short collection of training classes local to southern Maine. It’s not an exhaustive list, so please send information if you know of others.

Saco: Penny Cary of PETIQUETTE hosts her classes at Finish Forward Dogs. Classes start(ed) Thursday, Jan 5th at 7:30pm, then Jan 12th at 6:30pm for remainder of session. Contact FFD for information about current openings or to register for the next session.

Also in Saco: Penny hosts handling classes on Wednesdays at Paw-zn-Around. Contact Penny for more information.

PSA: Conformation Handling Seminar in York, ME

The information in this PSA was pretty much borrowed wholesale from IADW’s announcement. If you’d like to know more, call It’s a Dog’s World at 207-363-0099.

Conformation Handling Techniques with Sue Burrell

Wonder why your dog seems to always place a certain way in the show ring?

What was that judge thinking?

Bring your dog to the top by learning how to be a better handler with improved techniques.

National/International handler Sue Burrell will present to you handling techniques which will help you accentuate your dog’s best assets while covering up minor flaws. She will explain how to show your dog to the best advantage. Take this opportunity to study with Sue Burrell and gain from her years of knowledge and insight in the show ring!

Concerned you may not remember everything presented? Not to worry! Katherine Burrell will be on hand and can video tape your session, if you wish, for purchase so you can refer back to Sue’s advise again and again.

Seminar Details

When: Sunday, March 11, 2012
Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm
Cost: Participant: $75.00/handler Auditor: $37.00
Seminar Includes: Full day seminar (30 minute lunch break), handouts, and light snacks

*** it’s a dog’s world encourages attendees to bring a brown bag lunch as there will be opportunity to ask questions during the lunch break. There are several sandwich shops located within 4 miles of this seminar site. ***

****Special Offering****
For those of you not able to attend the seminar, Bill Burrell will beavailable for private evaluations after the seminar.
When: Sunday, March 11, 2012 Time: 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Cost: $50/evaluation
Pre-registration Required — Call to secure your evaluation!

it’s a dog’s world
3 White Birch Lane
York, Maine 03909


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