Sunday we put Hokie and Dirtman's conformation classes to practice at a match in Herndon.
Matches are fun, low-pressure versions of regular dog shows. It's great for getting a new puppy acclimated to the show ring and for learning how to show a dog. Though the judging doesn't have to be done by an actual AKC judge, clubs usually try to find judges among their membership to handle a group. It's a really great tool for getting fresh pointers and seeing what someone out of your usual advice loop thinks about your dog and your handling skills (or, in my case, lack thereof...).
The photos I took of the event really stink, but it's as good as they're going to get since I have to stand far away from the ring, hiding behind posts and other people, then try to catch a shot while Hokie isn't looking in that direction. Otherwise, he pitches a fit.
Hokie came in second. But, more importantly, the judge took the time to tell Dirtman how much he liked him over all. (Actually, when I saw Hokie and Dirtman get in the ring with a female junior, I kind of knew we weren't going to place first...not that that would ever make a difference...I'm just sayin'...).
I have my own theory -- and, if you look at Hokie he looks rather alarmed himself.
What is he alarmed about?
Dirtman's footwear of choice for the show ring.