I’am one of the many people who like dog shows - the crowds, seeing the happiness of those fortunate enough to be among the winners, winning myself (of course), all the excitement of watching the Group judging when we can find the time to stay, and that final moment of suspense before the Best in Show is chosen. I like showing my Silkys. I still have nervous butterflies that invade my stomach when it's time to go in to the ring, but they fade away after getting in there.
What I don't like and what takes the fun out of it for me and many other exhibitors are the people with bad ring manners. Next time you're at a show, take the time to go around to the various rings and watch the really top professional handlers at work: the ones that consistently win the Groups and Best in Show. You won't find them resorting to any unsportsmanlike tricks to win.
They've got themselves and their dogs under control at all times. They know when to keep them under a tight control and when and just how to get that extra spark and showmanship out of them. They do not do this by letting their dogs charge at other dogs in the ring, or by crowding another exhibitor. They don't do it by throwing liver, combs, brushes, etc., too close to other dogs in order to upset them, or by trying to constantly keep another exhibitor off-balance because they think the judge favors the other dog.
Yes, I know there are some pros who resort to these things, just as there are many amateurs who do. But I've seen them quietly and calmly get their ears pinned back when the object of these tactics has been subjected to this sort of treatment over a period of time - and this is really no more than they deserve.
We all make mistakes in the ring. I've often felt that an extra pair of hands would be helpful when I'm trying to keep an eye on my dog, the judge and the person in front of me all at the same time.
When you are guilty of crowding someone, or accidentally upsetting their dog, do apologize. But if you find you're having to apologize too often, you'd better do some serious thinking about it and try to mend your ways and develop good ring manners. If you have a good dog, it will do its share of winning. But, is it really worth winning if you have to do it in an unsportsmanlike manner? Think about it.Reprinted from Purebred Dogs/American Kennel GAZZETTE May 1988, the Silky Terrier column. Thank you
There is always a lot of talk about friendliness at shows. If a new member — or even a non- member just interested in Silky Terriers — or Yorkshire Terriers - wants to talk to you at a show, do take the time and trouble to talk to them, and tell them you'll talk to them later.
If you happen to be busy at the moment grooming your dog or just going into the ring, introduce them to someone else standing nearby then do so. To many new people attending a show for the first time, the procedure of judging is very confusing, and it would help them a lot if they could understand a little of what was taking place. We've come a long way in Silkies from those early days when the entry was only a few dogs to the large entries we get today. In those days, there was a competitive spirit; but it was a friendly competitive spirit that is sometimes missing today. So next time you're at a show, try a little friendliness. After all, we should all be trying for just one thing — the betterment of the breed — and by talking to someone you maybe haven't spent much time with, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that's his goal, too, as it should be, even though he's going about it in a direction different from yours.
Show at Durack Silky Terrier Club
Australian Silky Terrier showing