Monday, November 3, 2014

Tucker's Debut in the Breed Ring

This past weekend we packed Tucker up and headed to Tennessee for the East Tennessee Collie Specialty.  This was going to be mine and Tucker's big debut in the breed ring.  We had practiced for over a month on stacking and gaiting so we wouldn't make complete fools of ourselves out there.

We took the ears out Thursday morning and they stayed tipped all weekend!
We were lucky enough on Friday to have a Sweeps offered so Tucker was able to get in the ring twice on Friday (4 times really ... I'll explain in a minute).  I wanted all the ring exposure time I could get for him.  No better place to learn than in the ring.

Our breeder had hooked us up with some wonderful people to help and make us feel welcome for our first try and I couldn't be more thankful for them and our breeder!!!  They really made the experience even better.  It was a little daunting to think about going into something completely new for us and not have a friendly face around, but we did!!

I was soaking everything in when we got there and watch how people were grooming and getting their dogs ready.  Our grooming practice from the weekend before paid off and I saw I did do it right with a few minor adjustments.

Our first class was the 6-9 month dog Sweeps.  This was our very first time in the show ring!

This is the gait of a very happy boy!

I had to hold him still for the judge to look him over.

Next up was the Best in Sweeps class.  Since we got first place we were going back in the ring.  Here are pictures from that class.

His tail wagged the entire time!

There is that happy gait again!

We may not have got anything but it was a great first time in the ring.  People said I even looked like I knew what I was doing!  

It was soon time to go back in for the actual Specialty.  We were entered in 6-9 month dog, again.  This time Randy got video of it.  

After all the regular classes were finished it was time for Winner's Dog.

It was a good end to the day.  We watched the rest of the classes and soaked up all we could on how the dogs were being handled and what we needed to do to improve.

Saturday was an all-breed show and day 2 of the Collie Specialty.  We didn't enter the all-breed show (didn't realize we could!) so didn't show until the afternoon.  That worked out just as well because we got to watch some more Collies show and get some more tips.

I felt Tucker showed much better on the second day.  We were the only dog, again, in 6-9 month dog so were able to get in the Winner's Dog class.

Here is the class video:

You'll see he was happy!

It was soon time for Winner's Dog again.  I found out when I got home we were in the ring with a lot of the big time Collie handlers ... glad I didn't realize that at the time!!  We went in confident and tried to show our best!

We came out of this with a very happy boy, and that is what I wanted.  I want him to be happy in the ring and not hate it like I saw with some.

We have some stuff we need to work on ... not sitting!  He sits so well and its so automatic that we have been struggling with the stand command.  And also I need to start getting him to bait/stack straight on in front of me.  That is how Collies are shown and excessive handling is also not wanted so I need him to learn to stretch out more in the back end.  He will get it with time and practice some ... he is just a baby after all.

He was exhausted on our trip home and slept soundly.  Next up will be a show in Winston-Salem in a month.


  1. You did amazing for the first show! I'm sure there will be many more to come.

  2. Tucker had every right to be "tuckered" out! Looked like a fun day!

  3. Loved reading about your first show and the photos were great. Tucker is such a handsome boy!

  4. Thanks! I met a lady there, Kathleen Price, that came up and told me about recommending Shelley as a breeder for you years ago. Really enjoyed talking to Kathleen.

  5. I love Kathleen! She and Joey are the best!

  6. Sounds like that was a great first experience. I am surprised they judge rough and smooth collies together.

  7. He is such a pretty dog! I second being surprised rough and smooth were together.

  8. They were shown together for the Sweeps class which is an optional class where if you win it you get money. And the Sweeps was just for dogs 18 months and younger, I think.

  9. They only did it for the Sweeps class. They didn't do it for the regular show.

  10. I'm glad he had fun! (And you did too). If you don't enjoy it, there is no point. I don't know how far you want to travel, but in Feb. our collie club, with a few others, hold a collie specialty weekend. The shows are at a hotel, and you can spend the weekend learning and meeting other collie lovers. I think there are four shows during the weekend, this coming Feb.

  11. Congratulations on your first show. It's great that Tucker had fun and didn't get into too much mischief in the ring.