Thursday, November 27, 2008

Benched Show

No, silly, it's not a Bench Show......  it's a Benched Show! That's where the dogs have to stay at their benched area when not in the show ring so the public can come by and visit and learn more about the breeds. No, there are no park benches. It's just an area where the dogs can keep their crates side by side usually grouped with the same breed, amongst friends who have the same breed. The big Westminster show in New York is a benched show. Here in California we have our benched show in San Francisco with the Golden Gate Kennel Club held at the Cow Palace. No, there won't be any cows there. Yes, Hummer will be there with all of his friends. It will take place on January 24th and 25th. Yes, puppies are allowed to compete but you have to be at least 6 months of age and have received a blue ribbon in a previous show. There will be a $500 cash prize for the dog who gets Best in Show, and a $100 prize for Best Puppy in Show. We get to decorate the bench area and try to win a prize for Best Bench in Show. No, it's not the same as "decorating the kennels" which I know you are good at! Yes, when you are big like Hummer you can  go to the Cow Palace. You want to go to the park now? Ok, let's go.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dog Show Expenses

Dog show expenses vary from show to show depending on the number of dogs you enter, the distance you have to travel to get to the show, and whether or not you have to stay in a hotel or rent trailer or RV space at the show grounds. For one dog, the entry fee is approximately $25 per day. That's the easy part. Gas, Food, and Lodging range any where from $200 - $400 per weekend. Miscellaneous expenses include parking ($5 per day), catalogue ($10), new show outfit ($100), bait ($3), and Handler Fees can cost upwards of $200 per weekend). Handling your own dog can cut expenses considerably but you have to be able to compete with the professional handlers in the ring. With a professional handler, your weekend bill for showing one dog can reach $500 or more if you get a Group or Best in Show placement.  This does not include the time you have spent grooming and feeding your dog. 

Dog show equipment can be very costly. To groom your dog properly, you need a grooming table, a forced air dryer, extension cords, possibly a generator, specialty combs and brushes, a dolly to transport all of the stuff, a portable chair, a nice grooming box to keep all of your combs, brushes, and scissors. Good grooming scissors cost at least $200 a pair and it will cost $6 to sharpen them which needs to be done at least twice a year if you trim your dog often. Long-haired breeds require a great deal of trimming and special shampoos and rinses to maintain a nice coat worthy of competition. A show dog's coat should be lush and beautiful which requires not only consistent care, but excellent nutrition. Nutritional supplements are also very expensive. 

The Newfoundland Show Dog requires a dedicated attention to coat-care and nutrition, training for fitness and notable ring presence, and is demanding in time and expense. The pay-out, however, is a tremendous satisfaction in owning and appreciating one of the most beautiful dogs ever as well as a the pride in developing such a magnificent breed of dog. Winning is just the icing on the cake. With a Newfoundland dog, from the days of the developing puppy to the prospect of a competitive show specimen, to a proven Show Champion, and on to winning Best of Breed, the experience is..... priceless.