Advice for Junior Handlers

Most dog show enthusiasts advise that juniors keep it humble, remember that your dog is your teammate, and most of all, have fun!

On the Dogs in Review Facebook page, Dogs in Review magazine asked this question to experienced exhibitors: If you had just one piece of advice to give a junior handler, what would it be? Most dog show enthusiasts advise that juniors keep it humble, remember that your dog is your teammate, and most of all, have fun!

Below are some of the exhibitors’ responses from the Dogs in Review magazine Facebook wall.


Be Competitive, but Keep it Humble and Ethical

Cheryl Claypool: Never be content. Always believe in yourself and your abilities, and always be competitive. Have fun.

Erica Morris: Be gracious, whether you won or lost. Whether the person who beat you is your best friend or the meanest person you’ve ever met, smile, shake hands and tell them congratulations (or accept their congratulations with a smile).

Jorge Noon: Be humble and help anyone that needs help, whether it is a fellow handler or anyone. Be aware that the idea of this sport (in theory at least) is to judge the qualities of the dogs, not the people. It’s all about the dogs, so care for them and look after their best interests.

Leslie Fejer: Be honest.

Cait Macanliss: Just because a pro handler does it doesn’t make it correct or ethical.


Remember You’re a Team

Lynn Pray: Smile, pay attention and have fun with your dog! I’m an AKC and 4-H Junior Showmanship judge, and my eye is always drawn to the team that works together the best!

Lisa Higham: Don’t get lost in the politics of dog showing. Remember, you and your dog are a team even for just that moment. When you win, you win together, and when you don’t, you learn together. Your relationship with your friend is far more important than a ribbon, and your memories will last you a lifetime.

Monica Galley: Smile. Be proud of your team.

Stephanie Schultes: Have fun! The team working together and having fun always prevails.

Kathy Smith: Enjoy it and leave all negative feelings behind. If you always try to do your best, you will succeed.


Have Fun!

Jessica MacMillan: If you can’t have fun with your dog in the ring, then you shouldn’t be showing. You show dogs because you love dogs — let it show.

Jo Lynn: Make it fun for your dog and enjoy yourself!

Jinnie Strickland: Remember this is fun.

Susan M. Haller: Keep it fun and have fun.

Katrina Clay: Have fun and enjoy yourself!



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