Handler Couples: Chris Manelopoulos and Rachel Corbin

Meet this professional dog handler couple from Greensboro, N.C.

Chris Manelopoulos and Rachel Corbin
Greensboro, North Carolina

Chris and Rachel answered together.

Did you meet through dogs?
We first met at a dog show in Albuquerque, N.M., in 1993. We were both working for handlers at the time.

How long have you been handling together?
12.5 years.

Did you have your own personal breeds when you met? Have they changed because of your association?
Yes, we both had Poodles. Rachel also had a Shih Tzu. We still have Poodles and Shih Tzu, and we now have a Russell Terrier bitch.

Who drives?
We both drive.

Who deals with clients?
We both deal with clients, but mostly Chris talks with the clients.

Who does the paperwork?
Chris does almost all the paperwork.

Who trains?
We both train the dogs; it’s a shared and constant thing, but Rachel’s better at it.
Who picks out the better show outfits?
Rachel definitely!

Who shows what dogs and why?
It mostly depends on the dog. Chris has shown most of the specials but not all; Rachel campaigned Ch. Splash Di Caprio to No. 1 Miniature Poodle in 2010. Sometimes commitments do play a factor. Mostly we have long-time loyal clients, and they don’t care if either one of us show the dogs; they just want them to look their best with one or the other.

Are you competitive with each other?
No, we’re not competitive with each other. As long as one of us has the winning ribbon, it doesn’t matter!

What are some perks of being in the handling business together?

  • I don’t have to pay a handler.
  • You have a cheering section.
  • You have someone who can honestly evaluate your performance.

What’s a challenge?
We’re always on the road. It’s hard to find time for each other away from the shows, so you need to make it a priority.

Are you together because of dog shows or in spite of dog shows?
In spite of the shows; often it’s challenging to work and live together 24/7.

What’s the most important thing your partner has taught you in relation to the dog show world?
Too many to count … to only trust in a few people that have our best interest at heart and to be more patient with people and dogs. And smile!


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From the December 2012 (2013 Annual) issue of Dogs In Review magazine. Purchase the December 2012 digital back issue or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs In Review magazine.

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