SHOWING DOGS FOR BEGINNERS
Whether you purchased your Shiba from Kawako or from another NSCA breeder we would like to inspire you to show your Shiba. Our breed and the sport dogs needs good natured people out there showing their beautiful Shibas off. Showing your dog can be a fun family activity and teach children good sportsmanship by your example. There are so many new events to try everyone in the family can pick something fun to train your dog in and then go out there and compete for titles. That's the thing, you don't have to compete against other people and dogs.
Working with a trainer or a training group and/or having a Shiba mentor assist you is a great way to get started. Having someone there with you to cheer you on always helps with the nerves. Dog shows are not always wonderful places to be. There are obstacles for newcomers but that shouldn't stop you if you love your dogs and want to participate in shows. Read this article for some ideas of what old and new competitors experience.
But why on earth go do something that makes you nervous? Why put yourself in the position of being embarrassed by the family pooch? Well, there are lots of good reasons. It is a healthy sport. Your dog gets you off the couch to attend classes, go for walks, runs or out to herd, hunt or jump through hoops! There is nothing better than seeing your children graduate. You get the similar feeling of accomplishment when your dog performs well. Notice I did not say wins, I said performs well. Winning isn't everything. Being in sync with a dog you trained yourself when you are the only ones out there, just doing your thing, well it feels GREAT!
KAWAKO SHIBA INU
(pronounced: cow-a-co she-ba e-new)
Sandra Mowery has said it much more eloquently than I:
Why Title a Dog?
Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to a higher title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores, a title is a tribute to the dog that bears it, a memory for as long as anything in this world can remain. Few humans will do as well or better in that regard.
And though the dog itself doesn't know or care that its achievements have been noted, a title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count.
A title says your dog was intelligent and adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog loved you enough to do things that please you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed.
And a title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with it because it was a good dog, that you believed in it enough to give it yet another chance with faith, and that, in the end, your faith was justified.
A title proves that your dog inspired you to that special relationship enjoyed by so few; that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a title was greatly loved, and loved greatly in return.
And when that dear short life is over, the title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of pride in one small set of initials after the name.
A title earned is nothing less then love and respect, given and received, and permanently recorded.
This page was last updated: 6/20/2020
NEWS BITES- What is "type."
Breed type is defined as the sum total of attributes that contribute to the overall impression of the animal as a recognizable breed within a species. An animal is said to have good breed type if it closely conforms to the written standard of the ideal specimen. It's the details that make an animal recognizable. An Arabian horse is recognizable from a Clydesdale but what makes an OUTSTANDING Clydesdale is in the details.
A breeder of quality dogs pays attention to the finer points of the breed standard and is always trying to improve upon those points in her own dogs. Once the basics of outstanding temperament & superior health have been met a breeder looks at the slant of the ear, the color of the eye, the hair on the tail. All the little things that ad up to being as close as possible to the perfect Shiba.
An animal that is lacking in type does not stand out in a crowd of its peers. Some people can pick a quality animal out of a lineup and other people just don't see the difference. Most experienced breeders can pick the best from the lineup no matter what breed or species it is they are evaluating.
For more information on the finer points of the Shiba go to the National Shiba Inu Club of America's (NSCA) at shibas.org.
STANDARD OF BEAUTY - PERFORMANCE & FUNCTION -
HEALTH & TEMPERAMENT
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What about breeding you ask?
Just like Shibas aren't the dog for everyone, breeding shouldn't be done by everyone. It may seem like breeding your own show dog is the obvious progression after showing your dogs in the breed ring and performance events. Owning and showing one or two dogs is completely different then breeding a litter, keeping a puppy from the litter or owning a stud dog and 5 females (that all fight.) Breeding ads considerable expense to the hobby. Plans must be made for construction of a proper whelping area away from the hustle and bustle of active family. Then a safe puppy proofed area for pups to play, with an easy to clean floor and a similar covered area out doors safe from predators. There is veterinary care starting before conception. The list goes on and on. I like this article that compares several ways people become "breeders." If you are serious about breeding a litter ask an experienced breeder to mentor you. Be present for several of her litters before you strike out on your own. Asking for help is not a weakness but a strength in my opinion. Even after almost 40 years breeding several different breeds of dog I still have several go to gals when it comes to questions I have about breeding, whelping litters, stud dog management and contractual agreements. Only experience teaches us about some of the more rare, weird circumstance that can occur and someone I know may have had that happen to them before. A few phone calls and one of the gals will help me through this mess that ALWAYS happens after vet clinic hours. Sometimes you just need a friend to talk dogs with or a shoulder to cry on. Still I feel blessed to enjoy the animals and have such wonderful friends.
Everyone has nerves. It always helps me to remember everyone out there is nervous, even the professionals get nervous sometimes! The steward is nervous because she wants to be the best steward to the judge she can. Even the judge can be nervous about their ring times being on schedule so even the judge is being judged on their performance! Just about EVERYONE at the show is nervous about something. This can bring out the worst in people but on the flip side there are many kind and generous people willing to help newcomers gain the skill and confidence they need to be successful in the ring.
It takes all kinds to run the world and the same is true for the dog show world so don't let the buggers get you down on showing your dog. I think a well timed comeback to a mean person always stops them in their track so just having a though in your mind of what you will say to anyone who criticizes your performance will keep you smiling. But I have a bit on the wicked side....tee hee.
What about politics? Everyone always assumes politics plays a huge role in dogs shows and it can on occasion affect the final outcome of the show. Most owner handlers of dogs in their breed ring do not have to worry about the upper levels of competition where the majority of that goes on. We want to win our class and then win Winners Dog or Winners Bitch to receive the points that will finish our dog's championship. Any winning done after that is just icing on the cake. IF you show under a judge that plays favorites make a note of his/her name and don't show under him/her again. That is really all we can do. Sometimes it is a "let the best man win" instead of a "let the best dog win" that day. Regardless of all this make it fun for yourself and your dog. Enjoy your dog show friends and come back tomorrow to do it all again.
Remember it's a DOG SHOW so showmanship is involved. Professionals can make a bad dog look better. Study what they do. Read their generous blogs and articles. It is your job to buy the best dog you can and present that dog in an equally skilled level to the best of your ability and that skill just doesn't come overnight. Studying sports psychology really helped me across the board in my showmanship. I also know there's no point in being upset by being beaten by a better dog. Nobody can win ALL the time. It just doesn't work that way. So learning to be a gracious loser is important. At the same time, don't bother showing a dog with obvious faults. Know what breed "type" means. Don't show a dog when his coat is incomplete. Don't show your dog if it is frightened of ring procedure and may bite or soil the ring. If you and your dog are prepared for the ring you will have a much better experience.
Dogs move in and out of competition as they win or lose and you will not compete against the same dogs all the time. Timing in placing a dog in the ring is important. Find out who the current competition will be. If you would be competing against a dog (or person) you will no doubt lose to the majority of the time just waiting for that dog to finish his championship and move out of the classes opens the door for your dog to step in if you feel he will win against the remaining dogs. Sometimes you have to wait for a dog to mature before you show her. Other times it's good to get a 6 month old puppy in the ring if she has a good coat and looks so darned cute a judge can't help but admire her. After they blow the puppy coat it can be 6 months to a year before they look competitive again. NEVER present a dog to a judge when it is not in top form and condition. It is a waste of money and everyone watching on will always remember that sad presentation.
Kawako highly recommends Puppy Culture Killer Free Stacks to show you
how to start play training your puppy
for the ring.
A mentor can point you to the best products, the best reading, the best videos, all the best resources to help you learn how to show your own dog effectively in the ring.