Michigan Sporting Dog Association’s Judges Education

Well it has been a very busy couple of months for us, my niece came up from Alabama to spend several weeks, our Fun Weekend at the beginning of June and we participated in the Judge’s Education Seminar on Sunday June 26th.

For those who have never heard of this I will try to give you a brief explanation; for the past eight years the Michigan Sporting Dog Association (MSDA) has held a Sporting Dog Judge’s Education Seminar here in Michigan. This is a unique opportunity for future judge’s to have the chance to get hands on experience judging various sporting breeds while being able to ask questions of people who actually own, breed, show and hunt with each of the breeds represented. This is required by the AKC for them to earn their judging license for each sporting breed they will be judging.

The event was held at the Ortonville Recreation Area, Ortonville, MI which is a beautiful park and worked very well for the dogs. There were 28 sporting breeds represented. This is a two day event starting at 8am and ending around 4:30pm. It is broken down into four sessions, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. There is also a live demonstration of the dogs doing the job they were bred for on land and water.

First the presenter does an oral presentation that lasts just about thirty minutes. They go over their breed standard, history of their breed and answer questions. After the presentation the judges are shown the dogs in a show ring setting so they can look at them move and get their hands on them to feel coat textures, bone and the over all conformation of the dogs. They are able to take their time and ask questions not only of the presenter but the owners of the dogs as well. After the morning session is over they have a field and water demonstration.

Each year this is made possible by the MSDA, and people volunteering their time and dogs. I personally feel this is an honor to be asked to participate with my dogs. The Chesapeake people have always been able to present to the future judge’s of the breed every color and many types from various kennel’s, males, females, and all ages. The feedback from the judges’ is very positive. As I sat taking photos of the water demonstration I over heard several of the judges remarking how wonderful this was to watch.

So now some photos of the event, I never get as many as I would like since I am one of the participants but I think you will enjoy the ones I did. Let’s start with some AWE puppy cuteness!

2016 MSDA Judges Training (5)2016 MSDA Judges Training (11)2016 MSDA Judges Training (17)This was the oral presentation portion.2016 MSDA Judges Training (123)Then the dogs are presented to the judges in the ring for the hands on portion.2016 MSDA Judges Training (125)2016 MSDA Judges Training (126)2016 MSDA Judges Training (127)The judges looking at the dogs lined up while the presenter answers questions and gives the age of each dog.2016 MSDA Judges Training (137)The judges going over each dog carefully. 2016 MSDA Judges Training (22)The water demonstration.2016 MSDA Judges Training (26)2016 MSDA Judges Training (32)2016 MSDA Judges Training (40)2016 MSDA Judges Training (43)2016 MSDA Judges Training (50)2016 MSDA Judges Training (52)Some land retrieves of  a goose. As you can see this a a large one but the dogs handle it well.2016 MSDA Judges Training (69)2016 MSDA Judges Training (53)2016 MSDA Judges Training (57)2016 MSDA Judges Training (71)2016 MSDA Judges Training (77)2016 MSDA Judges Training (83)2016 MSDA Judges Training (90)2016 MSDA Judges Training (95)2016 MSDA Judges Training (96)2016 MSDA Judges Training (97)2016 MSDA Judges Training (104)2016 MSDA Judges Training (119)This little Boykin was quite tenacious and put the big dogs to waste retrieving the goose Winking smile2016 MSDA Judges Training (151)And we will end with some more puppy cuteness!

If you would like to see more photos you can view them on MSDA’s Facebook page here

Tina and the Brown Dogs

Dog Shows…not a beauty pageant!

A few years ago I did a blog post on dog shows, so with the Westminster Show just around the corner I thought I would do another post.

Contrary to what a lot of people think Conformation Dog Shows are not a beauty pageant for dogs. These events are to present to a judge dogs who represent their breed as breeding stock capable of producing quality pure bred puppies.

The history of dog shows dates back to the mid 1800’s. The cream of the crop of dog shows and my favorite is the Westminster Show held at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The First Annual New York Bench Show of Dogs, given under the auspices of the Westminster Kennel Club, was staged in 1877 at Gilmore’s Garden (the forerunner of Madison Square Garden) in New York City, drawing an entry of 1,201 dogs.    (WestminsterKennelClub.org)

This year will mark the 140th year of for the Westminster Dog Show, February 15-16th. It is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the United States behind only the Kentucky Derby and is the largest all breed show. You can read more on the history of the show here and here. The Westminster show is one of the few that are televised so you can watch from the comfort of your home; I know I’ll be watching. So why don’t you make some popcorn and sit back and watch the show and see if you can pick the winners. You can find more information on the upcoming Westminster Dog Show here

The very first thing to do prior to entering the ring is make sure you know the basics of showing a dog, how to stack, move and the different patterns a judge may ask you to do. You can do this by attending conformation classes where an instructor will take you through step by step with your dog to teach you how to present a dog to the judge. If you don’t have classes near you reach out to your breeder for suggestions.

If your dog requires grooming you must complete this prior to entering the ring. My breed requires very little grooming so I usually will just wet my dogs down a day or two before the show and towel them off to remove the dust, clip nails, clean ears, check teeth and we are ready to go.

Then you must select the show collar and lead that suits your need, I use different collars and leads depending on the dog I am showing and what works best for them. For some I may use a serpentine choke with a short show lead and for others I may use a nylon choke collar with a longer lead but I try to make sure what ever I use it matches as closely to the color of my dog as possible. Why use a color that matches your dog? You want the whole focus on your dog so you don’t want to have anything that would be distracting to the judge, this also incudes your wardrobe. You should blend in to the background not your dog.

Now as the exhibitor or also known as the handler you are ready to present your dog to the judge.

The role of the Judge is to examine the dogs and place them in accordance to how close each dog compares with their mental image of the “perfect” dog as described in the breed’s official standard.

These standards describe the characteristics that allow the breed to perform the function for which it was originated and include qualifications for structure, coat, temperament and movement.

These official written standards are maintained by each breed’s national club and published in AKC’s The Complete Dog Book, you can also find them here for each breed.

The entry is broken down into different classes so when it is your turn you will walk in the ring with the other exhibitors for your class if there are any and stack your dog, always keeping your dog on your left between you and the judge. Stacking Misty Shores Chesapeake Bay Retrievers (15)2is setting your dogs legs and body in a particular position that best shows their structure and angles. This first part usually happens very quickly and then the judge typically has everyone go around the ring once together and return to where you started and stack your dog for exam.

The Judge will examine or “go over” each dog with their handsNewfoundland Leroy to see if the teeth are correct, muscles, bones and coat texture match the standard. They examine each dog in profile for general balance, substance and overall conformation.  It is important that your dog has been properly socialized and trained so they are comfortable with someone touching them in this manner. An extremely shy or aggressive dog can be excused from the ring.

Then the Judge will ask you to move your dog, typically in a down and back watching the dog move away and toward them and then around so they can watch the dogs side gaitChesapeake Bay Retriever to see how all of those features fit together in action. The judge is watching to see if the dog looks capable of doing the job/function it was originated/bred to do. For example in my breed if a dog does not have good reach and drive they may not be able to cover ground efficiently to retrieve birds.

The Judge spends approximately two minutes on each dog going over them, moving them down and back and then around. So you have to be on your toes and pay attention.

Once the Judge has gone over each dog he/she will have the whole group move around the ring again and at this point they usually make their picks. Not everyone can be a winner but then there is always another show.

Click here to watch the video of the Chesapeake’s at Westminster in 2015  judged by Mrs. Dyane Baldwin. This will give you a full picture of what goes on in the ring. Enjoy!

This ‘N That Thursday

Today we are joining our friends over at 2 Brown Dawgs for This ‘N That Thursday’s blog hop!

This is what she has to say about the hop,

“A little of this and a little of that and everything in between…


What a busy week…again!

I am slowly catching up on reading everyone’s blogs and responding to mine, so please bear with me Smile 

The show went very well last weekend. I have been working with Maia to get her past her show jitters for a little while now and it has paid off…she was awesome this past weekend. She was very calm and relaxed, she was even going up to people. I have been slowly introducing her to hard stacking and usually when I pick up her back foot to place it she holds it in the air and won’t put it down, but this time we were very successful with foot placement. She stood awesome for exam and seemed happy with some tail wags and ears up. Saturday we didn’t get a placement, disappointing but there are a lot of very nice Chessie’s here in Michigan so competition is tough. Sunday was a MUCH better day, she received Reserve Winners, (Reserve Winners The award given to the second place dog or bitch in the Winners class), this is the first time she has gotten this placement. I will try to post some photos tomorrow.

So this weekend we are going to the Kalamazoo KC show held on Sunday. Since I was only showing the one day I had intended on driving out that day and then home after we showed, however ring time is 8am which means I would have to be up and out the door by 5am. The more I thought about this the less appealing it sounded, so at the last minute I booked a cheap motel room. I figured I would use it as some Maia and Me time Winking smile Shhhh don’t tell Cheyenne and Riva, they aren’t going to be happy to find out they are staying home.

Well that’s it for now, so why don’t you hop in over to 2 Brown Dawgs grab the badge and join us for the hop.

This is a Blog Hop!

This 'N That 3

Thanks 2 Brown Dawgs

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Follow-up Friday 4-12-13

Today we are joining our friend Jodi over at Heart Like A Dog and her co-hostess Sue from The Talking Dog Blog for her Follow-up Friday, the blog hop that lets you wrap up your week and leads you right into the weekend.



Wordless Wednesday ~ Well Hello There Handsome…

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on Titan’s photo!

tylersat99 asked

“So why did you leave?

Titan went to Tennessee to continue with his retriever training. His trainer winters there so he can continue to train with dogs year round and he wanted to take Titan with him so they could keep the momentum so there wouldn’t be such a long break in his training.

Jodi asked

“How is everyone adjusting to him being home?

Although back in Michigan he is not home quite yet. Dave will continue with his training for a bit longer as they are working on blind retrieves, in which the dog does not see the bird fall or forgets the location and forgets the location of the fallen bird and the handler directs the dog to the bird by means of a whistle, voice, and hand signals (this is called casting). They are also working on sit to whistle. I did take Maia with us to visit him, let’s just say he was only interested in one end of her and it wasn’t her head Winking smile


As promised here is my follow-up from yesterdays

This ‘N That Thursday

Let’s start with the photos of Maia and what we struggle with in the ring. You will remember the first photo was just fine, she stacked very nicely but then the judge started to approach her so in the second photo we had some issues…

Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Misty Shores Maia show 4

1. The look of “oh NO here he comes”        

2. I don’t know if you can really see it

but she is starting to lean towards me   

3. Leaning back, which makes her

legs look like they are to far forward

instead of underneath her.






I am very fortunate that Michelle was able to get two short videos of her moving. The first one is our down and back…

this next one is the go around…

She did pretty good with both of these but we had no dogs chasing her Winking smile So although we did have some issues she is doing better each time we show so I think by the end of the season she will be feeling real comfortable with the whole thing, at least I hope.

Titan follow-up…

2 Brown Dawgs asked

“Will you be entering any hunt test this year?”

I am so anxious to see him run in a test, the plan is to enter either in June or July; May is so busy already with the Genesee supported show and Kalamazoo. I’m hoping to start Rally with him this year also but I will have to see how things go with the hunt tests, those are priority!


Well that wraps up our Friday, why don’t you hop on over to Heart Like A Dog and her co-hostess Sue from The Talking Dog Blog, see what their up to, grab the badge and join the fun!


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This ‘N That Thursday

Today we are joining 2 Brown Dawgs for their This ‘N That Thursday’s blog hop!

This is what she has to say about the hop,

“This ‘N That Thursday is for anything you want!  Maybe you want to post about unrelated topics, or each topic isn’t quite long enough to make up a whole post, or you have awards to share, or you have one long post…anything goes!  So grab the button and join the hop!”

This 'N That 3

Ah where to start today’s post…well first I guess I will talk about the show Maia and I went to last weekend. We arrived nice and early so Maia could get settled in, this helps her to get over her jitters Winking smile I fill my pocket with plenty of bait, also known as treats, so we can walk around and have people pet her and treat her. By the time it is our ring time she is usually pretty settled but then we walk in the ring and she gets just a tad nervous. Just our luck this time we were first in the line up, so that means when we move around the ring Maia thinks all the other dogs are chasing her. She is getting better about this but it will just take practice, a lot of practice! Now with that being said, over all she did very well, I can see so much improvement in her since we began last year.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Misty Shores Maia show

In this photo you can see I have her stacked pretty good, her front legs are under her and the rear is stretched back so the hock and pastern are perpendicular to the ground; and yeah she has her ears forward!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Misty Shores Maia show 1

And then the judge approaches to do his exam and that begins my post for tomorrow so come on back and I will tell you all the things wrong with this…

Now on to Titan, he looks amazing and Dave is doing such a great job training him. My brother and I arrived at Michelle and Dave’s house and Dave brought Titan in, at first he strolled in pretty nonchalant and I have to tell you my heart sunk, I thought oh no he forgot us! But then I started to talk to him and he came to life, leaping and jumping around rubbing on us; he was beside himself and I was a happy camper. He took turns between me and my brother getting plenty of rubs and loves!

They showed us a little basic retrieving but we were having such torrential down pours it was hard to do much; he was able to do a couple retrieves and Michelle got some really great action shots.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Misty Shores Titan (16)Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Misty Shores Titan (19)Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Misty Shores Titan (18)

Look mom I got my bumper!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Misty Shores Titan (9)1

This shot and the next one I love, love, love!! He is just flying through the puddles kicking up that water!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Misty Shores Titan (7)1

You can really see the rain starting to come down again in this one but that isn’t going to stop him!

Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Misty Shores Titan (6)Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Misty Shores Titan (8)Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Misty Shores Titan (11)

Come back tomorrow to find out more about how training is going Smile

So that wraps it up for today, why don’t you hop on over to 2 Brown Dawgs see what their up to and grab the badge and join the hopping fun!


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