Sunday, December 6, 2009

Certified Inspection

Here we go again at the dog show and time to get into the ring. I never fail to get that nervous feeling every time my dogs parade.

Just like any live performance, anything can happen. Dogs can be at the peak of their act but there are those days that they are not in the mood to do their thing.

Every dog gets on the inspection table under the scrutiny of the judge's eyes and hands. A well-exercised dog may prove good points under the feel of the judge's hands. Teeth? Check. Ears? Check. Front legs? Check. Body? Check. Hind legs? Check. Okay, down you go doggie and let's see how you walk in the ring . . . here and there, in a triangle, back and forth. Hmmmm.

The dog must conform to the breed standard as to size, must be in the acceptable range for height, length and weight. Even how the tail and the ears are set are also considered. The color and the condition of the coat also count and how alert the dog is, is mentally noted by the judge.

The competing dogs are required to stay in a confident, steady, pose - stocking, that's what it's called. They line-up for the judge to see how they all look together for comparison and for him to be able to make the right selection for the "winner dog".

Judging can be tough most of the time. The looks, the grooming, the conformity to the breed's standard, the gait, the alertness, the dog's stage presence in the ring and the over-all appeal . . . wow, so many factors to consider and all of these mentally noted per dog.

Anyway, these dog shows are there for all of us to enjoy, the owners, the handlers, the breeders, the organizers, the sponsors, the audience and the judges themselves.

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