Golden Notes by Karin Boullion

Golden Notes Nov-Dec 2014
by Karin Boullion

People talk about the “evils” of social media groups like Facebook, but sometimes they can be used as a good learning tool. I belong to a number of different groups, most of which include breeders, judges and exhibitors as members. One group “owner” likes to get constructive discussions going so she will put together picture collages of good and not-so-good examples of a given aspect of the dog (heads, tail set, movement) and ask the members to discuss what they like (or not) in a civilized way (no bashing, rudeness). She tries to make sure there is nothing to make a dog recognizable but asks if you know who the dog is, to not say. While being able to go over dogs physically is the ideal. Using the pictures does help train the eye as to what the breed standard is talking about. But of course nothing beats getting “hands on” exposure. There are also some groups that are just more about showing that are not breed specific but helpful in questions on ring procedure or a judge preference.

The Breeder’s Education committee (GRCA) also puts together a seminar at each National, usually free or for a modest charge, where they show and discuss the same power point presentation that is shown at the judge’s education seminar. They also try to have dogs available for “hands-on” evaluations and experienced breeders to work with small groups of people to answer questions. At some I have gone to, the groups move to different experts & dogs for different perspectives. A very worthwhile event to attend if time allows.

I’ve compiled a listing of conformation classes that are available in the area. I am in no way endorsing any one group, but want to make these available. Sometimes it helps to go to more than one place/instructor as each may have their own tricks for helping show your dog to his best. Unless it is a regular dog club, it might be best to double check on if the class is on the current schedule. Most of those offered seemed to be drop-in classes.

Mondays – Wheaton IL
@ 10am)
Glenbard All Breed Obedience Club 8:15 DuPage County Fairgrounds,
For Your K9 7pm Stone City 7:30
Meyers Tails up
Aldens 12noon Ringwood (also Wed nights @
Fox Valley DTC Pawsitively Heaven 7pm Kanosak 8pm
8pm Kane Co Fairgrounds, St Charles Chicago Ridge
Maple Park
Melrose Park
New Lenox (also Wed nights & Wed/Thursday
7:15 Belvidere
In addition, Seminars Unleashed will occasionally have conformation workshops about handling basics or focusing on gaiting, or the judge’s perspective. If you are willing
and able to get away for a weekend, The Cincinnati GRC is offering a one day grooming & handling seminar as a fundraiser for the upcoming 2015 National. 
Check out http:// for mor information.