Monday, February 18, 2013

27 weeks - Conformation

For Kili's 6 month birthday weekend we entered in a local conformation show. I am not seriously pursuing conformation with her, however it is something new to try while we wait for her to be old enough to start agility training. I'm a big fan of trying new things, even things that probably won't be your "thing". Conformation is definitely not our thing. However, it was an interesting experience and I think all in all it is good for Kili's continued development as a dog so we will probably do a few more shows.

There are very few greyhounds in our area so unfortunately we were the only greyhound entered in the entire show all 3 days. The first two days I entered Kili as a Baby Puppy (ages 3-6 months) and for the last day since it was her 6 month birthday I entered her as a Junior Puppy (ages 6-9 months). This meant that on the first two days she had an automatic pass through to the Best In Show competition since not only was she the only greyhound puppy but she was also the only baby hound puppy. The last day I thought it was nice for her to have some company in the ring so she could get used to standing still with dogs in front and behind her.

Waiting for our first turn in the ring.
Best Baby Puppy in Breed
Best In Show competition
Here is a video of her very first turn in the ring as well as part of BIS:

I was very pleased with how she did at the show overall. Finding the perfect amount of exercise for her in the mornings was difficult. The first day I hiked her off leash for an hour and felt that she was very easy to stack but I found her sluggish during gaiting. The second day I only let her run with Summit for about half an hour on the trails, which was better but still by the time BIS came around she was tired. A lot of that is just that these are very long days for a puppy to be awake and active the whole time. The last day I walked her on leash for 45 minutes. Her first turn in the ring I found her difficult to stack but good bounce in her step and by the time she went in the ring for group competition she had mellowed and was just about perfect.

I found it interesting how many great compliments I got on her from other sighthound people, yet the judges didn't seem to be overly impressed by her. I've noticed in general though that sighthounds don't tend to do very well at shows. I'm not sure if this is a reflection of them being less popular on the whole or fewer judges being into these breeds themselves. Or maybe I'm just reading too much into it. The judges were super helpful in explaining to me what they felt her strong and weak points were. Her strongest aspect is her beautiful head. Her weakness is that she's a little long in the back and her ribs don't extend as far back as they could which causes her to have a topline that isn't as flat as would be ideal. What does this mean for agility? Probably absolutely nothing.

Her "official" photo:
Best Baby Puppy in Group - Ontario Breeders Association All Breed Championship

And her spoils. Looks very impressive but remember none of these ribbons were won against other dogs... they were all by default of her being the only one entered. Still, getting ribbons is kind of fun, especially for the first time out. There was also lots of wine won. We're not big wine drinkers so those will probably be around for quite awhile.

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