Very often owner-handlers in the show ring blame losing on the fact that a judge might choose a professional handler over an owner-handler. Perhaps there are some judges who tend to recognize a familiar face and might just assume that a dog is worth awarding simply because a famous professional handler is showing it. However, after watching some amazing, truly experienced handlers for many years now, (some who have helped me when I have ring conflicts with Rally, or conflicts with work, or simply too many dogs at a show with me so I need some extra hands), I honestly have to say that I think the pro handlers win because they're simply better at handling the dogs. They know how to make a dog look good. They know what a judge is looking for and when and where they are looking. They know the tricks. This is what they do week after week, and have done for decades. It's fascinating to watch handlers, like this one, Harry Bennett, synchronize with the dog ... even if it's a dog they met just seconds before entering the ring, as was the case with the pug he helped me show. This beautiful pug lives in a companion home as a well-loved and amazingly cared for pet. With limited training, he had a weekend adventure being a show dog before he was 'tutored' the next week. I hope it brought him many memories for the years to come but it was such a pleasure watching how fast Winston learned and what a joy to be able to see him up close, first hand, to see how he had grown out. I can never thank his human family enough for sharing him with us for this adventure. And I can never thank Harry enough for helping me since I was showing Mr. Drysdale and Tory.
Amy - Concert pianist, composer, lecturer, teacher, adjudicator, pug lover, dog trainer, soap and candle maker, owner Unique Boutique for Pet Owners, and co-owner Pickwick Pugs along with her husband, Dr. Jeff McLelland, concert organist, music director, and awesome care giver of the grumble.