Tips to Show Spectators
This article is by Patty Mead and Kay Ingle and first appeared in the May-June 1996 VCNC Newsletter. To write this article they spoke with local Vizsla club members who show dogs, and then went on-line to ask others across the nation. Thanks to the many people on the Vizsla Listserv
who wrote in with suggestions.
- Buy a catalog. Look up ìVizslaî and youíll find out which ring the showing will occur and when the judging should begin. You'll also be able to match the arm band numbers with the
exhibitors & the dog names. In addition, they often list the addresses of the dog owners so you can get in contact with the people afterwards. In short, it is a wealth of information.
- Shows can be very crowded so arrive early to get a good viewing spot. If the event is outdoors and you do not want to stand or sit on the grass, then bring a lightweight folding chair.
wear proper attire. Good walking shoes, and weather appropriate clothing.
- To make sure you
are there in time for the Vizslas contact your local club and ask them if they know when the
Vizslas are showing.
- Although Vizsla owners are usually very friendly and love talking about their dogs, don't
plan on talking with them prior to showing. After all, this is a competitive dog show. We've found
that people are real focused on what they need to do and can seem short or impatient when
actually they are concentrating and observing the judge. Our best suggestion is to talk with
people after the show.
- The judging for Vizslas often starts at 8 am. Many people may leave right after showing so if
you want to initially meet people (and ask to talk to them after the show) do so at least 15
minutes prior to ring time. Remember, don't jump on the person as soon as they leave the ring,
for they may have to go back in and will not have time to talk.
- Many of the people outside the ring are also very knowledgeable so you can ask them if they
understand what is happening -- we've certainly learned a lot by sitting next to people we frequently
saw at the shows and asking questions. Often times these folks are not emotionally caught up
in what is happening in the ring and can provide good information. Other times they may be the
breeder and can be caught up in the heat of the win or disappointment of the loss.
- Also we offer this caution based upon personal experience. If you meet a person at ring-side
who spends the whole time bad mouthing a particular breeder or line of dogs, it is probably best
to mull around and meet other people as well. Sometimes the person complaining about a
breeder or line of dogs has a valid point, but for people new to showing it is hard to weed out the
truth from fiction. Remember this is a competitive event involving human egos. When one's own
breeding is involved, people say and do things that may benefit themselves and not the breed.
The best advice that can be offered is to soak up everything you can and eventually it will
become clear who you should listen to and who you should avoid. (This is pretty much common
sense and relates probably to most things we all do.)
- If your intent is to ask about the breed because you want a puppy, do some homework first
so your questions indicate you are serious. First go to a number of shows so you can see the dogs
and decide what you like. Be prepared to explain why you are interested in the breed, and to
answer some specific and personal questions (what is your yard like, do you have time to
exercise the dog, etc.). Also be prepared to ask questions about the breederís ethics such as
health guarantees for puppies, OFA status of the dogs bred, etc.
- Do not pet the Vizslas without asking first. Of course, if the dog has crawled into your lap or
is standing to lick your face, go ahead, but don't rile the dog up if it has not yet shown.
- Have control of your children and
do not let them disturb the dogs in the ring. If you bring a stroller please be aware of the dogs
so you do not run over tails, feet, etc.
- Do not bring your dog if it is not showing.
- Before or after Vizslas show, check out the vendors. Often you can get some good deals on
food, supplies, or toys for your dog.
- A benched show is the best place to hang out
with the Vizsla owners and to learn about the breed. You can pick up information, sign up on
breeders lists, meet the rescue person and get on that list, or just pet the dogs. People at these
events generally understand that people will want to talk about Vizslas and are prepared to
share their experiences with you.