Stella and I attempted our second conformation trial recently and were rewarded for our efforts with her first points. She took best of winners against three other dogs (two points) on saturday and then we came up empty on sunday. We had a fun experience as all the other vizsla people were very friendly. I am a total rookie in this sport but things went well and the ring steward was very nice and helpful to me. Stella really liked the saturday judge and I think she might have actually been flirting with him :). We were much better prepared for this show compared to our first last minute attempt. We still have quite a bit of fine-tuning to do for the perfect stacking positions but thankfully she seems to have figured out the difference between stopping/sitting at heel position and the conformation stuff. She also thinks that gaiting is kinda fun and roo-rooed at me part of the way to see if I was interested in playing with her. I'm sure she is supposed to be more serious but honestly I would rather see that then one of the other dogs that was a bit fearful of the whole situation.
I remain conflicted on conformation showing. It seems very subjective to me. A dog can go in the ring one day and be the winner and the next day against the same group of dogs under a different judge would get nothing. When I go into the obedience or rally ring I know what needs to be done and if we do our job right then we pass. That is clear and understandable to me. Judges can vary on how hard they may mark but we all start with the same points and generally a judge is consistant with marking methods through all participants. You also get feedback from the judges via your score sheets. Conformation judging depends so much on individual tastes of a judge and perhaps the influences of where the judge is from. Showing is expensive and time-consuming so I'm not sure how much further I will pursue this. Part of me does like the idea of those CH letters in front of my dog's registered name but on the other hand I have no interest in breeding her. I did have a picture taken to mark the occasion but it was a large show (800+ dogs) so I am still waiting for it to arrive.
It was an interesting weekend even if it was waaaaayyyy to early in the morning (first in ring at 8 am) for them to expect me to be presentable in nice, clean clothes and makeup. Thank dawg Stella didn't need any fancy grooming! I had to laugh when I opened her crate door saturday morning and she just looked at me like I was nuts for being up at 6 am and jumped into bed with hubby to cuddle back to sleep. Once she figured I was serious she was game and away we went. We wandered a lot of the trade show booths over the weekend and Stella made lots of fans who wanted to meet her and ask about her breed. I was proud to have such a friendly, easy-going dog that was comfortable in all the chaos.