EXHIBITOR EDUCATION SERIES – THE TWO DOLLAR RING
An Open Proposal to AKC from Championship Breeders
Think of the dog show experience for our newer exhibitor – “Kelly”. Kelly’s nervous energy is shooting down her show lead, and she can barely remember where to stand or move in the ring. Her 7-month old Borzoi puppy, who stood for the instructor in the familiar surroundings of handling class, is overcome with sounds and sights, and won’t show her bite for the judge. Kelly has a meltdown of insecurity, disappointment and embarrassment.
But dog shows are supposed to be fun, right?
In less than 2 minutes, Kelly’s show day is done. All that bathing, brushing, packing up the dog, driving to the show, and dollars spent on entries and parking… is over.
And we ask why newer exhibitors quit? The question is what are WE as AKC, breeders, judges, clubs and professional handlers not doing to help.
$2 RING – WHAT IS IT?
A Positive, positive, positive interactive experience between exhibitors, dogs and provisional judges designed to support and encourage success. The $2 Ring is a designated education ring at and during an all-breed show. Benefits of the $2 Ring depend heavily on the decorum, “feel” and distractions of a real ring.
- Allows newer exhibitor to “show” multiple times in one day.
- Opportunity to “start” a young dog for any exhibitor or handler.
- Jr. Showmanship time to improve handling skills.
- May be used as a “warm up” prior to regular competition for any dog.
- Hands On Time on all breeds for Provisional or Aspiring Judges.
- Fund Raiser for the sponsoring club.
$2 RING – HOW IT WORKS?
The designated $2 Education Ring is staffed by provisional or aspiring judges. Hopefully AKC would allow CEU credits to be earned for ring assignment completion. There are no ribbons or placements for or AKC recording of participants.
Exhibitors pay $2 to participate. Clubs may have a representative at the ring or sell a ticket at catalog sales. A dog does not have to be entered on the day of the show, but must be eligible to have entered to participate. There are no breed or class designations. Whatever dogs are present “compete” against each other.
When one to five dogs are ready, the judge asks them to enter the ring and the normal ring procedure ensues. At the judge’s discretion, dogs are moved around the ring, examined individually, and moved again as a group. The judge may “select” first through fourth place if they wish, but there are no actual placements or awards.
The judge may offer suggestions, complements, encouragements, or answer a brief question at this point. Caution that this is NOT a handling class, and professional etiquette should at all times be followed.
$2 RING – THE BENEFITS
As part of the Exhibitor Education Program, the $2 Ring provides multiple opportunities for an exhibitor to participate at a dog show. One of the goals of the Exhibitor Education Program is to build a full dog show day of positive fun and learning to welcome and encourage exhibitors to compete in our sport. Exhibitor support is severely lacking and the high percentage rate of newer exhibitors quitting is unsustainable for our future.
- Junior Showmanship participants can use the $2 ring to improve their skills.
- Experienced exhibitors, breeders and handlers benefit through using the $2 Ring as a warm up for a stale dog or to prepare a young dog for competition.
- Provisional or Aspiring Judges gain experience with Hands On Time on all breeds, and additional ring procedure practice time.
- Sponsoring Clubs encourage participation and keep the much needed proceeds.
DOG SHOW COMMUNITY – WE ARE FAMILY
Above all, we are family. As a dog show community, our generosity and ability to care for our dog friends and family is unsurpassed. Many of us can travel to any city, or any state and be welcomed by a friendly face first met at a dog show.
When an exhibitor may not know what they are doing, it is our opportunity to mentor. It is up to us as dog family to understand that structure, movement, and handling skills may be a foreign concept to the newbie.
Welcome these exhibitors as our future sons and daughter-in-laws. Many do not understand what they do not know. Our sport places everyone straight into “Super Bowl” competition, and somehow missed flag football, junior varsity, varsity and college competition prior to the Professional League.
So please help out when you can, give a little complement or encouragement, at the very least, a smile. We are all family.
The Exhibitor Education Program and the Two Dollar Ring is an open proposal to AKC developed by ChampionshipBreeders.com.
A Big Thank You to everything that has contributed their time and thoughts to this program. Any suggestions, comments, or better ideas are extremely welcome at email@example.com. The goal of ChampionshipBreeders.com is “Giving Purebred Dogs a Better Future, Today”.