WELL IT is virtually unanimous! What most of you are doing over the summer is getting to as many dog shows as you can!
In fact some of you have already started and are doing very well indeed. Quite of few of you are also lucky enough to be camping at some of the championship shows as well and favourite here is the chance to catch up with other like-minded juniors who are also on the showground. This is also a good training opportunity as it is much more fun and also more productive to train in a small group and you can pick each other’s brains as to what you each need to improve and how best to do this. I know it’s more fun to just chill out, but the other thing that some of you who’ve been there before have mentioned, is that at the end of the summer comes Richmond and the JHA Semi Finals – six weeks away and counting.
All the summer championship shows and many of the open shows held in the next month classify handling and so you’ll have quite a few chances to test yourself in full competition. Try to get someone to watch you in the ring and give you some advice on how you are doing and what areas they think you could work on. The other thing to remember this summer is to give your dogs some time as well. They enjoy normal dog life just as much as shows and so a bit of quality time with you is what they will value most and you’ll enjoy it too. Give them a groom, take them for a walk, have a play in the garden – they don’t ask much and give you such a lot! Even the weather is set to improve as your holidays start so make the most of it and get out and about with your dogs.
• The school summer holiday is shorter than it used to be for English schools. They used to break up in time to go to East of England and not need to go back until after Richmond. Yes, when Richmond first started hosting the JHA semi-finals it fell in the holidays for England!
• YKC (originally KCJO) National Camp has always been held at the beginning of the school hols for England and Wales as Scottish schools start their holidays earlier and have always gone back in August and it means wherever you live in the UK you are on holiday during camp.
• Leeds was the first championship show to schedule JHA handling classes, followed by Welsh Kennel Club. Others followed and now almost all schedule classes.
So what are you up to this summer?
Catherine Hobbs: "I’m going to Richmond but for the last time.”
Hayden Feetham: "I will be there <Richmond> on working and pastoral and terrier day showing, handling a dog in the semi-finals and dogs in stakes and breed classes as well.
I suspect Victoria Wilkins might just be job hunting this summer – she posted: "Nothing to do with doggies - but from the dog show world! I graduated from University today with a First Class degree in Journalism. Completely over the moon.” Congratulations on this achievement!
Shaylan Sanderson posted: "Junior Handling Training Day with Marina Scott, 22 August at Longdown Village Hall , Longdown, Exeter.”
Geoffrey Thompson posted: "Halifax and Calder Valley Ringcraft Club are holding their first event on Thursday August 9. The evening has been entitled: "A beginners guide to dog showing.” For further details and booking forms, please contact me.” This sounds like a good idea to add to your plans if you are within easy reach. You can find Geoffrey on Paws FB and he will be pleased to give you more details.