Pippin's first conformation class…
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  • Houston

    …went pretty good..but it had a rough start..

    So it was held at a kennel at their outdoor pavillion in the evening. So we get there, and are lined up to sign in, I am holding Pippin in my arms ..as I am standing behind a huge Newfie, this little c-o-c-k-e-r pup wanted to play with him (the newfie) so she was getting in his face and he got snarky to say the least..the trainer immediately turned to me, her back had been towards us the whole time, so she did not see what had happened..and said.."see that is why I don't like basenjis..they are not nice and they don't like people either.."
    I was shocked, utterly disappointed..speachless..well I hiked up my pants and told her.." well you got it all wrong, first of all I am holding my pup, second you have not even met, spent time with him or talked to him..how do you know how he will be?"..she clearly was surpirsed that I spoke up.. gave me a crooked halfa– smile as I turned and walked to line up...

    Pippin did good, he didn't like her, who can blame him, but he eventually took treats out of her hand..at several times..so she warmed up to him as well.
    He hated his showlead, well the chain part..at one point as we are gaiting on the diagonal he just lays down so effectively I am dragging him for a second or two...quite funny..and of course the trainer had to snarkily point out.."that is not acceptable behaviour in the ring.."..really, I though they could do that..duh!!
    He didn't like the table, but in his defense, the table was very wobbly, she ended up pointing out that she thought he did great on his first time on one..:)..we are getting ours that I ordered here soon, so we will do plenty of table time to get him used to it..

    There were several dogs there..Pippin was probably the youngest of the pups..it was two pulis pups as well as of course the dancing c-o-c-k-e-r spaniel..as well as several adult dogs..

    I am quite pleased with his first go at it..in a strange outdoor place with cars driving by, leaves blowing in through the fence (at one point he got himself stuck halfway though the darn metal fence..I hade to wedge him back through..:)) and all these not so fun dogs..;) He sat a lot, but when he did I would tell him "stand", he would stand I would treat..so in time this will get better too..

    Will I go back there….I dunno know..it is only 40 minutes awaty from where I live..the other classes are closer to an hour away..but she really, really left a bad taste in my mouth..

    *Can anyone tell me..if I take a class under a person that is also a basenji judge, can I show in a show if that person is the judge? I was told that I couldn't by a lady there...but she didn't know for sure, this is just what she thought..

    Here is a picture of him free stacking in our backyard yesterday..he is getting quite good at that ..finally..

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  • Regarding "acceptable behavior"…he is a PUPPY! I had a conformation class full of working dog people (including the teacher) and they tolerated a lot less antics from their dogs they I am fine with. Quirky behavior is part of showing a basenji which is why you have to have a great sense of humor to show them. He will learn as he grows up. He is still so young to worry about "perfect" behavior.

    If you don't think it will be a positive experience for you or him in the future then don't go back to that class, it's not worth it.

    It might be considered bad form by some to show to a judge who you worked with in class in a regular basis but it is not against the rules as far as a I know. You can always ask that judge what their perspective is.

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  • @Basenjimamma:

    ..the trainer immediately turned to me, her back had been towards us the whole time, so she did not see what had happened..and said.."see that is why I don't like basenjis..they are not nice and they don't like people either.."

    At that point, I would probably have turned around and left. A trainer who, by her own admission, doesn't like Basenji's (or any particular breed of dog), shouldn't be training at all. And for her to accuse a dog of something when she clearly didn't know the facts and stating so publicly, is totally unacceptable, IMO.

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  • Houston

    Linda I totally agree with you and contemplated leaving….my husband was actually upset with me when I came from the class..he thinks i should've left as well..

    But I stayed and made the best of it..I felt I wanted to see what her class is all about so when I find another one I have something to compare it too..

    Clay, DmCarty answered my question on FB..she says you can't show under a judge you've trained under for 6 months after your last training..so now I know.. Thought it sounded weird but glad I have an answer.
    As far as "acceptable behaviour"..silly to even have to mention taht as if it woul dbe right? But he is just a puppy and I don't care what she said..he did good.

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  • I do not know how old the instructor is but if she is an AKC judge then she has been in the show world a while.

    In the past, Basenjis did tend to have sharper temperaments and they developed a reputation for being aggressive to people and to other dogs. Handlers, judges, other exhibitors, coursing enthusiasts, and veterinarians who were around "back then" may have had negative experiences with the breed. Many of these people never "got over it" and they still have a strong dislike for the breed.

    The best way to change a person's attitude about the breed is for them to be around nice, friendly Basenjis. You already said that the instructor was mellowing towards Pippin so perhaps your puppy may be the one to improve her attitude to the breed.

    Of course, if her negative feelings are too deep then it may affect Pippin. I would try at least one more class and see how you feel about the interaction and behavior of the instructor at that point. Remember though, puppies tire fast and then they get cranky. If Pippin starts to get that way it is better to leave early. Or, if he is ok in a crate, you can crate him in the car and go back and watch the rest of the class.

    Edited to add: I don't think she meant the puppy's behavior was not acceptable but rather your behavior. You should never drag a puppy. Coax him with treats and praise to get him moving.

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  • You would never catch me back in the class again… this is a way to important time for Pippin to even chance to react badly to a person that is obviously hostle to the breed. Sorry, but I disagree with Robyn's comments.

    As far as the teacher being a judge (as in hound), OK that makes sense about the six month rule, but chances are you would not have that judge locally. Most shows try to get judges from out of the area, just for that reason... And well if it happened, you just miss that show, not a big deal anyway. I don't think I remember it every happening in hounds around here... must be why I never thought much about it.

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  • Houston

    Robyn, she was an older lady..but I don't think she is a AKC judge..just a breeder of Belgian Sheepdogs.

    She very well might be from that generation of people that have that notion about Basenjis…but in my opinion..KEEP IT TO YOURSELF..especially there..by saying it I instantly had a very defensive attitude..and it just was not needed..I think.
    That being said she did warm up to him and was not handling him but would give him treats on the table.
    We did end up sitting out the last 15 or so minutes just watching the other handlers and dogs, Pippin was very relaxed in my lap..

    I don't think she meant the puppy's behavior was not acceptable but rather your behavior. You should never drag a puppy. Coax him with treats and praise to get him moving.

    I didn't drag him as it sounds..rather he laid down and for a second or two he was on the floor with the lead held really tight as he was behind me and I was still half running..before I realized why the lead was taught..
    She might have meant me or him..there is no telling..coaxing him with treats work great..if he is watching but at this instans he was not..thus the taught lead..and "dragging"

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  • LOL, had that happen many a time with a puppy…. moving right along and then opps... almost pulled off your feet cause that baby decided "I think I will stop"....

    And you said "still would not touch him"? Pretty odd, but then again, I would have just left the class (and I have in the past). If you are going to teach a class, you need to accept all dogs (and their people). Not fair to pick on one breed or another.

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  • Houston

    LOL, had that happen many a time with a puppy…. moving right along and then opps... almost pulled off your feet cause that baby decided "I think I will stop"....

    Exactly..:)

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  • Get a new trainer fast. We are in Hutto Tx all weekend at the triple crown dog academy coursing wish it were closer to you. We would be happy to help. There is coursing in cat spring every month and I have friends running there who are AKC conformation judges. Maybe we can set something up so they can help you

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  • Houston

    Lisa you are so sweet to offer. I am hoping this other class is better..at least to go for a week or two so I can then get better at it myself and train on one on one.
    Good luck in Hutto..:)

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  • Houston

    This is what the other trainer, the one that also judges Basenjis for AKC said regarding not being able to show under him because he trained us..

    It is not an AKC rule, but a guideline. Usually the wait is 4 months after your last class. I asked the AKC rep about this, and she is the one who said that there is not an AKC rule, but they prefer that people not show to a instructor/judge for 4 months. It's the same rule regarding handlers who show dogs for judges. They have to wait 4 months before they could show to that judge again

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  • I was told by a judge that I was training with last yr that it's 6 months so that's what im doing. I will be putting Gambit in ADPT rally classes next month because the akc rally trainer I normally use is judging at a show in June that I wAnt to enter

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  • I would have left the class - no ifs, ands or buts. What a completely narrow mind. Anyone doing any kind of dog training should be unbiased, or at least not voice their personal likes or dislikes regarding a particular dog breed.

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  • Conformation classes should be a positive experience for a young puppy. I wouldn't go back. He looks great, BTW:)

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  • I agree, he does look great… by the way

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  • Houston

    Thanks guys…

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