To show or not to show
First Basenji's

I am very conflicted at the moment - Pharaoh is due for his neuter in a couple of weeks and I am torn. I have been told by several people that Pharaoh is definitely show quality but I am completely inexperienced in show dogs and just want my baby to live a "normal" dog life. Based on his looks and amazing personality I know he would do well but I dont know if I am prepared for that kind of commitment - any advice??

It is a big commitment of time and money. I have shown my whippet over 200 times and still not earned her majors in five years of trying. My first basenji show dog had 30 single points before I was able to get majors, yet my current two basenji show girls I finished in three months. Sometimes its that you are the only entry, other times its that the entry is gigantic. You can never tell what is going to happen till you try. There are lots of things you can do with your boy after he is neutered, agility, obedience, rally, racing and coursing, and even UKC showing can be done with a neutered dog. Don't limit yourself to just considering showing if you think neutering him is the best choice.

You got Pharaoh from Nancie, right? I would recommend talking to her asap. Tell her that you are interested in showing and if you live close enough, let her look at him and get her opinion of whether he should be shown or not. Most of the breeders that I know would be willing to let you try showing for a while to see if you like it before making a commitment to neuter him.

For sure talk to your boy's breeder. It is a committment. Have you been to any shows to watch? If not, do so…. Contact your local kennel club and see if there are any handling classes you can attend. Many new people start with that... And your boy's breeder should be able to help too...

And you have to be tough skinned to show... at times. Not everyone is sweet and nice... (sad to say, but true).. the majority however are. And while you might think that he is amazing and would do well (as we all think that our Basenjis are), sometime you have to be prepare for a good honest look at your dog.

It is fun, great way to do more with your pup... but it is not cheap... again sad to say...

Not cheap is an understatement, every weekend I show between entries, gas, and rv parking is at least $400 and I don't have a hotel expense on top of that. Plan at least 10 weekends to finish, and it adds up.

Makes me glad I chose to buy Oakley bullysticks by the bundles rather than showing…I think he prefers my money spent on sticks!! Slightly less expensive as well!
Not to mention, I held out as long as I could before neutering him, health wise I wanted to wait longer but mentally...my brain just couldn't take anymore testosterone filled days!

I love to show. But as many have said here the road to a Championed dog is not easy. Be very objective when it comes to looking at your dog and make sure you know that your dog is not perfect even though you may think he is and he should win every show. It can be a very difficult and expensive road to follow. It took me two show seasons in Canada (so basically two years, we don't have many shows in the winter up here, or summer actually) to finish both of my dogs and I had to get group placements in order to finish both of them due to the lack of Basenjis up here. It was the only way I could get their majors (In Canada you just have to have one 2pt major in order to complete your championship).

Definately talk to your breeder to see what they think. They may even want to show the dog if you pay for the entry fees. Good luck with your decision.

I show my dogs because it is generally a fun thing to do, mostly because of the social aspect of it. It is definitely a time and money commitment but there is no rush to finish your dog right away.

Your profile says MN so that means you would be showing with the crowd up by me. It is a really nice group of people overall and I enjoy hanging out with them at shows and they are very supportive of new people. There are a number of boys to show up here at the moment so you should be able to hang around the MN, IL, WI area to get majors. Talk to Nancy and give it a try if you want.

Oh and trust me, my dogs have a "normal" life. Showing is such a small part of it. I consider it a good thing for them. They get exposure to a wide range of situations, dogs, and people because of it.

Having experience showing Rotties where it often seemed far more were nasty than nice, I do want to say I have never had any Basenji negative show experience. They were helpful, kind and supportive to rank newbies, even when my bitch won. In fact especially kind to me and my child when she won. Maybe because Rotties have so many and there is anonymity in vast numbers while in Basenjis everyone knows everyone or someone who does, I really do think most are at least nice to your face.

I would totally support the suggestion that you call the breeder, have the dog evaluated, and then decide. Perhaps even if you only do a few shows to see how you like it. There is no rush to neuter, so I can't imagine the breeder wouldn't be happy to let you wait a few months and get your feet wet. Hate it? Neuter and buy bully sticks (that was funny Chelsie!)

I do want to say that I know many who show and do not pay out major money. They show within driving distance, or stay in cheaper hotels, and either do their own handling, their breeder helps handle or a knowledgeable show friend who is willing to go in the ring in exchange for hard labor helping THEM at the show, etc.

Sayblee was a monster, would not allow me to show her. I took her in the ring ONCE, she screamed, she wouldn't move, I lost my shoe in the mud and I was done. I put a handler on her– fortunately a good friend who charged me only $50 a day to take and show her (she is now an AKC judge and she and her husband still talk about the screaming Sayblee). If she saw me or my daughter, she stopped dead in the ring and it was over. So not only did I pay for her, for her shows (and the handling classes I took prior expecting to show her), I didn't get to see her ONCE other than hid behind posts and garbage bins so far back I could barely see. It was not fun for me. 🙂 But she did finish very fast. Since I agreed to get her title or at least spend a year trying, I and my pocketbook were happy. Hopefully you will do much better with your dog and have less stupidity than I did with her. I loved every atom of her making, but I was not the boss for sure.

Be warned, if the bug bites you, your life is over, lol. Showing can be great camaraderie and fun and addicting. And if you find you don't like it, consider agility, lure coursing, obedience etc.

As someone else has already suggested we think that you should get the opinion of your breeder. Depending on your agreement and how the dog was registered you might have to get the AKC registration changed.

We feel we have been very lucky to get the support and help from many people we have met that are experienced show people. One the local AKC clubs holds weekly conformation classes to help teach what is expected in the ring from both the handler and the dog. Our cost is $10 a class in our area. In addition, we stay in constant communication with our breeder so we can provide updates on our progress. Like any young puppy it does take time for them to develop.

One thing we have learned along the way is that handler skills can make all the difference in the world on how a dog finishes in the ring.

@Nemo:

Oh and trust me, my dogs have a "normal" life. Showing is such a small part of it. I consider it a good thing for them. They get exposure to a wide range of situations, dogs, and people because of it.

You mean going to dogshows isn't a normal life?!?! It's been a very long time since I had a normal life then.<gg>

Really, conformation showing can be pricey, or not so pricey depending on where you live. If you're in an area with lots of shows - well, lucky you! I've always had to travel when I was doing conformation, but I enjoy driving around, so I thought it kind of fun. Sometimes you can find someone to travel with and split your expenses. I've always showed my dogs myself. I got my dogs to do stuff with them. Hiring a pro to show your dog may means your dog finishes faster, but you have the extra expense of paying the pro. Really the best idea is to go to a few shows, go to a few handling classes, talk to your breeder. Then if you're still curious, enter a few shows. Don't make a final descision based on any one show. However, if you ask someone for an honest assesment of your dog, be prepared to hear about every flaw! Don't expect the judges to be as overly smitten with your dog as you are. And don't take everything that happens in the ring (good, bad or indifferent) to heart. At the end of the day, you need to believe you still have the best dog.</gg>

@agilebasenji:

You mean going to dogshows isn't a normal life?!?! It's been a very long time since I had a normal life then. <gg>.</gg>

Normal is relative, I guess. 😃

Just a side note, I've been table training my puppy (usually just a minute or two every few days), and only thing my older dog wants to do is get on the table for treats, and still self-stacks on the ground. So I think dog shows must not have been too traumatic of an experience for her. She knew it was treat bonanza time, so she played the game. 😃

Very well said agilebasenji. I was trying to think of how to say exactly that yet it didn't come out even close to that!

First Basenji's

Thanks to everyone for your great advice! Nancy was hopeful that we would agree to show him - I have decided against it.

@PharaohsMom:

Thanks to everyone for your great advice! Nancy was hopeful that we would agree to show him - I have decided against it.

May I ask why you don't want to show?

First Basenji's

Krunzer - a few reasons mostly related to the time/financial commitment. I think we are going to try an agility and/or coursing class and he how he does.

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