The Affenpinscher Club UK
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Tips on Showing Your First Affenpinscher

It is best to start by visiting a few shows and watch other people with their dogs. Observe ring procedure - how exhibitors present their dog to the judge etc. Take note how the Affenpinscher coat is done for 'Show'. Speak to people in the breed,choosing a time when the exhibitor is free and not when he or she is preparing to go into the ring. Most people are happy to talk to a novice and you will be able to ask about coat presentation and type of show lead recommended. You may be able to source someone who is planning a litter or knows of a litter. All shows are advertised in the two Dog Papers - these can be ordered from your local newsagent (Dog World or Our Dogs) Papers are issued weekly. It is therefore advisable to subscribe to one - these contain adverts for forthcoming shows, both Championship shows and Open. There is much more information in the papers covering a wide range of subjects - all dog related!

When you are at the stage of possibly purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder, do make it clear that you hope to show the puppy. Also be clear whether you would like a Male or Female. If you decide on the latter, ask yourself if you would want to breed from her in the future. This point should also be raised with the breeder. Bear in mind that no sensible breeder will tell you that a puppy is definitely going to be of show quality. So much can go wrong during the early months - the best thing a breeder can say is that in his or her opinion the puppy has potential. Everyone has to wait to see how their puppies will turn out. You have to keep your fingers crossed!

Exhibiting an Affenpinscher is fun but those who gain top awards put in a lot of thought and effort and much of their skill comes with time and experience. It is recommended that you join the Breed Club - you can obtain a form from either the Breed Club Secretary, download the form from the club website (here) or sometimes from the Breeder. Breed clubs run their own Open and Championship shows - they also organise seminars on the breed and these are excellent opportunities to gain knowledge of the Affenpinscher. It will help the Novice to understand what the Breed Standard is all about together with explaining how the dog is put together and more indepth information on breed points. Being a member of the breed club has many other advantages - you will receive a copy of the breed magazine, called Monkey Business (details here), which contains lots of interesting items often sent in by other members. All club events are advertised in this paper - these are often fun, social occasions and would give the newcomer a further chance to meet other people in the breed. Much can be gained by chatting informally to more experienced people. Of course it gives people a chance to get to know you.

Hopefully there is a Ringcraft class in your area. These are invaluable can train both handler and dog to what is required in the show ring. You will learn how to move your dog to its best advantage and also how to move in correctly in a triangle and how to stand your dog on the table and how to free stand the dog on the floor. These skills are a vital part of exhibiting. The judge will expect you to place your dog on the table for inspection and then usually you are asked to move your dog in a triangle and up and down once. At the end of moving your dog you must be able to stand your dog in front of the judge for a final look. All exhibitors in the ring then get their dogs to stand to the very best advantage if they can , for the judge to make his or her selection. All this can be taught and practised at a ringcraft class..

All shows are run under the 'wing' of the Kennel Club and because of this there are Rules and Regulations that you should be aware of. A booklet on these are easily attained from the Kennel Club (KC). Most of the Championship shows have a stand. Alternatively get in touch with the KC and they will send you a booklet.

To enter your dog at a dog show in the UK it must be registered with the KC. When you purchased your puppy from the breeder, he or she should have already registered the litter the puppy came from and each individual puppy registered will have its own name and registration number. The breeder will sign this certificate in correct section to enable you to finish filling in the section with your name and address so that you can register the puppy in your name. Having correctly completed the form then send it with the required fee to the KC. You will be issued with another registration certificate for the puppy with ownership changed to your name officially.

If you wish to enter your dog in a show before you have received the new registration certificate and provided you have applied for change of ownership, all you have to do is put TAF (Transfer applied for) after the dog's name when filling out the show entry form.

Having chosen the show you wish to enter, you will need to ring the Secretary of the Club or Society who is running the show and ask if you could be sent a Schedule for their show. Be careful to give your name and address clearly. The schedule will contain the entry form. Read the schedule carefully, this will give you the time judging starts together with the closing date for entries to be received by the Secretary. There will also be directions to the venue. All breeds scheduled will be listed and classes provided for each individual breed. Not all Open shows put on breed classes for Affenpinschers, so choose carefully. Entry fees will be clearly set out on the entry form - always make sure you have enclosed your cheque and you have signed you entry form. If you are in a position to be able to enter the show 'on line' then basically it is the same except for payment.

There are three main types of show - General Championship, General Open and Companion Shows.

The Championship Show is the most serious or competitive show. Some exhibitors at these shows come from top winning kennels and some others are just as dedicated but perhaps not so well known. For a large percentage of exhibitors, showing their dogs is a hobby and they can and do also gain top awards.

The Open Show is in the main not so highly competitive and is an excellent starting off point for both the novice and the young dog. Experienced exhibitors will often take their puppies to open Shows to learn the ropes in a show environment. It is a more relaxed affair and people meet up with friends and it can be a very social occasion.

The Companion show is usually held during better weather - due to them mainly being outside shows. They can be held in conjunction with Agricultural shows and in aid of Charity. These are light hearted and offer mixed Pedigree classes together with fun classes (waggiest tail etc) The entries for these shows are taken on the day of the show.

Another type of show to be quickly mentioned is the Limited show - entries to these are open to members of the host club only but usually it is possible to become a member when completing the entry form.

Don't be too down hearted if your dog doesn't win much, remember everyone has to start out at the beginning and one day you may well be looking back at someone who is new and remember that once you were in that position. It is also a point to remember that as well as luck being involved, a good handler can make a mediocre dog look much better just as a poor handler can practically ruin a good dog.

Good Luck