The lights, the ring, the glamour! Ever think you might like to become involved with showing dogs? If so, then starting with “toy” or small dogs can offer a great way to enter into this hobby with fewer demands on your time and space than a larger breed might involve.
The purpose of a dog show is to compare all entered dogs of a specific breed against a pre-established, written breed standard of perfection. The winners, or Best of Breed dogs, then compete against each other for Best in Group within one of the seven basic groups to which their breed has been assigned (the Herding Group, Hound Group, Non-Sporting Group, Sporting Group, Terrier Group, Toy Group or Working Group). The winner of each group then goes on to compete for the coveted Best In Show title and hopefully, earn more points toward a Championship.
As a new entrant to the world of dog shows, you’ll find there are advantages to showing small dogs over larger dogs.
First, small show dogs generally take less time and effort to bathe and blow dry before a show. You may think this detail almost inconsequential, but after you attend a number of shows it becomes more important. Small show dogs are also easier to lift in and out of a tub, and require less water, soap and conditioner. With the exception of long-coated breeds, less dog equals less hair, which equals less drying time. As a result, it’s possible to thoroughly bathe and groom six toy-sized show dogs, like Chihuahuas, in the time it takes to groom one large Standard Poodle show dog!
Git Along, Little Doggies
Secondly, showing small or toy dogs means you can show more dogs because they take up far less space. Each small show dog requires a small traveling crate, but crates of that size are light to transport and simple to store. Small show dogs also require the use of grooming tables, but as long as they get along, two small show dogs can share one table.
Easy Does It
The third factor is, showing small dogs requires less physicality on the part of the person handling them. You’ll seldom see small show dog handlers huffing and puffing as they race around the ring. Instead, small show dogs work harder to cover ground and keep up with the handler, whereas large show dogs cover ground in great strides, requiring the handler to work to keep up. In addition, “setting up” a small dog for viewing is a simple physical task, whereas a larger dog can involve much more effort.
As you can see, showing small dogs enjoys a bit of an advantage over showing large dogs. As a result, you may find that showing small dogs makes a very rewarding start to a downright addictive hobby that you and your mini champ can enjoy together for years.