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Discussion Starter #1
I am a bit overwhelmed and seeking your advice. Tomorrow (!!!), I am going to attend a large dog competition for the first time. It is multi-breed event, but I am going to focus on the Goldens, of course. I figured out what times and where on the grounds the competitions are located. That's about all. I have researched breeders in my area in the past 6 months, but I have no idea who might be attending to compete. I also think this event in central NJ may draw from other areas.

I am seeking your advice for how to locate and introduce myself to the breeders of Goldens who may be in attendance. I am seeking to find a good breeder who has dogs with all the clearances, looks at conformation, and is active with her/his dogs. I certainly don't want to bother someone preparing for the ring, but I am willing to start up a conversation.

Thank you, in advance, for sharing your thoughts on best approaches with me. Sorry this is so last minute (there are personal reasons for that). Hopefully some of you will be able to guide me before I leave in the morning!

I realize that this trip might be my first visit (of many) to events, and may consist of me wandering around looking at dogs and people, and feeling like a fish out of water. I hope it is a bit more than that scenario! I hope to connect and gain more information. :smile2: Thank you!
 

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Puddles
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I keep a folding chair in the car just in case there is no seating. Buy a program, camp out by the goldens and watch. You will find there are many people mingling around while they show. You might focus on watching on the first trip.. I take a highlighter and mark the dogs that peak my interest. Then you can refer to the program and see which dogs are from breeders in your area as many come from all over the country. Make notes so you can remember what it was you liked about a particular dog/breeder. Size, color, friendly? Whatever it is that caught your attention.

Most shows are for more than one day, go back the 2nd day and pay attention to who is milling around watching the shows with a dog. Not the ones waiting to go into the ring, that would be really bad timing :) Many breeders hang together and watch their dogs while they are being handled by the professionals. Most are happy to talk about goldens!
Again, if you meet someone that doesn't seem to mesh with you... make a note and move on.

I accidently met someone that I had actually contacted and she was as nice in person as she was on the phone. Beautiful dogs and one of her pups and owner were there talking with her. She was sitting beside me and it was a nice visit. Too bad I looked up her dogs on OFA (after the show) and realized she doesn't get the 4 core clearances on her breeding dogs. This was a no go for me.

Anyway, enjoy and remember this is a process so take your time. It's worth the wait!
 

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Kate
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OK... I don't want to scare you, but if you are talking about Trenton, I think goldens are showing at 9AM. And they are first up at 9AM so will be going into the ring at that time.

If that's not too crazy getting out there that early on a Sun morning, then bring a chair and look for ring 16.

If you want to get to the show to meet people, then you are best off getting there for 8AM, which is about the time that people start showing up with their dogs and heading into the grooming areas. Closer to 8AM, you might have a window of time that you can visit setup and talk briefly and take names and numbers.

Personally speaking, I'm not a breeder but I'm pretty happy to chat when people visit my set up. I can usually point out breeders who may have puppies. The show community is really tight and we typically know everyone else. We did a show last Sat and had people walking up to my setup asking questions and I knew EXACTLY who all was already there and who wasn't. We all arrived about 1-2 before showtime. And a lot of us golden people usually try to set up in the same area. Doesn't work out that way, but we try....

Plop that chair down to save your space near the ring and go off to visit the grooming areas to talk to people.

A lot of people may not be set up in the grooming area - only because in summer outdoor shows, you have people bringing campers and grooming out there somewhere. Those are the people whom you probably won't see until they come up to the ring at around 9AM. Unless they are set up close to the showgrounds.

10-30 minutes before showing might not be the best time to visit people in the grooming area. This is probably the biggest reason why some people think that show people are "rude". Because they have people just really working very hard to get ready and they do not have time to talk.

If I can drop a hint here as to what might be the best thing to do - contact breeders right now (like today) on facebook and ask if they are going to be at the show. And sort of set up a meeting ahead of time. Just so they know you are coming. <= I know that people say don't try contacting them on a show weekend, but gotta throw this out there. We all have online access on our cell phones. Not for checking email, probably, but definitely everyone LIVES on facebook.

Somebody who might help you is Patricia Herschman @ Camelot. She will likely know who is going if she isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your great advice, Megora (Kate). I have sent a message to Patricia via FB. Fingers crossed!
 

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I've put the chair in the car -- I hadn't thought of that! Thank you for your advice. All welcome info -- I am experienced with Goldens as family members, but not the dog shows, except on TV. I'm looking forward to learning!
 

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I am seeing this late. How did it go? Did you enjoy yourself? Meet any breeders you are interested in.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, Anele. I am learning more every day! I appreciate the link for the Guide and will review the booklet soon.

Cubbysan, thanks for checking in. It was an enjoyable time -- and then suddenly it was over and I had to leave all those wonderful dogs! I highly encourage people who haven't attended a show to try to find one close by. I will be looking to attend more, and will expand beyond conformation. Some people were very willing to chat and share interesting info. Nice group. I never found an event program to buy so I could follow the entries, though I tried. Many times it was obvious which dog or bitch in the ring was going to win; other times I was a bit surprised by the judge's call. I have lots to learn! I collected a couple of business cards from breeders whose dogs I liked, and made one nice connection to explore. It's going to be a process to find our next pup!

Megora, the day before the show, I did reach out on FB to two breeders and to Patricia, as you suggested. Great idea, but I still haven't heard anything through that approach. I realize everyone is super busy.

Thanks!
 
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