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The best place to go for a mentor is your breeder! Since your breeder is in Texas and you are in Florida, ask your breeder if she has any contacts in Florida.

Really light/English type Goldens have a more difficult time showing in the AKC due to the fact that Cream is not an acceptable color.

What are your goals for showing? Do you want to have fun, do you want to get a Championship?

If you are interested in an unbiased opinion and you dog is over 18 months, you can find a CCA, it would be a good way to see if your dog meets the standard and ask the evaluator if they felt your dog would be competitive.
 

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Have you taken any handling classes at all? Most people who show start handling classes when the dog is very young. Usually, your best mentor will be the dog's breeder. Are they active in conformation? Do your dog's parents have any titles? They can teach you how to groom, stack, and gait among other things that you'll need to know. You may have a bit of a hard time showing at AKC shows since your dog is extremely pale and the standard calls for a dog that is neither too light or too dark. He is adorable, though. :)
 

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I shoot, they fetch.
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To be frank, you are going to have a great deal of difficulty having any success in the AKC breed ring with a dog that light. It is hard to judge structure from the other pictures. There are plenty of other AKC activities he could do though such as obedience, agility, and hunt tests, as well as the GRCA CCA program. Most serious fanciers in the US with English dogs send their dogs up here to Canada to be shown as the CKC standard includes cream (not white, as it is not a permitted colour in England either), or at home compete in UCI "International" shows. Some have also had some success in UKC as well.
Getting a hands on assessment from someone experienced is going to be your best information. Anney (k9design) offered a contact in your other thread, and she is in the Gainsville area and is an successful exhibitor and trainer in multiple venues--she might be able to steer you in the right direction.
 

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GoldenGator
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Discussion Starter #5
He is only 1 year old now. His breeder is located in Texas and they did not show. Unfortunately, she doesn't have any connections in Florida. He does have champions on his pedigree, but his parents did not have a champion title. What is a CCA or GRCA CCA Program?

Competing in the AKC events seems like it would be fun and a good way to train and bond with my dog, as well as meet some nice people. But my goal would still be to get some sort of title/championship. I'm disappointed that he wouldn't do well in conformation, I didn't realize color played such an important role. Which AKC activity would you recommend?
 

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I shoot, they fetch.
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THe AKC breed ring is EXTREMELY competetive in Goldens, with large entries, and as a result dogs not bred to the standard used in AKC, which identifies extremely light or extremely dark coloring as undesireable, are going to have a hard time competing against dogs that are bred to that standard. There are some judges in the US who appreciate the English style, but you really have to do your research to find them. I have travelled to the US to show to them when the shows are close to me, but without sending the dog everywhere after those judges I realized that finishing an AKC CH on my boy (who I finished CKC and UKC Ch's on myself) was going to be a tall order--I was just hoping for some points!

Here is a link to the organization that holds the UCI International shows. They have a show listed as scheduled for Orlando in May. International Dog Show Calendar

The CCA is the GRCA's Certificate of Conformation Assessment program. These events are hosted by GRCA member clubs and involve having three experienced breeder judges evaluate your dog against the standard. It is a very informative process. The GRCA website Golden Retriever Club of America - All About Goldens has information about the program and clubs hosting it in their events section. This is a great website and also describes many of the other activities your boy could do, as well as providing the contact info for the breed club in your area.

I personally love hunt tests, as I hunt with my dogs as well. The breeder of two of mine really loves agility and obedience. You have to find something that you and your dog enjoy doing together, that you will enjoy putting the time into training for, and that he will enjoy doing. Try getting in contact with the GRCA affliated club in your area. Mid-Florida Mid Florida Golden Retriever Club or maybe Gulf Coast Florida Gulf Coast Golden Retriever Club, Golden Retriever Puppies Florida, Breeders. might be closest to you.
 

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Additionally you can go to a local dog training club and try some classes in obedience or agility. In the performance venues (obedience, agility, field work, tracking) you can work toward titles before you get a championship in the sport. But the fun of these sports is doing something with your dog.

As with breed competitions, there are also different organizations that put on obedience, agility and field competitions. The AKC is the best known but not the only one. You can get more information about other organizations from your local training club.

I would also contact K9Design for the inside scoop on the local dog community.
 

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I'm disappointed that he wouldn't do well in conformation, I didn't realize color played such an important role. Which AKC activity would you recommend?
There is more to it than just color, but that is the most obvious thing that everyone sees.
 

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The best advice I received was from a respected breeder to do prelims. She said she has been heart broke before. I know that if she had a fair that on finals she could fail. But, I did not want to start showing her with her hips not looking good! I see that the mother was bred before 2 years of age and could not have had finals done. I do not see any champions within 2 generations, but that does not mean much. I would agree with everyone else about joining some golden retriever clubs...great clubs in Florida.
 

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the party's crashing us
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Please check out the Mid Florida Golden Retriever Club
We have a match coming up near Orlando, you are welcome to attend.
Please feel free to email me, I am in Gainesville.
 

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GoldenGator
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Discussion Starter #13
Anney, I sent you an email and I thought you might appreciate our latest project... The Golden in the picture is Gator and this is his golf cart :)
Sterregold- Thank you for your post and the links! I found the UCI May event you mentioned. I checked out the other websites you mentioned too. I think my fiance wants to look into the Hunt Tests as well! Also, thank you Kfayard for the advice about prelims! We are going to get them done, but thought we would wait 1 more month so that he is at least one year.
 

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