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  1. #1
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    Default Dog show dress vs horse show

    Musing about the clothing worn at a recent dog show. The weather was brutal cold on Sat, but Sunday was pretty darn nice. I was completely impressed with how the handlers were dressed. They all looked fantastic in jackets/skirts (women) or jacket/slacks(men). All wore nice looking footwear, no sneakers.

    I wonder if they also complain about what they wear and wish for "sport clothes". I hope not because the stylish outfits gave each competitor an appearance of class. The show rings would not have had such distinction if they had worn jeans, tennies and windbreakers.

    And they are required to do a lot in those clothes. Have you seen the handlers with the larger breeds? They run their a**e* off!!!!!
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*



  2. #2
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    interesting, I went to the Thanksgiving cluster in Springfield MA last fall and I was actually giggling at some of the outfits, they looked like they went to the local salvation army and found a suit to wear - some of the colors and styles were hysterical!



  3. #3
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    Wow, really?!?! I didn't take pictures (busy learning how to ring steward) but most of the women were dressed in very nice suits and the men looked good and smelled good. Yeah, no doggy poo odor, several had nice cologne on. mmmmm..... me like a nice smellin' man.
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*



  4. #4
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    My mother bred and showed Danes for maaaany years. Handlers were always well dressed even at the local level. Gloriginger's post made me laugh though...one of my mother's friends (a well known breeder and handler) was married to the heir of one of the country's biggest appliance manufacturers and she DID buy her clothes from the thrift store (albeit an upscale one).
    Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
    http://www.horseretirementfarm.com



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
    And they are required to do a lot in those clothes. Have you seen the handlers with the larger breeds? They run their a**e* off!!!!!
    Not to mention all the grooming that they do while in those nice outfits - Professional handlers aren't just handlers - they're often amazing grooms, too!
    Of course, the conformation dogs are cleaner than you can believe - at the last big dog show cluster I attended, I crated next to a lady with a little black Cocker Spaniel, who got bathed and groomed every single day... for 5 days running - and that's not unusual.

    My girls - well, I made sure to grind their toenails the weekend before the show - but I'm a performance person, so we don't get judged on appearance, just how well we get the job done. I do try to make a point of wearing something that I'm not afraid to be photographed in if we might title, and try to brush off the worst of the dog hair before we see the photog.

    I do think that dog slobber isn't quite as bad as the charming green grass (or carrot) slobber that horses produce, so I think dog show folks have a pretty big advantage there.



  6. #6
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    I've watched dog shows on TV, so mostly larger ones.
    Maybe the larger ones are different, because I just don't see wearing sequins with tennis shoes *ever* as an option.

    Yeah I know, they run. Either learn to run in dress shoes or wear something that goes with sequins.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gloriginger View Post
    interesting, I went to the Thanksgiving cluster in Springfield MA last fall and I was actually giggling at some of the outfits, they looked like they went to the local salvation army and found a suit to wear - some of the colors and styles were hysterical!
    MIL #2 (out of four, long story) DID buy all her dog showing outfits at the thrift store, a nice upperscale one. If you loked closely you could see things stitched or pinned together, they only had to look good long enough for the class.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  8. #8
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    Jun. 26, 2001
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    Oh lord the stories I could tell about dog show outfits! I've shown my setters for years and have always worn upscale clothing in the ring. Now you have to keep in mind that you are literally running your tush off especially on the go round. When you run all the way around the ring, especially when you are ring trying to win group; these rings can be huge.

    We actually put stick um' on the dogs feet if the footing is slick so they don't slide on it. Or a coke or pepsi will work in a pinch!! Did that at Cow Palace last year "Give me your soda!! QUICK" Stuck my hand in it wiped it on dogs feet and off we went.

    We have to stay on our feet so footwear is super important to us. It has to be comfortable and have a rubber sole of some type.

    However I have never worn sneekers in the ring or old lady orthopedic shoes. I manage to find cute comfy rubber soled shoes that work with my clothing. It's not that hard to find them! I hate those Nana Moses shoes in the show ring!

    I hate seeing a well turned out dog being handled by someone that looks like they just knocked over the salvation army store on the corner. You put all that time into your dog, put a little into yourself.

    I had a couple of folks poo-poo me for wearing white slacks in the ring last year (showing a black and tan dog) well they stopped laughing when we took winners bitch and best of winners. Suddenly white slacks starting showing up! Handlers try to wear colors that will show off the top line of their dogs, if their dog has a nice top line. If it doesn't you will sometimes see them wearing clothing that matches the dogs color to give the illusion of a better top line. There are so many little tricks to handling!!!

    And yes pro handlers are usually the best grooms ever! They know every trick in the book to make a dog look better or to cover up a flaw in the dogs conformation. I have a bitch that is a little light boned in the feet, so we leave her feet a tad hairy to give the appearance of heavier bone. Works like a charm!

    We wear full length aprons while grooming or change right before going into the ring to stay semi clean!

    And yes we wash the dogs every single day and blow dry them at the shows. Sometimes you can get away with a wet down and dry, but the boys have to have their "pee feathers" washed every day. They lift their legs and pee all over the long feathered hair by their winkies. Never my favorite job!! But it comes with the territory.
    Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!



  9. #9
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    They had a dog show woman on "What Not to Wear" several years ago.

    Based on the dog shows I've watched on TV, they could make an entire WNTW series based on dog show participants.



  10. #10
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    You dress neat to show respect for the sport and the judge, women and men alike. All men should be in a suit jacket or sports jacket, and that jacket does not come off unless the judge takes his or hers off. (I made the mistake, when I was judging a year ago of keeping my jacket on and the male handlers were praying I would remove mine so they could remove theirs.

    Going shopping for dog show clothes is a riot! Everything must have pockets (for bait - liver or otherwise). If you are showing a big dog, you must have freedom to run, if showing a small dog, you must make sure you can get up and down and not show your Butt when bending over, AND you must make sure the color of your clothes either shows off your dog, make sure it does not hide it. For instance, do not wear black skirt or slacks if you are showing a black dog, UNLESS you are trying to hide a bad topline....

    My girlfriend and I went shopping one time and the sales lady thought we were crazy! She shows Scottish deeerhounds (big and gray) and I show dachshunds (short and red or black and tan)......We had deep conversations on thje pros and cons of which colors would look better with each dog, pockets (of course) and ability to run or bend without exposing ourselves too much.....

    It is amazing how many women's clothes do not have pockets!!! I am very adept at sewing pockets into skirts.....



  11. #11
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    Default Fun topic!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brookes View Post

    We actually put stick um' on the dogs feet if the footing is slick so they don't slide on it. Or a coke or pepsi will work in a pinch!! Did that at Cow Palace last year "Give me your soda!! QUICK" Stuck my hand in it wiped it on dogs feet and off we went.
    Do you order Stick Um' online or can you find it at retailers?

    I play in the performance side: spandex and breed T-shirts everywhere. Papillon people are obsessed with butterflies. Please, dear COTHers, if you ever see me in an oversized T-shirt hand bedazzled/crystaled with butterflies pull me aside and shake me; preferably in front of a mirror.

    I wish I could find the email/list that went round about your outfit telling what dog sport you are in. Guess we could do our own version!



  12. #12
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    Default Here it is

    This is what I was thinking of. The OB description is pretty accurate.

    I love this one



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gloriginger View Post
    interesting, I went to the Thanksgiving cluster in Springfield MA last fall and I was actually giggling at some of the outfits, they looked like they went to the local salvation army and found a suit to wear - some of the colors and styles were hysterical!
    Haha, yeah, I've definitely seen that too!

    There was actually an episode of What Not to Wear, and the girl was an amateur handler who showed a lot. She wore the most hideous hand-me-down suits you can imagine with awful orthopedic shoes (and she was all of 27 and gorgeous!)

    She would say, "Oh, but I need to be able to move!" So they found her some great flats (seriously, they are everywhere, and while you do have to be on your feet a lot, it's not a marathon you're running), and some lovely tailored suits. So much better!

    I always cringe on the televised shows, which are quite big to be shown on tv, when some people show up in the worst outfits! Eek! It's on national TV!!!

    It is all about the dog, and I think some super animal-savvy folks don't always take the time to think about fashion, so fair enough. But it can make SUCH a difference for the whole picture. Maybe not quite as distracting as an ill-fitting show outfit on a horse, but I don't know...



  14. #14
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    um you're talking about conformation shows I hope? those of us who show in other venues (performance) tend to wear non-flattering althetic type clothing covered with mud, and even in conformation onlookers tend to giggle about the horribly ugly choices people make about their clothing.
    I can assure you that no one wears anything resembling a suit in agility shows, where handlers actually do have to run. No skirts will be present.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bicoastal View Post
    This is what I was thinking of. The OB description is pretty accurate.

    I love this one
    Perfect! Thanks for sharing!
    We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!



  16. #16
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    OMG, that description of the dog show people is so right on!!! Absolutely perfectly true in every single sentence!!!! I'm an EOH, so I at least can get a pass on that!

    As for the person who wanted to find the stick em for their dogs feet, I buy mine at the shows. Just go to one of the big suppliers that carry everything and they will have it. But trust me cola works just fine in a pinch. You just have to wash it off after or your dog will sit and lick it's feet for a half an hour! ha!

    I know no one has said it so I will, sports bras ladies, two of them if you have to! When you have to run with a big dog the girls can really start to go! There was a handler at Westminster 2 years ago that we thought was going to knock herself out!! Everyone was standing there with their mouths hanging open, I almost missed the dogs I couldn't stop staring at her!! Wrap those babies up for god's sake!! I've never seen boobs quite so large going in complete circles, opposite of each other!!!

    The last thing you want to do as a handler is to take away the focus from your dog!!!! Like stepping in a hole in the grass and falling flat on your face, . . . oh wait that was me!!!! Nothing like being the first class of the day in a ring no one has been in yet. They had to flag the hole after I found it. . .the hard way. But my girl still won!!! Not sure how after that performance! Handler Down!!!!
    Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    um you're talking about conformation shows I hope? those of us who show in other venues (performance) tend to wear non-flattering althetic type clothing covered with mud, and even in conformation onlookers tend to giggle about the horribly ugly choices people make about their clothing.
    I can assure you that no one wears anything resembling a suit in agility shows, where handlers actually do have to run. No skirts will be present.
    I think that it was pretty obvious this discussion is about the conformation ring????????????

    I can't imagine someone wearing a suit in agility! Although I do have a very funny story about my agility trainer--picture a petite super athletic woman who is solid muscle in well fitted excercise clothes teaching a competition level class. this woman is very well known in the agility world- gives clinics, has books, DVDs- commentated USDAA nationals yadayada...

    One day a woman shows up to our class, clearly straight from the conformation ring - wearing flats, slacks, and a sweater with her very fluffed up Golden. Agility trainer is in conversation with a student, stops the conversation - turns to the woman who is across the ring and yells "excuse me!. Agility is a sport, you need to wear clothes you can run and sweat in, you need to change or go home." and then she turns her back and continues her conversation.

    Had to pick my jaw up off the floor that night! LOL. Love her!



  18. #18
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    OMG! Now I love dog shows, and for the most part crazy dog show people, but the outfits??? At least in my breed, the handlers need bras a size or two bigger, and Visible Panty Line-- all over the place! Not down with the sequined tennis shoes either. Best in Show? One of my fav movies. The outfits! Theres not enough eye bleach in the world for some of the horrid polyester items Ive seen not to mention accessories as the above mentioned butterfly bedazzled ladies... God love em! The dogs are immaculate, every hair fluffed in place but the handlers have worn the same show clothes since the 70's... even at Westminster the outfits are 2 sizes too small. And the poodle guys?! Did I mention I love a dog show! Or is it a people show? Hats off to show people cause theres NO way I could run around the ring and spit liver out of my mouth to get my miscreants to gaze fetchingly at me... way too clutzy.



  19. #19
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    Our dog club is a PERFORMANCE dog club and that is an important distinction to make, although we do let the conformation club work out of our building.

    Some members belong to both, show in both, but yes, the conformation members tend to look down at the wild and wooly performance handler's get-ups.

    When I had a conformation dog, I was showing her in obedience but handed her over to another club member for conformation and she won her share then.
    You have to know how to dress and what you are doing there, although it looks so simple, just run your dog around and have it stand there pretty.

    That sticky for paws you can buy in spray cans in dog catalogs also.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    um you're talking about conformation shows I hope? those of us who show in other venues (performance) tend to wear non-flattering althetic type clothing covered with mud, and even in conformation onlookers tend to giggle about the horribly ugly choices people make about their clothing.
    I can assure you that no one wears anything resembling a suit in agility shows, where handlers actually do have to run. No skirts will be present.
    At the place where I most often compete in Agility, I often see a competitor wearing what appears to be a tennis skirt.

    I favor knee length track pants and a polo with my kennel name.



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