This is from someone who likes to attend but has not competed (in conformation anyway):
Lots of great looking dogs, some breeds you have probably only read about but never seen in person.
Many times they have conformation and obedience taking place (at the same time in different rings or buildings) try to take in some of both if you can.
A few shops set up selling dog type items, many times something you don't typically see at the local PetsMart so may be worth taking some money with you for items (and food).
Always ask before you pet any dog. The owners/handlers take a lot of time to make them look just so before they go in the ring. Many will take time to talk with you and let you meet their dogs after they get out of the ring, but beforehand they are focused on what they are there to do (compete) and don't want to chance their work getting undone (grooming and the dogs focus) by someone petting their dog.
Its a great place to get information about dogs you may like or are interested in. (actually talk to owners/breeders and get a feel for what the different breeds are actually like to live with.)
You can meet some breeders if you are in the market (or will be in the next year or so) for another friend.
Thank you, that's exactly the type of information I'm looking for as I'm going just as a spectator!
I have the ring information for the newf entries, but will definitely be checking out some of the other dogs as well since, like you said, there will be breeds I've never seen in person before.
Sounds like the type of venue to bring CASH to so I don't overspend too.
Part of this is to meet a breeder or two as we are looking to add a newf in about 5 years and are starting the process so that when the time comes we are armed with all the information and make the process a little easier.
After they show, is there a place to talk to the breeders, or is it a "catch them as you see them" kind of thing?
Usually there is a separate grooming area within the show venue. Look for the breeder in that area first or if there's not time, just stand near the ring and introduce yourself after all of the dogs in that ring have been shown. If you can't get near the ring for some reason, just follow them as they come out of the ring after they've shown. They'll be headed back to the grooming area. Some handlers/breeders drive their own RV to shows, but most will set up their grooming tables in the grooming area.
I guess I've watched westminster too often, because it was a lot less... "formal" than that There were 4 rings set up (only 3 being used), as well as some that were for Rally-o, etc.
People mostly drifted in and out.. there were some mini-bleachers set up and some people brought their own chairs to set up ringside. Everyone I talked to was super friendly though - I wasn't really expecting that either (too many stereotypes of stuffy breeders/handlers).
I didn't take my camera, but had my phone, so took a few pics. The 2 breeds I was mostly interested in were wheaties (cuz I have one) and the newfs, though I watched the rest of the terrier group (sadly, I didn't see who won the terrier group because it was at the same time as the newf group .. a wheaten was shortlisted, but didn't see who won 1st). After watching the Danes and Mastiffs, the newfs seemed almost dwarfed.
The grooming area was easy to find - the entrance to the place was actually IN the grooming area .. it was more confusing to find the rings..hahaha. And you know you're at a dog show when you show up and the first thing anyone says to you is "do you have a poop bag??"
For the newfs, as with all dogs, it was fun to see the different personalities. Some of them were so boisterous and one of the girls was super dainty - it was fun to watch. One of the breeders I was in contact with prior to this got the last 2 points for a championship with one of his dogs.. and one of his puppies is new to the ring and it was funny to watch the puppy antics in the ring (though not desired while showing!) There were 8 newfs + 2 puppies shown yesterday, so that was fun.
Today is the booster, but as I said, I can't go since the hubby wants me to stay home today. Boo.