Of course, the first trick is far the hardest to teach, for which reason it would be better to begin with something simple, such as begging, but once that is mastered instruction becomes quite an easy matter. Every trick learned lessens the trouble with the next.
A cream Persian in the act of "begging." This is a trick which is acquired very readily, and it can be made the basis of other interesting tricks
Photo, Terry Hunt
" They fears nothing 'cos they knows nothing" was the scathing remark of an old Sussex boatman, anent some of his most venturesome customers. His words are true of other things than boating. Dog shows, for example, and their would-be promoters.
Perhaps it is not one of the least of the benefits bestowed upon us by the Kennel Club that in the doggy world law and order now reign as strictly as in the racing world under the Jockey Club.
To hold a dog show more is necessary than a light-hearted canvassing of one's friends, either as exhibitors or judges. The writer has more than once had to point out with due tact and gentleness that to accept the honour of judge at a show not under Kennel Club rules would be to incur disqualification both as exhibitor and judge elsewhere.
So the first thing for the promoter of a show to remember is to apply for the sanction of the Kennel Club. Of course, previously, the neighbourhood should have been scoured for entries, prizes should have been cajoled from all and sundry, a suitable place should have been promised, and a shrewd forecast made as to the probable cost of the venture.
Quite the most successful and best-managed of such shows known to the writer was held during the summer of 1911 at a well-known riverside town. By kind permission of the energetic lady who undertook the really arduous task, some photographs are given and some of the details of the catalogue. These last will form a useful guide to any wishing to do likewise.
The basis of procedure should be on these lines:
Secure the promise of a pretty garden, the larger the grounds the better.
Secure definite promises of entries, at a moderate fee - say, one shilling per entry. According to the entries, arrange your classes. In some districts terriers will predominate, in others Toys, and in a third, larger breeds, such as sheepdogs or collies. The preponderating breeds should have separate classes, and the remainder might be classified as "Any Variety Toys," or "Any Variety Not Toys." The thing is to be just, and commonsense will dictate in this matter.
If permission be obtained from the Kennel Club - on receipt of full particulars as to the reason, extent, nature, etc., of the intended show - then circularise the district, announcing
The benching of the exhibits is an important factor in the success of a show, and should be entrusted to a good firm of canine providers
Photos, Eastman & Sons, Maidenhead the event on a suitable day, early closing for preference, as a "Show of Dogs, Cats, and Pets," in aid of whatever good work it is intended to benefit. The local paper will be the best advertising medium. Take plenty of time in preparation, and advertise as widely as can be managed.
If you anticipate a good gate, the sale of programmes will be profitable. A friendly printer should be enlisted.
Each exhibitor should fill up an entry form with name, breed, age, and, if a dog or cat, the sire and dam of her animal, but he need not, in such shows, register it.
In any difficulty, be sure to consult the Kennel Club; a prompt and courteous reply will be sent, and there will be no fear of "consequences."
If money prizes are not given, the breed classes should have rosettes to distinguish merit - red for first, blue for second, green for third, and cards for commendations. But it is usually possible to offer prizes, and in the humorous classes and children's classes it is best to do so. People should be told that even a very small special will be most gratefully received.
For the breed classes a judge or judges should be sought; if possible, such judges should be well acquainted with the particular kinds of dogs shown, or be good "all-rounders." They will not ask for remuneration in the circumstances, but should receive all hospitality.