JUNIOR HANDLER Q&A
Are some breeds better suited for Junior Showmanship than oth- ers? I feel like Sporting dogs are sometimes better. However, at the end of the day, it comes down to who can make their dog look the best. I feel that there are certain dogs out of every Group that are common and better suited. Is there something that judges should know about judging Juniors? I think every judge is different, even if their procedures are the same. Have I bred or co-bred a litter? I have bred/co-bred multiple lit- ters. I have learned many responsibilities, as well as how hard it can be. I have learned how to care for and condition puppies for show- ing or for their new homes. Is breeding something that I’d like to pursue? I’m not too sure if I will breed anytime soon because I will be leaving for school. I could, however, see myself getting back into it when I get on track. What are my goals for the future? Do I see myself continuing in the sport once I’ve aged-out? I plan to go to school and get my Master’s Degree in Nursing. From there, I plan to continue my education to become a nurse practitioner or a nurse anesthetist. Of course, after that, I hope to start a family. I have always wanted a Doberman. So, hopefully, I can get a nice one to show in the future. Can I share a word or two about my relationship with my current dog? Rocky is a dog I co-own with Robin, Ginger, and MaryLee. He has lived with me for about two years now. He is such a fun, happy dog. He is a really good boy, and always shows his best for me. He is such a momma’s boy to all of his “moms.” Is there a funny story that I can share about my experiences as a Junior Handler? In the ring, I will say that I am usually very focused and in competition mode. However, outside the ring, we are all friends and have a good time. My funniest moments have definitely been while I was traveling with my family as well as with Robin and Ginger. We have driven and flown lots of miles together, and none of our moments have been dull. We once ran out of gas on our way back home from the national in California! CALEIGHNOVAK Hi, I’m Caleigh Novak. I
because I am constantly learning and it makes every win that much more rewarding. Is there a funny story that I can share about my experiences as a Junior Handler? My funniest Juniors story is about my first Juniors dog, Paisley. One day, Juniors was immediately following Poodles. On our down and back, Paisley was, apparently, lunging for a tuft of Poodle hair that was floating just ahead of us on the mat. Every- one saw it but me, because I was so focused on trying to get her to cooperate. (I just couldn’t imagine what was wrong with her, she was usually so focused.) I looked up from our free-stack to see the judge cracking up along with everyone in and outside the ring. Of course, we did not win that day. But we had a good laugh. ALIZABETH LUDE My name is Alizabeth Lude,
and I show a Collie. I was the Number 1 Collie Junior in 2019 and 2020. On top of that, we ranked Number 6 in 2019 and number 5 in 2020 in the Herding Group. I have enjoyed my time as a Junior, especially showing at Westminster and at Royal Canin. It is bittersweet
that I will age-out at the end of this year. I live in Colerain, Ohio. I go to high school online, but I am a CCP student, so I take classes at Belmont College. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? Do I have a job? I ride horses and enjoy doing outdoor activities. I work as an STNA at a nursing home. Have I grown up in a doggy family? What is my breed(s)? I have grown up showing with my grandma. She has had Collies since she started. We also have Corgis and a Golden Retriever. How was I introduced to Junior Showmanship? When did I start competing? My grandma got me into showing dogs, and other Juniors were also helpful. What do I remember about the first time I showed as a Junior? I started Juniors in 2013. My first Novice Junior win was at IX Center on December 16, 2013. I remember being really nervous. I showed our old dog, Jazz. She was a great teacher. How do I prepare my dog and myself for the ring? Rocky is usually excited because he enjoys showing. After I groom him, we usually play around to burn off some steam. After that, I usually touch him up and we show. How do I assess my competition? Is everyone usually a good sport? I have been doing this for a few years now, so I have competed against many of today’s Juniors. My assessment is really just seeing who is there. Many of us have become friends because we see each other a lot and are close in age. What about the judges? Do they seem to enjoy the Juniors ring? I feel that most judges enjoy the Juniors ring, because they get to see the future of the sport in action. Do I have a mentor in the sport? Have I assisted any Professional Handlers? I have multiple mentors: My Gran, Terry, who got me started; Robin Reed; her mother, Ginger Mehr; MaryLee Shingle; and Marcy Fine. All have been kind enough to help me and let me tag along with them. I have also worked with multiple Professional Handlers and traveled with them. Are there any wins for which I am particularly proud? My most memorable win was Best Junior in the Sunshine State Herding Spe- cialty in Orlando. How do I accentuate my dog’s breed type in the ring? Collies are a free-stacking breed. The biggest thing they are judged on in specialty shows is their heads. I usually free-stack my dog and stand at the end of the lead.
just turned 15 and aged-into Open Senior. I am the third generation in my family to show dogs. I have been around dogs my whole life and I love learn- ing about new breeds. I have trained my own dogs along with helping my mom train. I mainly show Working and Sporting dogs, but you will see me most
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of the time with a Tibetan Terrier! I recently moved to Colorado, about a year ago, from a small town in Illinois. I attended Rock Canyon High School. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? Do I have a job? I do love working and being around dogs. But when I’m not, I play volleyball. Other than working for a professional handler, I don’t have a job, since I am still too young. Have I grown up in a doggy family? What is my breed(s)? I am the third generation showing dogs, so I have always had a dog in my household. I grew up with Dobermans and Boxers. The breeds I have are the English Springer Spaniel and the Tibetan Terrier. How was I introduced to Junior Showmanship? When did I start competing? I started in the dog show world at a very young age, and I always wanted to be like the older kids showing in Juniors. So, as soon as I turned nine, I started and have not stopped since. What do I remember about the first time I showed as a Junior? The first time I showed in Juniors, I had a great time. I was so excited to be in the ring and just having fun!
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