DOG SHOW MENTOR EXCLUSIVELY FOR OWNER HANDLERS LEE WHITTIER DOG SHOW MENTOR INTERVIEW WITH THE SHOWSIGHT FAMILY IS PLEASED TO INTRODUCE OUR READERS TO LEE WHITTIER AND THE EXCITING PROGRAM THAT SHE’S DEVELOPED FOR OWNER HANDLERS.
Q&A BY DAN SAYERS All photos are courtesy of Lee Whittier.
L ee Whittier’s online program, Dog Show Mentor (DSM), pro- vides strategies, guidance, and support for today’s owner handlers who are looking to WIN MORE IN THE RING. DSM courses and masterclasses offer exhibitors at every level of experience a “virtual classroom” where they can learn how to best prepare, present, and perform with their dogs—and achieve their goals! As a professional with a background in coaching and mentoring, plus more than 20 years’ experience as an American Kennel Club (AKC) Judge, Lee understands the need to mentor owner handlers for the competitive world of AKC events. DOG SHOW MEN- TOR provides a safe place to meet, and an unequalled oppor- tunity to learn the strategies, presentation skills, and the approach that’s necessary to win.
Lee has graciously provided responses to a Q&A that’s designed with today’s owner handlers in mind. Thank you, Lee, and welcome to SHOWSIGHT! 1. When did you first identify the need for Dog Show Mentor? Was there an “ah-ha” moment? Yes, there was an “ah-ha” moment. In 2016, I was judging, and a wonderful dog came into my ring that had the type, the soundness, and the personality to be a great special. Unfortunately, the owner handler had none of those things. As a dog owner myself, it hurt my heart to see the disappointment in the owner handler’s eyes, especially knowing that no matter how great the dog was, he could not overcome his shortcomings to take the wins he so richly deserved. At that very same show, I overheard exhibitors talking—as I often have. They were speculating about what a judge was thinking or why a judge pointed to a particular dog. Now, these were people who appeared to be experienced dog exhibitors. I was struck by how little they seemed to under- stand the judges’ point of view and process… and I remembered the dog that wouldn’t be able to over- come the failings of the owner handler. In my “ah-ha” moment, I realized that this is the only sport where exhibitors enter the ring with no train- ing or experience, and still expect to win. I also recognized
118 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, APRIL 2021
Powered by FlippingBook