First published in 1980, Dogwise have re-released this title in 2014 as one of their Dogwise Classics. Because of the passage of time, and also because I don’t live and show dogs in America, there is probably about half the book that I didn’t actually read or need to read (the sections on showing protocols, etc in the USA). That still left me with a solid read of about 70 large format pages, and there is excellent basic handling information in here. The photos are a little hard to see, they look like they have suffered from being inferior quality in the first instance and having been rescanned, but look carefully and you get the message.

Sabella, and co-writer Kalstone, are basically interested in Poodles but the advice will translate into other breeds, besides Sabella handled many many breeds very successfully.

Highlight for me was the excellent discussion of stacking/posing a dog with good illustrations.

What I also noted was strong advice not to use a tight lead when showing with reasons … 1980 .. and still we see it in the show ring in 2015!

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Selecting your show dog
  • The Amateur Handler: Formula for success
  • The Professional Handler: versus the amateur handler
  • Know your breed
  • Training the puppy for the showring
  • Crate training
  • Car training / motion sickness
  • Posing or setting up your dog
  • Baiting your dog
  • The show collar and lead
  • Conditioning the show dog
  • How a dog becomes a champion of record (old info, see appendix)
  • Types of dog shows
  • Entering your dog at a show
  • Junior showmanship
  • Preparation before the show
  • Arriving at the show grounds
  • Showing your dog in the ring
  • Patterns of movement
  • Group and Best in Show handling
  • Meet successful owner/handlers
  • Glossary
  • Appendix Updated How a dog becomes a champion of record

I am recommending this for exhibitors, old and new, choose the parts you need to read