Pretty much all of the bully breed registries now offer a Junior Handler class. The ABKC being among the first of the bully breed registries, created their Junior Showmanship Program to educate, teach, and encourage young kids in the sport of dog showing. Children are the future, and the Bully Breed registries have recognized that. These are necessary for the registries, and the breed to have longevity.
Benefits for Children, participating as a Junior Handler at Bully Shows:
- Healthy character development.
- A chance to bond with their parent / guardian doing something they both enjoy.
- Education - They will learn the in's and out's of showing dogs as a sport.
- Rewards - Cool Trophies, and/or ribbons for participating and/or winning.
In most cases, any dog with or without registry paperwork, may be entered into the Junior Handlers class. The handler's are the only participants that the judges are watching.
- Are the dog and it's handler working together as a team?
- Can the Junior Handler control the dog?
- Does the dog appear to be handled with minimal effort?
- Is the dog at ease with his or her handler?
- Can the handler take and follow directions?
- Maintaining distance while showing.
- Knowledge of the show ring procedures.
- Knowledge of the basic anatomy of a dog?
- Knowledge of the dog being shown.
These are just a few of the important aspects that the judges are looking for at the bully shows, but there are many more criteria that a Junior Handler should be aware of, while showing their dog. For example, disqualifications can happen to any junior caught abusing their dog, using excessive force, or behaving in an unsafe manner. For a full breakdown on the rules and regulations of Junior Handling at bully shows, visit your registries website, or knowledge base. This should keep you informed of all the proper procedures, and judging criteria of your particular registry, as they could vary a little bit between each one.
So what are you waiting for! Take your child to one of the next bully shows in your area, and get them involved in Junior Handling. They will enjoy it, and so will you.
If you and your child currently participate in a junior handler program, leave a comment below and tell us about it. Also subscribe to Bully Girl Magazine, for photos and one-on-one interviews with junior handlers and their parents, live at the bully shows.