Top Notch Toys December 2018

show calendar. Birthdays, anniversa- ries and weddings can be missed. Va- cation time can be spent alone in mo- tel rooms on the outskirts of nowhere. In the pursuit of their dreams, many owner-handlers regularly make the kinds of difficult decisions that can have a negative impact on other areas of their lives. Having an understand- ing spouse or partner—and children— can help to ease the burden. Like their professionally presented counterparts, owner-handled dogs must be kept in competition-ready condition. The regimen required de- pends largely on the breed, but every dog demands attention. Maintaining optimal health and providing physical and mental conditioning for the ring can be as demanding as training for a half marathon. Drop-coated breeds come with their own conditions for success as do breeds that require continual scissoring. Many breeds require roadwork and a place to safely run free each day. Too much time spent on the road can be damaging to muscles and harmful to the spirit. It’s important for owner-handlers to be mindful of balancing the demands of competition with the ability to take the road less traveled on occasion. A NOHS Best in Show rosette is not earned simply through dedication and hard work. It comes with the sat- isfaction of knowing the owner-han- dled dog has been rewarded together with its very own person. The enthusiastic embrace with which the AKC National Owner-Handled Series has been embraced by the fancy emphasizes the important role owner-handlers play in helping to preserve a sport that is, in turn, pre- serving purebred dogs. Since many owner-handlers are also dog breed- ers, their recognition cannot be over- stated at a time when the purebred dog’s value in society is being chal- lenged. Today’s owner-handled dogs represent the eternal bond that has been shared by our two species for millennia. This bond cannot be bro- ken, which should give every owner- handler a reason to feel optimistic.

Showmanship (meet age and amateur status requirements) may compete in NOHS.” Any dog that is co-owned by a professional handler or a member of his or her household is also eligible to compete in the series, provided the professional handler or household member doesn’t handle the dog dur- ing the breed level competition for that point show. Dogs that are eligible to compete in the NOHS must be entered accord- ingly for each show where the series is offered. These events are identi- fied on the club’s premium list club’s where an eligibility “check box” ap- pears beneath the signature line on the entry form. No additional fee is required. All eligible dogs must be handled by eligible owner-handlers throughout Breed, Group and Best in Show competition. The NOHS com- petition occurs immediately follow- ing Best of Breed judging. According to AKC regulations, “All dogs in the BOB competition (including WD & WB) will stay in the ring after the judge makes their placements in BOB competition. The ring steward will ask all professional handlers, house- hold members and current assistants to professional handlers to leave the ring and then the judge will select Best Owner-Handled (BOH).”

Each BOH dog is eligible to compete in its respective NOHS Group. Judg- ing of these Groups may take place 30 minutes before regular Group judging and in a separate ring. For maximum recognition, the AKC advises clubs to “schedule the NOHS Best in Show just prior to the Best in Show judging for the regular show.” This exposure has inspired many owner-handlers to renew their dedication to both their dog and to the sport. This commit- ment is recognized through a scale of points that rewards NOHS Group placements and Best in Show wins. Each BOH Breed win earns 5 pts. (BOB at a National Specialty earns 10 pts.) Groups One through Four re- ceive 30, 20, 15 and 10 points respec- tively and RBIS receives 75 pts. For an all-breed NOHS BIS, 100 pts. are earned. Since points are accumulated at each show, the top NOHS dog re- ceives 135 points for a day’s work. DEDICATION HAS ITS REWARDS The contribution owner-handlers make to the sport of dogs is acknowl- edged each year as part of the AKC National Championship, held in Or- lando, Florida. This year, the NOHS Finals begins on Friday, December 14th with Breed and Group compe- tition, and wraps-up the following evening with the awarding of NOHS Best in Show. Dogs that have finished the year (from October 12, 2017 to October 10, 2018) ranked in the top ten (including ties) for their breed received an invitation to compete. This invitational tournament all but guarantees the highest level of com- petition available to the sport’s most dedicated owner-handlers of every recognized breed. Accumulating the qualifying number of points necessary to make it to the finals in Orlando doesn’t come with- out costs. Pride of ownership requires serious dedication, sacrifice and re- serves of energy on the part of own- er-handlers and their families. The risks can be as great as the rewards. Personal commitments are often postponed due to conflicts with the

Walter Goodman owner-handled his homebred Skye Terrier Ch. Glamoor Good News to Best in Show at Westminster in 1969. Photo courtesy The Dog Show, 125 Years of Westminster.

62 • T op N otch T oys , D ecember 2018

Powered by