A few months ago, I introduced this group to Max, Beachwalker Rowdy To The Max, a 4-year-old Rowdy kid who we were trying to get into the ring and to get health clearances for because he's perhaps the most beautiful boy Rowdy ever produced. We would love to have him in our long-term breeding program. Well, Max got his clearances (Hips Excellent, Elbows Clear, Heart Clear need to get his eyes CERFd) and we finally were able to convince his owners to let us show him. We chose the Florida Circuit of Dog Shows for his debut, one of the largest cluster of dog shows in the country and a cluster that brings in all the dogs from all over the country that their handlers want to finish because it gets large entries, makes majors and dogs need majors to finish their championships.
Max walked onto the show grounds on Thursday with no prior show experience at all and no more than an hour's worth of show training. He was a bit overwhelmed by all the activity, noise, and all those dogs with fluffy coats, short coats, curly coats, tall, small, nice and not so nice. When they played the National Anthem over the loudspeakers, he thought he was hearing the word of God! We entered him in the Open Dog class despite the fact that those dogs are all between 2 and 3 years of age and have been showing since they were 6 months old. But Max is a big boy at 27 inches tall (right at the top of the standard) so we really had no choice. Nor did we have any big expectations: it was an opportunity to get him in the ring with our handler Kimm from Michigan and see if he could compete.
This is a shot from the Friday show of Max on the down & back. Having never seen him move before, I was impressed with both his reach (front extension) and drive (rear extension).
And a shot of him free-baiting (standing without being hand-stacked) something he knew nothing about on Thursday.
On Saturday, he had figured the game out a little better and was more comfortable in the ring. Here's a head shot.
Max being looked over by the judge during the individual exam. I love the way he's comfortable looking the judge directly in the eyes.
And standing while the judge checks rears: Max has an outstanding rear.
So, how did he do? He finished 2nd on Thursday, 2nd on Friday and 2nd on Saturday. The judges on both Thursday and Saturday wanted to give him the class but his free-baiting was not good enough for them to do that. So they basically told Kimm with their placement "bring that dog back to me when he's better trained." Linda and I are absolutely delighted. We didn't expect a placement let alone a 2nd place and 3 of them was beyond our wildest dreams. Kimm's comment was, "give me that dog for a month and I'll have him finished". As much as his ring performance, his overall demeanor at the shows was really impressive. After he showed yesterday, we sat outside the ring and watched Best Of Breed with Max laying on the ground next to me wearing my hat sideways and getting petted by every passing kid. Did I mention that he has Rowdy's temperament?
More on Max as his "career" progresses. Thanks for letting me share.