AKC GAZETTE MARCH 2017
Cardigan Welsh Corgi Breed Column
No, this isn’t a shameless plug for Choice Hotels, nor even an 1980s rock band. It is a question that every participant in the sport of purebred dogs needs to ask themselves each
year. Your breed club’s national specialty holds endless opportunity for you in countless ways.
Let’s dispel one misnomer right up front.
No, it is not just for showing in conformation,
and if you think that, obviously you haven’t
attended one in quite some time. The list of
activities and events is sure to please most of
us with a passion for their favorite breed. The
Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America has a
dedicated team of aficionados who work tirelessly
to offer a grand experience for those
who make the trek. every effort is taken to
provide a fun and educational experience
from the moment you arrive. The week-long
event is filled with activities ranging from
herding and agility, to rally and Canine Good
Citizen testing and yes, conformation too.
each year the group perfects the event and
new things will be on the horizon to peak your
The most valuable portion of the adventure
is the opportunity to meet others with the
same affection for the breed and to exchange
observations and opinions. More than one
great dog was born out of a discussion at a
national specialty by those that observed with
an open mind and common goal. Honest discussions
about future breeding possibilities,
information on how to improve your handling
skills, grooming techniques, and how to
achieve that elusive perfect score are just a few
of items that top the education list. You’ll get
to see and maybe even touch that beautiful
dog that you’ve heard so much about on social
media. True dog people never tire of talking
about their dogs, so be prepared for plenty of
kibitzing over your favorite subject.
Here is a list of comments, with rebuttals,
that typically come up when considering
attending the national specialty.
- Oh, it’s too far away. The national is deliberately
located differently each year in order to
allow all of us to attend at some point in time.
- I can’t get time off. The date and location of
the national is well publicized at least two
years ahead of time. A little planning now can
help to adjust your calendar.
- I can’t afford to go. Plenty of people will go
together to reduce hotel cost, carpool, or even
share RV expenses. Just put the word out and
you will see the generosity that abounds with
this group—and if you’re not careful, you
might just make some new special friends.
- My dog isn’t that good. We all have dreams of
winning big at a specialty, but the reality is
that if you go expecting to win you will have
gone for the wrong reason. We all like winning,
but the experience you obtain from
attending is far more valuable than a ribbon
that may soon be forgotten—and hey, you
never know, you might have a star in your kennel
that you didn’t even realize.
Remember that everyone is an unpaid volunteer
and is there to help provide a wonderful
experience for all who attend. Perhaps you
yourself may be able to offer a little bit of
your time to assist. What a great way to meet
others in the breed and give back just a little in
return. even a simple task can be of great
service to the total event.
So the next time you’re lip-syncing to The
Clash, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” forget
the high school reunion or that distant cousin’s
wedding and make plans for the national.
—David L. Anthony
First published in the AKC Gazette Digital Edition, March, 2017.
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