West Coast Specialty: “Oh, I Can’t Go There!”

Cardigan Welsh Corgi Breed Column

Like many of the national breed clubs, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America puts on a roving national specialty each year. In 2018, the show will be in Portland, Oregon.

The theory in having roving specialties obviously is to provide access to this prestigious venue to all who wish to attend—and hopefully to periodically have an event in your own region in which you can participate. Now, we all know plenty of folks who will travel to the end of the earth to attend one of these major functions. This perfunctory action is something that provides them a lot of insight into the development of the breed and perhaps some breed trends, and also allows them the benefit of networking with others devoted to the breed beyond who you will meet in attending the local all-breed shows. Not all of us have that luxury, unfortunately, as responsibilities like jobs and life itself tend to sometimes get in the way of those things that we would truly like to participate in.

In 2018, this Cardigan Welsh Corgi extravaganza extraordinaire will be on the West Coast. The host has a very special experience planned and knows that attracting the Easterners to the other side of the country will be a challenge. It would be appropriate at this time to remind some of our fellow Cardigan aficionados about those who travel regularly from the West Coast to the East. A number of Californians attended the 2017 national in Ohio. In fact Alaska was represented as well, with fanciers who made a very long trip indeed, never blinking an eye and taking in the whole week. These dedicated folks come to watch, learn, compete, and have fun, all while returning home with a better plan for the future. In case you have noticed, those types of participants usually fare well at these events too. Contemplate that a little.

Traveling to the other side of the country actually gives you a wonderful opportunity to see top dogs from that region and perhaps consider adding some of their virtues to your own breeding program. Now, we are not even going to go down the path of popularity breeding to whoever is on top. Gosh, if you have not learned that lesson yet, you have more problems than just attending the national. Getting to see a well-rounded group of Cardigans in a relaxing atmosphere may open your eyes to just what your future breeding program needs. It is all about improving your line’s lesser qualities and maintaining those good ones that you already appreciate in your dogs

Nope, traveling is not cheap these days. However, planning to attend this type of function is a unique opportunity one really should not pass up. Making the most of your traveling dollars makes complete sense. Sure, you can take in some of the local cuisine, visit some other sites, and make the trip more of a vacation of sorts—but most importantly, sit ringside and judicially study the exhibits. Take notes of things you see, those features you admire, and the ones you do not like. Look up the parents of dogs in the ring, and see how adroit you are at seeing if a pattern exists in terms of features either good or bad

While you are there, visit with your Cardigan friends, and be sure to make some new ones. One famous Cardigan breeder once said: Do not harbor any ill will towards any other exhibitors. No, you may not like them personally, but they very well may have just the dog you are looking for to produce that memorable litter we all dream of.

David L. Anthony 

First published in the AKC Gazette Digital Edition, March 2018.

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