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Is it a requirement that neck and ears be shaved for the show ring. It doesn't look natural and I am not fond of the look. I am rather new to show events with my boy and girl and recently had my girl trimmed conservatively for her next event. I hate it, she looks like she just got out of the hospital or something. If a judge can't see a good dog with their coat intact maybe they shouldn't be judging? They don't do all this exaggerated trimming in Europe, why does it have such a following in America?
I agree with you clipping the ears and neck is starting to be used in the UK. I use my finger and thumb to tidy the ears, and thinners on the neck. If the judges don't like it tough they are supposed to be judging the dog not a haircut. Saying that your dog still needs to be presented well whatever method you use to prepare it.
Shaved no! Never!
Clippered at least a week prior to the show, throat only, yes sometimes by some exhibitors, not me though..
Trimmed with thinning scissors yes.
Ears are often left much longer nowadays than in years gone by, but still carefully trimmed and groomed.
Some trimming is very definately neccessary to enhance the dogs appearance. Leaving a dog un-trimmed would look untidy and would place the dog at a disadvantage in the ring. You're right though, not everyone likes things the same way, but in showing dogs presentation is very important.
Just seen you are in the USA Pat, there are much more extreme methods of presentation in America. I'm in England, so my comments apply to presenting an Irish Setter in the UK.
Thanks Dawn for the input, I prefer the conservative approach as you describe. I wish the shows here put more stress on the natural appearance of the dog.
I'm in the same position, just starting out myself and really not sure how short I should go with the ears and throat. I'm going to the Gundog show on Sunday to have a look and see if I can pick up some tips.
I was there and we got soaked...spent 3 hrs on Saturday afternoon, bathing and blow-drying only to have to show Rigsby in the rain! You live and learn and I shall definitely be more prepared next time. A lot of the exhibitors had travel hair dryers and queues were forming at available electrical sockets. I shall have to get a larger kit bag to carry all the stuff we need.
Going back to the original post, I prefer a tidy but natural looking dog but you have to do what's best for the dog and what looks best for them.