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OK, another question for a non-showing Malt mom thinking about possibly eventually getting into showing...

What is the best way to start showing? I definitely do not want to go in "cold turkey" like the guys on "Showdog Moms and Dads" did with their Rat Terrier. My husband knows of a former co-worker who shows Great Danes and I know there are a couple of local folks that show other small breeds as well as my vet who shows Rhodesian Ridgebacks. These folks may be able to give me some insight...

If I were to start looking for a show quality Malt would I be able to see all the standard features as a young pup (6 mos)? If I adopt from a breeder such as Divine or some other known high quality show breeder, can I trust that they are actually showing me a prospective "show quality" pup (although I understand that nothing is guaranteed with such pups) ?

I'm trying to start to go to nearby shows to see first hand what showing is like, but just to kind of get my thoughts in order I'd appreciate any input or tips that you'd give to novices.

Oh, is there a way to show Deni (after being spayed) just to kind of get in the groove? I'm not quite clear on the AKC Limited shows for dogs who "may" be purebred...does this include altered, known purebreds? TIA!!
 

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It is not easy obtaining a good quality show Maltese. You have to start talking to the breeders and builiding up the relationships. Attend dog shows, read books and watch videos to fully understand what to look for. A good place to start is the AKC Maltese Breed video to show you what is right and what is wrong. Start learning to grow a coat on your Maltese. It is very difficult to do.

With the big name breeders, they often have a very strict contract and long waiting list. You may be required to use a handler. It may be a good idea to contact the less famous breeders who cannot show all the show quality Maltese they have. Many breeders only show one at a time.

You can not show spayed/neteured limited reg maltese. The idea of showing is to proof your breeding stock.
 

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OK, another question for a non-showing Malt mom thinking about possibly eventually getting into showing...

What is the best way to start showing? I definitely do not want to go in "cold turkey" like the guys on "Showdog Moms and Dads" did with their Rat Terrier. My husband knows of a former co-worker who shows Great Danes and I know there are a couple of local folks that show other small breeds as well as my vet who shows Rhodesian Ridgebacks. These folks may be able to give me some insight...

If I were to start looking for a show quality Malt would I be able to see all the standard features as a young pup (6 mos)? If I adopt from a breeder such as Divine or some other known high quality show breeder, can I trust that they are actually showing me a prospective "show quality" pup (although I understand that nothing is guaranteed with such pups) ?

I'm trying to start to go to nearby shows to see first hand what showing is like, but just to kind of get my thoughts in order I'd appreciate any input or tips that you'd give to novices.

I congratlate you on your interest in showing. I, too, am a novice, and I find that there is still so much to learn. Let me warn you that once you get started, it can be addictive.
Please don't overlook the show breeders who are perhaps not as well known as the top echilon. There are some who are on their way up who you might find are more willing to help other newbies. You might find that they are more willing to mentor you. Learning to groom and present your dog is a lot easier when you have someone willing to teach you. Planning a long range breeding program can be as intense as a graduate degree. I'm saying this first hand because I started with someone who I have great respect for, loves her dogs, has the highest ethical standards, but who isn't as well known as the top few. She is one who is willing to give a SINCERE new person a start, and no question is too trivial. She knows the lines and what you can expect to achieve with them. Of course, just like any other ethical breeder, she expects you to show and finish your dog before breeding, and this is in her contract. After almost four years, we have become very good friends, co-own two dogs, and will probably share more as time goes on. We talk Maltese on the phone several times a day. I've been to shows with her and seen her kindness to others who ask about grooming, etc. I've also seen some of the others treat these same people like dirt. To me, owning quality dogs and showing them should be fun. Thanks to my friend and mentor, I'm having a ball
 

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Definitely start going to shows. You will learn a lot by sitting back and watching. Don't just watch the Maltese either. Watch other coated toys and even the larger breeds. A really nice, easy book is called Show Me! It explains points and basic ring procedure very nicely.

You can get some experience with Deni, though she is inelligible to show in AKC. Grow coat on her! You can also take a handling class with her. Not only will you gain experience, but it will also make you look more serious as you begin to form relationships with breeders from whom you might work.

Getting a mentor can really help. Something I learned was your main mentor does not have to be a Maltese person. Someone with another drop-coated small breed can help you out quite a bit if there isn't a Malt person close by. You still will want a mentor within the breed, but to have a dog person close by can really come in handy.

It takes a number of years to really learn about structure...even then, the breeder will know their lines best. Finding a breeder you really trust to purchase your first show prospect from can mean all the difference.
 

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One other thing I would suggest is that you come to the AMA specialty in September. You will have an amazing opportunity to meet breeders from all over the country and see what look/lines you like in a maltese. This is not an easy breed to break into...but there are breeders out there willing to help us newbies. I will tell you that it will take some patience and persistence, but if you truly and sincerely want to do this, and you do your research, then it will happen for you.


I do not have a show puppy yet by the way...but after 6 months of phone calls, research, driving all over to shows, and a lot of poop scooping...I know I am in a much better position than I was when I first set out to do this. And I have made a lot of terrific friends along the way.


Good luck!!!
 
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