Highly Experienced In Show Animal Matters

What should I consider when hiring a handler?

The dream of achieving Best in Show can consume some dog owners, especially those who have a purebred, show-ready dog. And why not? The Best in Show title carries a lot of clout in the showing world. It can mean big prize winnings, a boost to your reputation, and it can bring credibility to a breeder or kennel. This can be incredibly tempting, especially if a dog has a number of quality years ahead of them.

Being a successful show handler isn't for every owner, however. It can be an incredibly labor-intensive job that requires a certain level of professionalism and training to be successful. Handlers with clout, however, can change the mind of a judge, explains one Modern Dog Magazine article. If this can mean the difference between Best in Show and fifth place, it's worth considering hiring a quality dog handler, right?

So what should owners consider? Here are four big things to consider:

Training and experience

While there is no formal training or licensing requirements for dog handlers in the United States, a good handler will learn the requisite skills from an experienced handler. Watching an experienced handler isn't enough, however. A good handler will have gained useful experience in the ring and may even have a track record of winning or placing. The more practice a handler is, the more likely they are to perform better under pressure.

Daily expenses and salary

Hiring a good handler can be expensive. According to article for the Balance, the average salary for a dog show handler is around $61,000. Much of this salary comes from the daily expenses paid to the handler by the dog owner. This can add up to roughly $60 to $100 per day, per dog. Daily expenses can include everything from travel costs to food, which are all paid by the dog's owner.

Rapport with the dog

Sometimes the rapport a handler has with a dog can be as important as his or her experience in the ring. That's because some dogs act differently depending on their handler. The love a dog shows his or her handler can come across in the ring, specifically how the dog interacts with his or her handler or responds to commands. "This seems to be the common element with the really successful pros," explains one professional dog handler.

Strong, detailed contract

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when hiring a handler, however, is the specific wording of the contract between the handler and an owner. Not being detailed enough or including confusing, unclear language can lead to contentious disputes that require specialized help from a lawyer with experience dealing with show animal contracts. While this can be an added expense, it's often necessary because of the complexity of contract law and ensuing disputes.

How much does Best in Show mean to you?

While some may not care about winning Best in Show, the allure of winning such a prestigious title can go a long way for many. If this is a dream of yours, then hiring a good dog handler may be in your future as should be the considerations above too.

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