We here at The Dog Snobs are, despite all outward appearances actually pretty decent people. You can think of us like Emily Post if she swore like a sailor, was covered in dog hair and had a questionable grasp on which fork goes with what (Out-to-in kids. It’s very simple.). So you’ve mastered the basics now because some little munchkins ruined a few solid weekends we’re gonna go over some of these again.
1) Respect your elders and your betters.
Check the pissy attitude at the door. We don’t know who you are. We don’t care who you are. There is always someone out there who knows better than you do. If someone is honestly trying to give you a head’s up on a rule change or can see you’re new and is passing along a bit of helpful advice, sit down and shut up. Whether you end up using that advice is a different story, but it’s only respectful to listen. The person that thinks they know the most about dogs often knows the least.
2) You don’t have to take advice given.
Rarely is advice given that doesn’t have a good intention behind it. See the good, thank the person and move on. Occasionally advice is nasty or judgmental or just not the way you would ever consider training something. “I’ll take that into consideration, thank you,” and a quick scurrying away is more than sufficient. Going into detail, arguing or just getting nasty just falls back under Rule 1.
3) Jeans are rarely appropriate. Jean-anything else (Shorts, minis, dresses, vests) are NEVER APPROPRIATE.
Rule of thumb for any trial is clean and tidy.We really hope that’s your rule in your day to day life, but we aren’t here to judge your pajamas or hoochie club wear. What annoys the hell out of us is inappropriate clothing in trials that clearly have a dress code or an implied level of competition. Yeah, Obedience, we’re looking at you. Dress like you have someone to impress, not like you’re going to hang out at the mall with the other kids.
4) For the love of God read the damn rule book
Know how to hold the leash in obedience? Pro-tip, the other weekend only two entries out of Beginner Novice A did and one was because I threatened to cut off her hands*. It’s free online. At least take a glimpse at the class you’ve paid to be evaluated for. It will only take away a little bit of time from your already inefficient training style.
5) If your dog is an ass, learn to apologize.
Rude dogs are rude. Owners who ignore the rudeness are assholes. Don’t be an asshole. If your dog is an ass, apologize. It will save us all a lot of DogShowScores stalking and trash talking.
6) Dog Shampoo and a comb cost less than an entry fee. Buy them first.
Please don’t show up for a trial with a ratty ass dog. Bathe it, brush it, make it look like someone loves it. Show some respect for your dog, the judge and the sport.
7) You did badly, own it.
You had a bad show day. Your dog NQed. You tripped over a rally sign. What you thought your dog would be a natural for they had a humiliatingly bad failure in. Tough titties, kitties. Your performance, your dog’s performance and your collective performance are yours. Own it. “I had a bad weekend. I am disappointed. We’ll try again.” is the refrain of the good dog people, the triers we see out there working hard improving things one bad weekend at a time. The whiners conversely are focusing their problems outward. You can say that other people are mean to their dogs and your dog is too smart for the activity and blah blah blah… but here’s a little tip; No one is impressed by your excuses. No one. Shut up and train it, or just go away. No one wants you here.
It’s really not that hard to show and be courteous or to find courteous people but some days it can be a challenge. Keep on keeping on minions and try to at least be courteous to one another. It’s a chore but we don’t have to mop up blood later.
*We’re friends. It’s okay.