I just returned from a 400 mile trek down to Atlanta for the IABCA dog show. My adult son and I took his Border Collie, my black tri mini Aussie, Fancy, and Izzy’s two puppies along on the trip.
The show was held at Jim Miller Park just outside Atlanta and was a very nice event with about 160 dogs registered and a variety of breeds. Fancy earned her points for International Champion as did Gus, my son’s Border Collie. Both also got awards for Best of Breed. It was a nice field of dogs and as always, we enjoyed chatting during the day with other dog owners. There is always something to learn or to share where there are so many knowledgeable dog owners. Since I am a novice in the conformation ring, I especially like it that the judges write their evaluations of both my showing style and the dog’s conformation.
It is a little unusual to take along 7 week old puppies to a dog show that is that far away, but I am determined to give my puppies a good head start on their socialization and what better place than where there are barks and woofs and loud hairdryers and hundreds of hands to play with them, hands that are dog smart.
Traveling was actually quite easy because of their prior playpen training. I drive a mini-van and removed all the back seats. Our two adult dogs were in their kennels, but there was room to lay down a vinyl floor covering and the puppies had lots of room to play and since they were used to their peepee pads on the holder, that wasn’t a problem either. For rest time, I tucked them into their kennel to help train them for their new homes and for them to learn that is their safe and quiet place.
At the dog show, I sat up their soft sided puppy play pen that has a bottom with their toys and pad. They haven’t had but one round of shots, so I wasn’t comfortable putting them on the ground to play or to potty with so many possibilities of disease. That worked very nicely and they had room to bop around and a place to rest between their bops.
Their fear stage hasn’t set in, so they were happy to greet anyone that wanted to snuggle them and I was especially appreciative of the junior handlers that came around to spend time with them. Exposure to children and young people at this age is super important in my opinion.
I might add that we had very nice accommodations at the Hilton Convention Center in Marietta and it was very pet friendly. I had booked at another place, but it turned out to be a little shady and we were not comfortable in that particular area to be outside after dark to walk the dogs. If I were traveling back to the same show, I’d definitely be on Priceline to book the same rooms.
It was a very nice trip. IABCA is a relaxed and enjoyable show venue with experienced AKC judges and a nice crowd of people.