Close Visit the newly redesigned website by clicking here.

Scholarship Recipients' Advice to Other Juniors

“It is more important to be a good sport and carry yourself well than actually winning.  It is easy to get caught up in doing all you can to win but in the end all you have is points.  You will not have any friends or good memories, not to mention people will not hire you to show their dog in the future if you have a poor attitude.” ~Michelle Ahmann
“Have Fun!  That’s why we started showing in the first place.” ~Elizabeth Berk

“Go out there and have fun!  Following your dreams and be happy in doing them.  Set big goals and then achieve them.” ~Cassie Brock


“Although winning is important, it does not matter if your dog is not having a good time.  You would not be competing in the sport if it wasn’t for your dog.” ~Katie Errigo

“I would recommend that a junior handler find a mentor in their breed and how to handle that breed.  For the junior that intends to continue showing after Junior Showmanship, a mentor can be invaluable.  At the same time, never forget why you’re in the sport:  it’s about your dog and it’s about having fun.” ~ Elizabeth Goodman
“Enjoy every minute you spend with your dog.  Competitions are not supposed to be stressful or become a chore; competition should be a time we relax, hang out with friends, and learn life lessons.” ~Kelly Hall
“Never doubt yourself and always do your best.  Just because you might not know what you are doing, having a big smile on your face and looking confident can get you high places.” ~Rachel Halop
“Always believe you can do anything with your dog; it just takes hard work and confidence.  Never give up!” ~Jennifer Holmseth
“Try to work with as many breeds of dogs as possible.  It is good to know how to show and groom all different types rather than your own breed specifically.  Attend as many handler seminars as you can, but most importantly, all juniors should concentrate on having fun with their dog in the ring!” ~Katie Konesky
“Go out there and have fun with your dog!  That’s the bottom line! When competing you must think of you and your dog as a team.  Have undying passion, unwavering patience, and an unstoppable determination to make the most out of the time spent with your dog.  Never let failures bring you down, rather it should only impel you to try again and try harder.” ~ Christopher Matthews
“As cliché as it sounds, enjoy every minute of showing.  Competition is great but a dog isn’t always the fairest place for it.  Many of the people you meet showing will be friends for life.” ~Nora Nieminski
“The memories you will have of dog shows will not be the wins or ribbons, but the time you spent traveling in the car with your family, the creepy towns you found yourselves staying at, the times of devastation when your dog fouled the ring…twice, and when you do win, the joy that comes when you step out of the ring and you are surrounded by the love of people who are vested in your future.  Junior Showmanship is one of the best opportunities you will have to discover love, compassion, and joy in the people and animals that you care for.” ~Katherine Peed
“First, find a mentor in your breed to get advice on your specific breed.  I recommend going to handler class.  And most importantly, practice good sportsmanship and have fun.” ~Cheslie Pickett
“…you must always face competition with a sense of humor…  Those who show rescues often are painfully aware of these challenges.  These things happen and it can be extremely humiliating and frustrating to work so hard and then have your dog decide to play.  It is difficult learning to put on a cheerful exterior for your dog and contain other emotions beneath or laugh off the mistakes with your friends.  Your dog doesn’t care about that title you were aiming for or whether you really made time on the course, he just loves working with you.” ~ Catherine Rivard 
“Approach dog training with the right attitude. In training and in competition…do what is best for your dog and not what you need to do to qualify or win.  Remember that making a mistake is often more humorous than it is frustrating.” ~Sierra Schmidt
“Seek other successful handlers that are willing to act as mentors.  Be sure to ask them lots of questions.” ~Michelle Skeels
“Watch professional handlers during breed competition.  Be sure to have fun.” ~Derek Stein
“To always remember that the most important thing is the relationship you have with your dog – and to have fun!  Also, always exhibit good sportsmanship regardless of the outcome.” ~ Kathleen Waldock
“Have fun with your dog.  They have to much to teach you!” ~Blake Williams

  • “Remember to have patience because perfection doesn’t happen overnight.  Even the most experienced handlers make mistakes, but the key is to leave from it an move on and not dwell on the negative.” ~Kelly Corcoran

  • “Never give up on your dream!  There will be people who do not help or support you but there are far more who will help you reach that goal.  Always keep going regardless of others.” ~Jennifer Crank

  • “Have fun and learn as much as you can.” ~Wyatt Delfino

  • “I believe it is very important to have good sportsmanship in the ring.  If everything has gone wrong that day and you hate the guts of the person who won, still go congratulate them.  Shake their hand and thank the judge.  Have a smile on your face and enjoy working with you dog.” ~Joseph Esch

  • “Find an expert in your breed and learn, watch, and listen to everything that mentor has to offer.” ~ Heather Grodi

  • “My advice to juniors would be to have fun.  We can sometimes forget that showing dogs is just a hobby.  The most important thing is for juniors to make friends and have fun.” ~ Kristin Heiden

  • “Ask a lot of questions, older juniors and handlers are very willing to give juniors help and advice.  Also know your breed.” ~ Zachary Janke

  • “I would recommend that junior handlers competing today begin with a young dog that they have trained.  They will learn more showing a young dog than they will if they get a dog that is already a champion.” ~ Michael Kennedy

  • “Don’t take it too seriously, have fun and be a good sport!” ~Adam King

  • “Showing is supposed to be a fun learning experience.  Winning isn’t everything.  Get to know and become friends with the other juniors because after juniors showing will still be fun.” ~Anna Kodet

  • “Always be open for advice and be willing to learn. No matter how good you think you are, there is always more to learn, and there are always people out there who are willing to help, just don't be afraid to ask for help.  Juniors is not all about who has the biggest, flashiest dog. Juniors is about becoming a team with your dog and being able to convince the judge that you and your dog are the best team in the ring. You have to believe that the dog you are showing is the best in the world and then you have to show the dog like he is the best. Once you believe in yourself and the dog that you are showing, the judges will see this, and will be more likely to reward you with a win.” ~Lindsey Kuhn
  • “Focus on having fun. When it’s not fun anymore, stop what you’re doing and re-evaluate your reasons for competing.” ~Amber Short

  • “There is always something you can do to get better.” ~Anders Thoreson