|Marketing Inside and Outside the Show Ring
Since aging out of Juniors, there have been two major changes in Lindsey Kuhn’s life: she now handles professionally and she is a college student.
Lindsey is currently a senior at Bowling Green State University where she is majoring in Marketing with a specialization in advertizing. Showing dogs has actually given a greater understanding of her future career, and Lindsey believes that her dog show background is the reason she understands and enjoys marketing so much. When showing dogs, Lindsey is “marketing” them to the judge. As a marketer in the show ring, it is her job to discover what a judge prefers and market her dogs accordingly. She also enjoys marketing her dogs through advertising and loves editing the ads.
College has not had a huge affect on Lindsey’s dog show involvement. Lindsey stills go to several shows each semester. There are certain shows, like Westminster or the English Setter Nationals that Lindsey never misses, so she plans her semesters knowing she will miss a few days of class.
The biggest change in Lindsey’s involvement with dogs since aging out has been further developing herself as a handler. She has worked to learn more about other breeds’ presentation and grooming and has made an effort to work with more breeds than when she was a Junior. So far, Lindsey has handled over 80 breeds from all 7 groups. However, she primarily handles English and Irish Setters as well as most Sporting breeds. She feels that there is no breed she cannot handle, although there are some with which she is more comfortable. Lindsey is at dog shows almost every weekend showing her young English Setter special as well as a few client dogs. She believes she is seen as more of a peer by other handlers and a stronger competitor since aging out of Juniors. Although she was specialing a dog very successfully while still in Juniors, she now puts more focus on the breed and group levels of competition. Lindsey may still be learning the ropes of being a professional handler, but she thoroughly enjoys showing dogs for others.
Lindsey believes that any Junior who would like to one day handle professionally should always try to learn more and make sure it is something the Junior enjoys doing. The best way to accomplish both of these things is to work for a few professional handlers. Lindsey did not have the chance to work for very many handlers, and it has held her back because she does not know all of the business aspects of handling or all of the grooming skills she feels she needs to know. Because she has always had breeds that require extensive grooming, she was never in a good position to apprentice for a busy handler. However, Lindsey has always made herself available at shows to help out friends or anyone else she can. To learn new tips or skills, Lindsey has never been afraid to ask other handlers.
There is a lot more involved in handling a dog than many people realize, and Lindsey will continue to use her skills and knowledge to “market” her dogs to the best of her ability.