• April 10, 2018
  • BY Bonnie Guggenheim

Most show dogs do not have a wealthy person behind them, but instead a dedicated owner who is either an owner handler or has a job that makes it possible to pay professional handlers and photographers. I’m asked all the time how to find a backer but as a rule financial backers are interested in proven top winning dogs or those with the obvious potential to be a big winner on a national or international level.

Travel expenses, handling fees and entries total a cost to campaign a top special more than what the average person would earn in a year. It goes up 
from there and if you really want a big winner you need to have your dog shown in 150 to 200 shows a year. You must have a dog with winning potential and the stamina to compete on circuits at the biggest and longest running shows in the country. It is more difficult with Toy dogs since they have a more difficult time holding up under stress, but it can be done. Proper care, handling and feeding are imperative.

A well planned campaign will be for two years with the first year a starter year and the second aiming for the top. Handlers’ expenses include grooming, entries, travel, veterinary care and often include the cost of vans, motor homes, air travel and miscellaneous expenses. Sponsors are well aware of the cost and nearly always work with some type of contract agreed upon by owners, backers and handlers. Trust is an important part of any arrangement and critical to the success of developing or creating a top winner.

Looking at sponsors of top winning specials in all breeds, it seems most of them have strong connections with professional handlers who have had earlier success with dogs they either bred, owned or simply discovered watching them in the ring. Every dog person loves seeing a fabulous entry going around the ring and on occasion they want to be a part of making that particular dog number one and they enjoy looking at a beautifully put together animal.

Remember you need to have the dog out and winning where potential backers will see it, you need to know the dog has a show temperament and then you hope that elusive backer will be looking at your dog. Few sponsors are seen in win photos—they go to shows to relax, watch their dog win and visit with friends. Maybe they will find your dog!

I hope you win lots and place your ads in Top Notch Toys Magazine, we are National, the only all Toy magazine and we mail to every judge that will touch your Toy dog! Give us the opportunity to create a stunning and memorable ad that will promote your dog to all the right people. Let me know about the exciting wins you have had—inquiring minds want to know! Check out our awesome new website and opportunities available to promote your dog! Call, text or email me.