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Junior Showmanship

The Down & Back is the most common, quickest and simplest to perform. This pattern only shows the Judge the front and rear action of the dog leaving them to look at side gait on the go around.

The Triangle is the second most used pattern in conformation. This pattern allows the judge to assess rear, side and front movement.


The L is used occasionally in conformation shows but not as often as it used to be. Westminster used it in early 2000 and it was interesting to see how many professional handlers did not do it correctly. This pattern allows the judge to see rear, front and side motion of the dog. The L is a hand change pattern meaning that the dog will gait on the left side of the handler for half the pattern and on the right side of the handler for the other half. It is important to teach your dog to gait comfortably on both your left and right sides.

The L can be done in either direction meaning that the first turn can be either right or left. In the left handed L you will start with the dog on the left, for the right handed L start with the dog on the right (the dog is always started on the side of the first turn).


The T is almost never used in AKC shows although I have had to do it once in Vancouver Washington in the late 1980s. I always teach this pattern even though you may never have to use it. This pattern is, by far, the most complicated.

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