103 – Ed Thomason Tips for the Owner Handler – From a Breeder Owner Handler Turned Professional Dog Handler

Ed Thomason

Ed Thomason Tips for the Owner Handler – from an Owner Handler Turned Professional Dog Handler

Ed Thomason was a Breeder and Owner Handler before he became a Professional Dog Handler.  A passionate advocate for the “bully breeds”, Ed and his wife, Karen, breed American Staffordshire Terriers under the Alpine Falls kennel name.

He shares his best tips and encouragement for owner handlers.

The definition of rising through the ranks, Ed started in dogs at UKC shows and counts Laurie Jordan-Fenner as his primary mentor, whom he met while attending a handling class she taught near him.

Ed Thomason

Ed Thomason’s Advice for Owner Handler Competitors

— Put you and Michael Andretti in a Ferrari, the experienced race car driver will run the lap the fastest. That’s a product of experience. You have to do the work.

— Quit worrying about everybody else in the ring and focus on your dog.

— Don’t make excuses. It starts with you.

— The most successful owner handlers are masters at what they do. They’re there to win.

— The best dogs in the world can make themselves look horrible.

— Judges see your dogs outside the ring. Make them always look their best, even when NOT in the ring.

— Breeders are the backbone of the sport. Professional handlers need to remember that.

— Handlers need to accept responsibility. Need to maintain communication. We all need to unite to ensure the future of the sport.

— Raise our game by helping others raise theirs.

— Offer more handler clinics for adults.

— Additional activities are what drive exhibitors to the dog show.

— Success drives happiness.

— Don’t get discouraged quickly. Ask a lot of questions.

— There is nothing that compares to the joy of succeeding in your goal of finishing your own dog.

Ed Thomason American Staffordshire Terriers


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  1. Kimberly on 08/07/2017 at 11:47 AM

    Thank you for saying all of that! So true!

  2. Kathy on 08/08/2017 at 7:54 AM

    Thank you!

  3. Ed Thomason on 08/08/2017 at 8:37 AM

    Your welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. rhonda jarvis on 08/08/2017 at 11:28 AM

    Hopefully folks can read, listen and learn from folks that have already been down that long road of showing dogs.. Everything you said is true, I happen to agree the most with the #7 line you posted..
    If people would work with each other and talk and explain things to people the dog show world would be a better place..
    thank you for taking the time to post this..

  5. Shannon Golden on 08/08/2017 at 6:44 PM

    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE adult handling clinics at shows. To learn but also to hopefully help make friends to have someone to talk to while at the show.

  6. Diane Greene on 08/08/2017 at 6:51 PM

    I too need adult handling clinics. Also need grooming clinics

  7. Teresa Howden on 08/09/2017 at 8:57 AM

    Good info and I’m committed to asking tons of questions!!

  8. Diane Davis on 08/09/2017 at 7:42 PM

    Good info. I love the idea of adult clinics. I would be at one at every show that I entered that offered one. I’m not a novice but I want to learn, not just about my breed, but others as well. I always feel like handlers are too busy to get to talk to. I’m going to work on that

  9. Lisa on 08/09/2017 at 11:13 PM

    Great advice. Thank you Ed

  10. Sandi Stephenson on 09/03/2017 at 4:26 PM

    Bravo Ed. Great job!

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