Marina Bystrova: «Little secrets of big wins»

How long have you been working as a handler and the way you been trained? Tell us how you start it out and how long.

Быстрова Марина хендлер

Soon we will celebrate the 20 years anniversary of my work with show dogs ...

As a teenager I had been lucky have a junior handler friend. She took me to the show as helper with her German Shepherd dog so there was a chance to see wonderful dog show world at first time in my life. OMG, I did not like it indeed! Many people in stress around all the time using comb or powder or spray just to be sure their dog looks nice & sharp for the judge's eyes!

Also since 6-year old kid I had a pet dog at home so our newbie neighbors would ask me to help with their Barzoi (Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya) puppy training. She was an pure breed Kennel Club registered dog with eligible pedigree. In addition to some obedience lessons we took several dog shows and got very nice results. Our Barzoi bitch went a champion in few weekends. Other people seeing my success were thankful if I could show their dog too.

Here something new came into my life... Big part of dogs in my hands were Alaskan Malamutes - beautiful big sled dog breed with their high quality & good quantity represented in The United States of America. We decided that travelling to this country several times per year for the biggest events in country was an smart thing! Lots of new information about our passion was like a cold shower: we were so far in every piece of cake!

Bystrova Marina Handler

I never can be thankful enough to all breeders/handlers/judges for their loyalty and help during these years. Everyone was ready to correct my mistakes tell me new things and even some secrets. My eyes changed into «x-ray vision» trough dogs coats and an beautiful Alaskan malamute «picture» appeared in my imagination.

Here came some serious results: dogs in my hands bred in Russia came with nice winnings on World Dog Show, Alaskan Malamute Club of America National Specialty, Eukanuba National Championship, Westminster KC, European Dog Show, Multiple BIS & BIS Specialty winners, International Champions, champions in over than 50 countries around the world from Puerto-Rico to Philippines. At this stage I thought about everything but not about grooming & handling more. There were much more interesting things except ordinary everyday work.

What is difference between European and American handling?

Handling is an mandatory thing for successful show dog in US: judges are thinking that professional handler in the ring would help evaluate dog in the fastest way.

In Europe often we have huge contrast: judges are thinking that professional handler would hide dogs problems from their eyes with hand stack & grooming. Sometimes they prefer owner-handled dog «just because».

In real life no one handler can totally change a low quality dog for the judges eyes. From the other side an beautiful breed representative will be easily lose points if starts jump as wild mustang.

What do you think is the most important in showing dogs?

Everything. «The picture» dog & handler is an puzzle which looks good when all the pieces at their place. From your mood to your dogs mood from your hair & dress to dogs coat! Noting should be lost.

Is there a difference between a show dog career in America and in Russia?

In US (AKC) we have points ranking for several levels from the best dog in breed to the number one dog in country. Every show every win counted. That's a powerful trigger to show your dog as often as you can for years.

Хендлер Быстрова Марина

In Russia we have not rankings wich can be compared with AKC. Usually show dog carrier finished at 2-3 years old (when most breeds completed coat changing / body formation and in their top condition) because you can get championship even if your dog alone in the breed every show. Group & BIS wins do not counts. Many owners put their champions on the sofa after couple months of showing and quite happy of it.

How do you train dogs for a show? Do you have kind of system?

If we have young dog there is no way better as take your puppy to any outside dog show and trying to relax there together. Next step is getting dogs attention for your hands / some stacking elements/letting others pat your pup. This is how we are working.

How long are you working with the dog before the first show?

For most cases one-hour home lesson and some training at a dog show more than enough.

At which age you start to work with the dog?

From 7 months old or later. Let your puppy learn to play to be relaxed & etc.

Charisma is an important addition to every show dog personality. It’s not possible if you are going force your pup to be an serious adult at that age.

How much time per week is needed to teach them for the show? 

One hour lesson a day before the show just to remind.

What do you think - is it worth to visit the show in hot weather?

Depends on purpose. If this is an important show it's ok, but be ready for additional care for your dog. Even with big umbrella in your hands if needed.

If you have a small puppy or veteran or snub nosed breed - cancel this show. No dog show in this world which worth of your dog's health.

Are there any special things handler should looks like?

There are a bunch of secrets that help to win! Handler's look takes 2 hours in my workshop program. As example lady's skirt preferably no shorter than her knee line - that’s an classic rule and looks pleasant to the judges eyes. Or your suit color could help accent dog's coat - the judge likely would pick your dog from line up.

You have a system of relaxation (rest) before the show?

You have to think: - «Why I ‘am here?» It helps. As well as a good sleep before the show and a hearty breakfast. No overnight grooming: both dogs and humans need to sleep at night.

How much time before the show do you advise to come?

Usually one hour before the ring plus grooming time your dog needs.

What could you give advice to novice handlers and groomers?

At first - never give up! If something goes wrong it should push you for better things! The second one (or first) - never try to make your dog hurt if she/he does not want cooperate. Dogs are sincere in their actions and emotions. Try to improve your skills that do not let you fix the situation.

Быстрова Марина грумер

If you are Handler add info about yourself to people will know about you!



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Татьяна Тур
Очень понравился подход к подготовке и советы! Мы начали заниматься выставками совсем недавно и уже на собственном опыте и ошибках начали получать результаты! 4 место в щенках на Мире и за месяц закрыли Чемпиона в юниорах! Хотелось бы посетить какие-то курсы по хендлингу и грумингу- у нас порода интересная - ши-тцу! а учились по видео в интернете,но живое общение это намного больше дает и интереснее! Много вопросов возникает..., и советы мастеров многого стоят! :)
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Marina Bystrova
Спасибо за возможность рассказать немного о моем любимом занятии - показе собак. Теперь, спустя 20 лет, я точно знаю, что в хендлинге все самые гениальные вещи одновременно и самые простые...  ;)