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Author Topic : Beginner's Guide to Showdog.com for Basic Accounts
 rhondacline
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4/22/2015 7:10:43 PM reply with quote send message to rhondacline Object to Post   

BEGINNERS GUIDE to SHOWDOG.com (Basic Account Edition)

Welcome! We are glad you are here! Showdog.com is a Sim game where we breed and show dogs. The breeds and show system are primarily based on the U.S. AKC show system. As a ‘Basic’ account you will be focused on SHOWING. There are a number of goals you might strive for:

• In the Conformation Ring: You can show to achieve a Champion title or maybe you want to go farther and achieve a Grand Champion title for your dog. Each month there is a National Specialty for each breed where you compete to be awarded Best In Specialty – a prestigious honor. At the end of the month the Top 15 dogs for each breed are invited to compete at our Showdog.com World Cup, our equivalent to Westminster or Crufts. Winning Best of Breed at the SDWC is another accomplishment to strive for. On the final day of the month you can also check the All Breed, Group and Breed Top Dog boards. How did you dog do this month? #1 in Breed - #15 in your group? Spectacular! These are all great goals to strive for!

• In the Obedience Ring: There are 3 obedience titles you can train and compete for – CD, CDX and UD. Maybe you want to see your kennel name in the Top 10 for your class/division? Maybe you want to work on putting titles on both ends – Champions in the conformation ring with obedience titles!

• Do you want to focus on one breed? Maybe you prefer a specific group? Or maybe you want to go for the goal of one in EVERY breed! Many ‘Basic’ players become established and run a “Finishing service.” Finishing kennels work as professional handlers; they train, compete and put titles on another kennel’s dogs for a fee.
Now that you have an idea of what your goals might be; let’s find your first dog!

Which breed?
I’m sure that your first inclination is to pick a breed that you love in real life. I would caution that your breed of choice may not be the best breed for a beginner to start with in the game; so let’s take a look at some things you should consider when selecting the breed for your first puppy. As you go through each section, try to come up with 3-5 breeds that you might be interested in working with. This will give you some options if your first breed choice has no/few dogs available.

o Take a look at SHOW RESULTS from today for your breeds of interest.
- www.showdog.com/shows/
As a beginner, you probably want to choose a breed that will be fairly easy to show. You want a breed with at least one maybe two majors available each day. (What’s a major? See the SHOWING YOUR DOG section below for additional information.)

o Check the INFORMATION: BREEDS list –
- www.showdog.com/breeds/
Again, as a beginner you will want a breed in the mid-range. Breeds at the top of the list (common) and at the bottom of the list (rare) are going to be more difficult to finish.

o Check the TOP DOGS list for your breed –
- www.showdog.com/shows/results/top_dogs.aspx
(See Breed Rankings on the right)
This resource will give you another look at how many dogs of that breed are being shown this month. If you see 5 dogs listed or 50 dogs listed – you might want to consider a different breed. You can of course, choose a very popular breed or a rare breed; just be aware that both ‘extremes’ come with their own set of challenges.


Choosing Your Puppy
Now that you have narrowed your breeds of interest down to 3-5 breeds let’s take a look at the criteria we want to look at when considering our first dog.

• Age – For your first puppy I recommend a puppy as close to 0 days as possible. Basically, 1 month real time = 1 year game time. Puppies are eligible for the Puppy Class at 14 days (=6 Mths) and it takes approximately 14+ days to prepare the puppy for the show ring. (Sessioning or preparation/training time varies from breed to breed.)

IF you can find a partially sessioned show quality dog, this is actually a MUCH better option for new players. These dogs take a fraction of the time to get ready for the show ring and have already been determined by their current breeder/owner as show quality. The problem is – these dogs are much harder to find.

• Show Quality – There are two criteria that we want to look at to determine what is ‘Show Quality’ for our breed of interest. Remember, the ‘stats’ for Show Quality are going to be different for every breed. Let’s take another look at today’s show results for your breeds of interest. Let’s look at Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex, Winners Dog and Winners Bitch – grab some paper and take notes on the following:




o SOP – or Standard of Perfection – This is a general guide to the quality of the dog, based on a mathematical calculation of the dog’s genetic traits compared to the breed’s standard. If your winners’ SOPs are 92.45, 92.60, 93.20 and 91.95 – you will want to look for a puppy that is similar in number. (In general, higher numbers are better. But, SOP is NOT what’s really important.)




o TRAITS – First, let’s go to our “Breed Information” page to find out which traits are important for our breed. (This page can be accessed by clicking on the breed name on any dog’s page.) Scroll down to the “Breed Scale of Points.” You will find that each breed puts a certain emphasis or weight on each trait. We want to pay the most attention to the traits that are important for our breed. These traits will be weighted as 20, 15, 10, 10, 10 – or in some cases 15, 15, 10, 10, 10, 10. These are the traits we want to look at in our breed. For our purposes here, we will simply ignore the least important traits, those valued at 5. We will also ignore 'General' which is weighted at 20 for all breeds.)




Now, let's go back to our Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex, Winners Dog, Winners Bitch – what are their “numbers” in the important traits. We want our puppy to have similar numbers.

For our comparison, we are most interested in Head, Coat, Forequarter, Hindquarter and Feet. Establish a range of numbers that you see in the winning dogs for each trait and then start searching.

It is rare to find a puppy for sale that has the best score in all of the important traits. As breeders, we face the same dilemma when deciding which puppies to keep, which to sell and which to pet home. If you’re just not sure which puppy has the better chance of succeeding in the show ring you can always ask the breeder or post here in the Beginner forum.

A note on the ShowShine trait - This is the "look at me" or Showmanship trait - 20 is best; but you can go a little lower and still be successful in the ring.

Another resource to compare SOPs and Traits is the “Current Top Dogs” board for your breed of interest. You can find a link to this page on the “Breed Information” page.



FINDING YOUR PUPPY
So now that you know what to look for in a show prospect, where do you find him/her?
Basically there are four options:

• Marketplace: Dogs for Sale:
www.showdog.com/dogsforsale/
Think of this resource as “Classified Ads” – Here you will see each breed listed under its appropriate group. Next to the breed name you will see a number in parenthesis. This is the number of dogs currently available for sale. You will need to click on each individual dog to see the dog’s information. (Remember we are looking for SOP, Traits and age.)

•Community: Forum: Dogs For Sale and/or Breed Forum
www.showdog.com/forum/forum.aspx?forumid=24
In the forums, we have the ability to give information about dogs for sale. You will often find ads for Show Quality puppies in these forums. (Especially the Dogs For Sale forum.)
This is also your best place to possibly find a partially sessioned or full sessioned older puppy for sale.

•Contact a Breeder:
Your best bet for getting the best puppy available is to contact a breeder listed on your breed’s Breeder Directory page. Contact the breeder, let them know you are just starting out, that you are serious about training, showing and sticking with the game and that you are looking for a show quality puppy. They may have a partially trained dog that they might sell, they might offer you a puppy from an upcoming litter, or they might suggest you contact one of the other breeders in the breed.

•Starter Dogs:
As a new player you are offered the option to purchase “Starter” dogs. These dogs are NOT show quality and are only good for “color” breeding or “source” breeding. As a ‘Basic’ account, you should NOT choose Starter Dogs.

Once you have decided on a puppy - through any of the resources above – I would suggest asking the breeder to change the food ration for the puppy to Custom 1777, BEFORE you purchase the puppy. This will enable you to train your puppy more quickly. Other than that, it’s time to bring your first puppy home.


YOUR NEW PUPPY
Now that you have your new show puppy home, what’s next?




•Naming Your Puppy: If your puppy wasn’t named by the breeder you will need to name your puppy. You can do so by typing the name in the box at the top of the unnamed dog’s page or by doing the same on the Name Your Dog page.
NOTE: If you want to include the breeder’s kennel name in your dog’s name – ask first. A quick note of “I would like to name my new puppy ABC Abracadabra, is that okay with you?” will be much appreciated.

•Feeding Your Puppy: Hopefully, your breeder set your puppy’s food ration to Custom 1777 before you made the purchase. (Note: Breeders may name their 1777 ration any name – so you may see Show Puppy, Puppy Tidbits, etc.)
IF you see Old Boy or Pet House, you will want to change to Super Duper Puppy Formula. Just click change ration, select Super Duper PUPPY and click Submit. Super Duper is not as good as Custom 1777; but it will work, it will just take a little longer.

Now that the food ration is set, you don’t have to worry about food again until your puppy turns 14 days old. The game will feed your dog automatically every day. At 14 days you will need to change from PUPPY to ADULT food. More on that later.

•Sessioning – You will need to “session” your puppy each day to get your puppy ready for the show ring. On the right you will see some clickable pics under the header “Sessioning.”
In the center of your page you will see a table header – Health, Obedience & Training Quality -
and underneath Show Obedience, Condition, Muscle Tone and Coat Condition. Each of these 4 traits will have a number underneath.

By clicking the pics on the right – Train, Exercise, Groom – you will advance the numbers on the table. (If you have Custom 1777 puppy food, this will also advance the numbers for Muscle Tone and Coat Condition a little each time the dogs are fed.

Your dog is ready for the show ring when all four numbers hit 20. With daily sessioning and quality food many breeds will hit 20-20-20-20 around 14 days. Some breeds will take longer.

Here’s a breakdown:
Show Obedience is affected ONLY by clicking the “Train” button. It is not affected by food at all.
Condition is affected by food only.
Muscle Tone & Coat Condition are affected by clicking the Exercise and Groom buttons as well as by the dog’s food.

•What Now?
So you bought your puppy, named him/her, set up the food and sessioned yesterday. Now it’s day two and you logged in, sessioned your puppy and you’re wondering – “This is it? This is all there is to do for the next two weeks?”

Yes and No … That’s all you have to do. But this is a great time to learn.
Browse the site. Look at the Top Dog listings – All Breed, By Group, By Breed. Top Dogs by Grand Champion points.
Check out your Breed Information page – Kennels, Forum, Stud Dogs, Award of Merit Dogs. Study Show Results and Judges – which judges like your breed, which judges will be best for your dog.
Read and re-read the HELP pages. Check out the forums. Visit kennels.
Soak it all in.

Our game is not a game of instant gratification. It takes time, thought, strategy and patience. But you will find it all worth it when you achieve your goals.

............. Coming Soon - "Understanding Shows" .............
 mournebrake
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4/23/2015 3:20:30 AM reply with quote send message to mournebrake Object to Post

I'm directing basics to this post. I think you've done amazing work!
 Glittering
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4/24/2015 4:11:32 AM reply with quote send message to Glittering Object to Post

Excellent work!
 mournebrake
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4/25/2015 5:15:29 AM reply with quote send message to mournebrake Object to Post

Bumping to top of forum.
 Glittering
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4/26/2015 4:02:49 AM reply with quote send message to Glittering Object to Post

great work
 mournebrake
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4/26/2015 5:52:00 AM reply with quote send message to mournebrake Object to Post

Is there any way we could ask Jeff to include a link to this thread in his welcome email to all newbies? I wonder how many new basics 'jump right in' getting dogs before they read the forums.
 Glittering
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4/29/2015 10:13:01 PM reply with quote send message to Glittering Object to Post

I jumped right in - twice. Wish this had been there then.
 mournebrake
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5/8/2015 12:10:22 PM reply with quote send message to mournebrake Object to Post

Bumped, this forum isn't being used much at the moment
 Glittering
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7/7/2015 8:38:53 PM reply with quote send message to Glittering Object to Post

Great resource
 Dalkeith
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7/7/2015 9:37:59 PM reply with quote send message to Dalkeith Object to Post

fantastic post!!!
 mournebrake
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7/8/2015 4:00:15 AM reply with quote send message to mournebrake Object to Post

I hate to say it but I'd forgotten how much hard work Rhondacline had put into this guide - it's fantastic! I just re read it and all basics need to read it - it answers all those questions you don't know you need to ask!
 Little River Kennel
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7/18/2015 9:18:36 AM reply with quote send message to Little River Kennel Object to Post

I would add to all beginners that ONE breed is the best way to go, because otherwise you're on the fast track to debt and it's hard to get out as a basic.

Also, don't use old boy unless you're absolutely in dire straits for money.

If you go into debt, the best thing to do is sell your dogs and let the login bonus help you and your salary help you. It's a slow crawl but you won't get anywhere if you have dogs in your kennel eating food and money.
 rhondacline
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9/12/2015 11:32:22 AM reply with quote send message to rhondacline Object to Post

Bumping for beginner info
 Hair is my glitter
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10/18/2015 2:40:45 PM reply with quote send message to Hair is my glitter Object to Post

This is great. Thank you for taking your time to write this out happy :) It helped me a lot!
 mournebrake
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10/18/2015 4:29:58 PM reply with quote send message to mournebrake Object to Post

It is a wonderful thread, so glad beginners are finding it helpful.
 XiZang
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10/19/2015 9:59:50 AM reply with quote send message to XiZang Object to Post

This is fantastic. Every newbie should be forced to read it before buying dogs. LOL
 gaylanstudio
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10/22/2015 12:15:13 PM reply with quote send message to gaylanstudio Object to Post

this post has been edited 2 time(s)

This is an excellent document!

I would also recommend sticking with one breed to begin with. If you progress to a subscription and a serious breeding program, it's even more important. It can be very difficult to keep even a single breed program within the 30 dog limit.

The other point that I feel is missing is the 30 day breeding permit for Basics. For that I would recommend that the first purchase actually be a female of breeding age - just because everyone wants to breed most of all. A good quality older female might be their best bet, then breed her well. Within a week or two they can have their own litter of 0 day old puppies. Alternatively, I'd make their first selection a female of 5 to 10 days, hopefully one that has been prepared for showing, so that they will still have breeding rights by the time the dog is breedable at 30 days.

Rhonda, perhaps you need to do a part two - "Your First Litter".


-----
Last edited by gaylanstudio on 10/22/2015 12:30:10 PM
 rhondacline
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10/22/2015 1:17:28 PM reply with quote send message to rhondacline Object to Post

Funny you should mention a Part 2...

as I got a wild hair and put together Part 2 this morning - The Topic was...



A Beginner's Guide to SHOWING DOGS on SD


www.showdog.com/forum/read.aspx?id=471707


 BRW Gold Winners Kennel
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10/23/2015 4:58:47 PM reply with quote send message to BRW Gold Winners Kennel Object to Post

This is what I needed to read when i first started. Thankyou!
 Dalkeith
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4/4/2016 7:38:09 PM reply with quote send message to Dalkeith Object to Post


BUMP
 rakeshaus
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6/19/2016 2:32:53 PM reply with quote send message to rakeshaus Object to Post

So as a basic account I can't breed my dogs?

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Did you know?
At least two wins must be a set of three or more points ("majors"), under two different judges; at least one additional win under a third judge is also required.