I had intended to show Lily, my merle chihuahua, but it turned out she's deaf and at that point I threw up my hand and said "enough". Rescued a few dogs, bought one.
Now, back up-I have no idea why I want to go to a conformation show-I love agility, I like obedience (rally is fun), fly ball is interesting. But it was the conformation ring I read stories about growing up (Big Red, Marguerite Henry).
Now Moon, I bought for photography and agility and herding. The show ring does not really like smoothies or merles, and I don't know that a smoothie merle has ever won anything. But dang it, that little dog is as correct a little dog as there is. He has some dogs in his lineage that have done well in both conformation and herding (and both of them are smoothies). So, we are adding gait training to his routine.
I will get the experience of training a dog for the breed ring, Moonie gets more tasks to learn that don't involve taxing his joints before he quits growing.....and he'll be intact and eligible for the ring till at least next June.....and he'll get experience in a trialing environment.
Part of me is horrified that I would take such a fine working dog and put him in a beauty contest. But another big part of me thinks I've gotten so tied up in doing the right and proper thing that I never do anything much at all.
Our criteria for success is not going to be ribbons-but if we show well and correctly and both have fun.