Jr. Showmanship

Junior Showmanship Incentive Program

In October 2006, the Board of Directors implemented an incentive program for Junior Handlers and their Labradors. A $500.00 grant was established to be awarded to any Junior Handler who qualified for either the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational or the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, by handling a Labrador exclusively. In addition to the grant, Junior Handlers at the National Specialty show will be allowed to enter all events with their same dog at no fee.

There is no question that juniors are our future owners, breeders, handlers, and stewards of our breed. Junior Showmanship is a foundation for our young people. By participating in Junior Showmanship, youngsters are given the opportunity to develop their handling skills, learn about good sportsmanship, and learn about dogs and dog shows. Juniors are important to the future of the sport of dogs and responsible dog ownership, and the more they learn, the more valuable they become. The values, attitudes and responsibility learned through Junior Showmanship will serve youngsters well throughout their lives. By putting time and effort into learning about their dog and how to present it, juniors are rewarded with a win. We want our children to win, not only at dog shows, but in life.

If you are a Junior Handler, or know of a Junior Handler who has qualified for the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational or Westminster by handling a Labrador exclusively, you are invited to apply for the $500.00 grant. To download the grant application for a Junior Handler who has qualified for either the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational or the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, by handling a Labrador exclusively, use this link:  LRC, Inc. Jr. Showmanship Grant Application.

If you are a youngster interested in getting started in Junior Showmanship showing a Labrador, you will need to apply for an AKC Junior Handler Number. The application, along with more AKC junior information can be found here:

If you would like more information specific to the LRC, Inc. Junior Incentive Program, please feel free to contact the Program Coordinator e-mail.

LOCAL CLUBS – Help our juniors succeed!

Local Labrador Retriever clubs can be very instrumental in helping our juniors earn invitations to the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational and/or Westminster KC. By simply offering Junior Showmanship classes at their local specialty, they will be providing a junior the opportunity for a qualifying win for these shows.

The criterion for a ‘win’ is the junior must earn first place in an Open class with competition in that class. A first place in a single entry Open class will not count. Specialty entries in juniors tends to be small, and if all six classes are offered (Novice Junior, Novice Intermediate, Novice Senior, Open Junior, Open Intermediate and Open Senior), it is very common for there to be a few single entry classes. In order to provide competition in the Open class, a club has the option of offering only two classes; Novice and Open. This would combine all three Open classes (Junior, Intermediate and Senior) into one Open class. There would be no age division to the Open class. By combining the classes, the club is more likely to provide the opportunity for competition within that class and the first place winner would then have another ‘win’ that would count for qualifying. Not just the open competitors benefit, but so do the novice competitors. By combining the Novice class without the age divisions, the entries will be consolidated and the first place winner will have a win with competition to help them move up to the Open classes.

I would like to encourage all of our local clubs to include Junior Showmanship at your specialties. A ‘win’ in a smaller show like a specialty could make the difference for one of our talented juniors by helping them qualify for AKC/Eukanuba or Westminster.

Lisa Weiss
Jr. Showmanship Program Coordinator 2013