You decided you want a Ridgeback but you are pretty sure you are not going to be "into dog showing". It may seem like a silly past time. Or just something that is not in line with your personality.
Allow me to offer some really great reasons to go to a Dog Show anyway. Dog shows are more than people running a dog around in a circle. They are a wonderful opportunity to see how any given breed may behave in a controlled , yet chaotic environment. If you have not made up your mind how much training and socialization your new puppy will need, watching 400+ dogs interacting and functioning on a very high level should make it a priority in your home. So many people enjoy taking the new puppy out to the park, or to the homes of family and friends. Yet as they begin to grow and require more effort and energy they are more often left at home, or in the yard. Watching fantastic dogs of all breeds interacting, being responsive and on target is highly motivating.
Another excellent reason , as pointed out by a Cyber friend who is into German Shepards, You may at a glance not find a dog appealing. Simply standing or sitting in one place. It may not make you feel enthralled or excited. But watching that same dog moving gracefully and with the efficiency of the breed... you may fall in love ! By the same token , a gorgeous dog standing may drop in your estimation when you see it move in a clumsy or less than attractive fashion. Having a chance to watch a number of dogs in your breed move in the same pattern , and roughly the same speed allows you to understand how your dog should move and function at different ages and stages of their lives.
Dog Shows are not simply a forum for conformation events. Obedience, Agility, Rally, Weight Pulling, Flyball, Go to Ground, Lure Coursing, Herding, ... at some of the extreme, huge shows you can even watch Frisbee dog competitions and Dancing with Dogs! If you ever wanted to know what it is like to own a dog who is smart, fast and agile then watching these events are your cup of tea. Having an opportunity to see how a handler, trainer and or owner can work with a four legged athlete is not to be passed up.
Yet another great reason for going to Dog Shows would be the Vendors. Some shows have very few, but others are a wonderful shopping experience. Everything from equipment , collars, leads, crates and shampoos to skilled photographers, dog foods, supplements air purifiers,custom dog beds, signs, art, antiques, people clothing , dog clothing, jewelry sigh a real shopping dream! A show that every passionate Dog Fancier should try to attend is the Houston Show. Every year the Astro Dome is filled to the max with people, dogs, vendors and events. We spent nearly 5 hours one day wandering just the vendors ! They had doggie chiropractors and masseuses. Dog communicators and even a couple of doggie psychics It is such a treat!
I strongly advise our puppy families to take in a show any time they have a chance. Watching the interaction will give you some great ideas for the fur child in your home. And we all know the old saying about that old dog and new tricks.... do not believe it for a minute! Purebred dogs were genetically engineered to do "something". And just hanging out in your back yard or on your couch is not a satisfying life for them. They excel in challenges and games. A well bred, healthy and socialized animal will be happier and live longer because they have opportunities that poor dog chained in a yard , or forgotten in a kennel are not allowed.