I made a decision to put Deacon out with Rusty and Jenn Howard for a couple of months. He is a nice boy and is at the age where he still looks good. His coat is nice and his movement isn't sloppy.
He was shown at the LRC of the Piedmont and placed first in his 12 to 18 Black Dog class under an English judge on Sunday. He is a hard dog to handle because he is crazy about the GIRLS! Deacon has discovered that there are lots of smells associated with females that drive him crazy. Consequently, he is focusing on quite a bit of things besides me.
So I thought that Rusty and Jenn would be able to get his head straight through lots of handling and dog shows. We'll see how it goes.
Handlers will definitely get him out there more than I am going to do. I've gotten to the point in life where I don't want to travel a couple of weekends a month to show dogs. Dragging crates in and out of buildings, walking dogs every few hours, and the general lack of sleep from staying in hotels is something that I'm glad to take a break from for a while.
I think that in the long run, considering the price of gas, entry fees, and hotel expenses, it will be less to put him out with a handler. And hopefully, there will be some beneficial results.