Standard for Handler Professionalism

Handle – to have responsibility for, to direct, to manage

Advise – to recommend or suggest

Notify – to inform, to make known

Dedicate – to commit to a particular course

Lead – to show the way by setting an example

Educate – to provide training for a specific purpose

Render – to give what is due or correct


To be assured that your dog is being cared for by a true professional familiarize yourself with the following criteria as set forth by the American Kennel Club:


  • Safety, security, and well-being of the dogs is to be placed above all other business considerations.
  • Supervision of dogs by competent, conscientious personnel who are capable of responding appropriately, particularly in emergency situations.
  • Facilities of proper size and adequate ventilation to accommodate the breeds being cared for at home and at the shows.
  • Appropriate precautions taken to provide all the dogs in their care with proper temperatures for any and all conditions they may encounter.
  • Adequate and proper diet, clean dishes, fresh water and a sanitary environment.
  • Owner-provided or veterinary-prescribed medications to be administered in accordance with instructions.
  • Breed specific knowledge concerning the breeds they show – such as: standard for the breed, special care, conditioning and presentation.
  • Business relationships conducted with clients in a fair and honest manner based on a published rate schedule and handler/client agreement.
  • Courteous verbal interchanges and a professional appearance are essential.
  • Sportsmanlike behavior with clients, judges, exhibitors, fellow handlers and assistants.
  • Willingness to communicate on a regular basis with clients concerning their dog’s performance, behavior and general health.