Dog Show Mentor Program
Dog Show Mentor Exclusively for Owner Handlers - any breed, any location
AKC Judge Lee Whittier is your personal Dog Show Mentor! She has developed a virtual program to introduce, enhance and improve the non-technical skill set of all levels of dog fanciers who are showing their own dogs in the AKC conformation ring. Whether you are preparing for your first show and need guidance on basic etiquette or are already placing sporadically in the group and want to create a new approach to consistently improve your win rate, this program is for you.
How does this program help me improve my win rate?
Go from hoping to winning
The Owner Handler Program is about shifting your mindset and learning to focus on the key factors for winning.
This program brings the experience of breeders, owners, judges and professional handlers to serve your quest for knowledge all to one place:
What are the advantages of this Owner Handler program?
Lee is invested in YOUR success!
This is the ONLY program developed by an AKC multi-group judge with nearly two decades of judging experience.
Members Only Benefits
Members have exclusive access to the Members Only pages including:
When are the meetings?
Meet Lee Whittier
AKC Judge and Mentor
How I Started in Dogs
I am a second generation dog person. My mother dabbled at breeding and showing Collies and Golden Retrievers. My childhood pet was a black Miniature Poodle. As an adult, I bred Best in Show, Specialty winning Rottweilers for over 25 years. I have owner handled dogs of numerous breeds and finished dogs in the Working, Sporting and Non-Sporting groups.
Why I Developed Dog Show Mentor
I'm dedicating my life to giving great advice to the people who really want to hear it and clarifying critical aspects of navigating the dog show world. If you don't know what advice to leave and what to take, you're in the right place! Here's the Dog Show Mentor program. Whether you're brand new to the sport or have been showing for years, if you are motivated to do some SERIOUS winning, this group is for YOU!
Why I Care
Those of us who show dogs all have one thing in common: we all showed a dog for the first time! In honor of each of our humble beginnings in the ring, I decided to create this mentoring, members-only community for all levels of expertise.
I started Dog Show Mentor because I would hear exhibitors making stuff up about what a judge was thinking or why a judge pointed to a dog. They were usually wrong. It’s human nature that when people don't know something, their minds create a story based on assumptions. This program will give you authentic information about what judges are really looking for, how decisions are made and how you can use that information to win more in the ring.
My Judging Career Since 2000
Approved to judge four groups:
I have developed mentoring relationships in every breed for which I am approved, as a way of tapping into the knowledge and expertise that is required to judge a breed well. As a former American Kennel Club Executive Field Representative, I have the additional perspective of how judging dogs outside the ring differs from judging them in the ring, hands-on.
My Affiliations & Education
Current Club Affiliations:
My professional background is in coaching and mentoring individuals primarily in lifestyle awareness and conflict resolution. I have assisted individuals and dog clubs in resolving the un-resolvable.
How to Work with Lee
Two Powerful Programs to Learn Winning Strategies from Lee
Dog Show Mentor Member Benefits
Premiere Membership Program
Work With Lee Privately
A 1:1 Secret Weapon coaching session is an individual, online or in-person session with Lee. This service is available to both members and non-members. It is a strategy session where we address specific questions, concerns, or objectives.
Secret Weapon sessions are:
Members @ $125 / Non-Members @ $175
Lee Whittier's Events & Show Schedule
See if she will be in your area this year!
Non-Sporting from NY State
“DSM made a huge difference in my confidence both inside and outside the ring.
This transformation was the direct result of the knowledge, preparation, confidence, determination and grit I learned through the Dog Show Mentor program! It’s all about mindset, preparation and presentation.
Thank you, Lee!”
Non-Sporting from FL
"This wonderful program offers insight, support, encouragement and knowledge. I love how Lee and the members of DSM encourage everyone be the best they can be. Awesome program. I mention it to people everywhere I go." 😊
Terrier from WA
"What an odyssey – but wildly successful. Of 14 possible show days we showed 10.
I worked hard – but our daily focus, grooming, etc. paid off: 1-Terrier Group 1; 3 Terrier Group 4’s ; 1 NOHS BIS ; 2 NOHS RBIS ; 5 NOHS Terrier Gr1’s; 2 NOHS Terrier Gr2’s; 2 NOHS Terrier Gr3’s; and 2 NOHS Terrier Gr4’s. Thank you Lee!"
Sporting from TX
"I’ve been showing dogs all my life with several breaks of 6-10 years in between when I was busy with work. Now that my kids are grown and I got the really good dog that I’ve been hoping for, Lee is giving me keys to unlock and achieve my dreams. Thank you!"
Working from S. California
“I don’t know how you’ve done it Lee. You created a program that no matter how little or how much experience we have, we can find something to use at our next show. You encourage us to dive deeply into the world of dog shows, and you are there for us . . . Thank you!”
Click on each to receive these AKC documents here. The more you learn, the more you win!
Make meaningful connections with other Owner Handlers!
DSM Buddies – New in 2019
What is the Buddies System?
Dog Show Mentor (DSM) Buddies System is a way to support and facilitate meetings between members at shows and other special events.
The Buddies system is intended to deepen connections and enhance the DSM learning experience. DSM members have a unique link to each other built on trust through the online group. That special trust gets stronger when we meet in person. Although not all members “click” with each other, meeting enhances confidence through in-person contact.
We are rightly self- and dog- focused when we show, so supporting each other takes effort and time. It won’t always be possible or easy. However, as the connections grow over time, it will become more spontaneous. Build your Buddies relationship with the same attention to detail as you do showing your dog.
Is it okay to invite other members to join you at a show?
Yes, absolutely. The DSM program is enhanced through member interaction both online and in person. If you see you’re going to be at the same show as someone else, this is an opportunity to get to know some of the people you’ve met online. Use your good sense and be gracious.
What are examples of a Buddies experience?
The knowledge and experience of the members of this program varies broadly. Gathering together in person can enrich the shared conversations and trust established online. It allows members to share their immediate experiences in a safe and forward thinking way.
Enjoy, have fun and build your DSM relationships!
Q: Why did you create Dog Show Mentor?
A: As a judge, I have often observed exhibitors struggling because they have no idea what factors influence judges’ choices. They show their dogs, but have no idea why they win or not. Dog Show Mentor was created to help the owner handler develop an approach to showing their dogs that is directed and focused on winning strategies. I’m thrilled to be able to offer this program!
Q: What this program is about?
A: Dog Show Mentor is a personalized group led by Lee Whittier that provides mentoring to owner handlers from a judge’s perspective. You will develop your own strategic approach to showing your dog and be ready to meet the challenges you encounter in the ring.
Q: Do you work with other mentors?
A: Dog Show Mentor partners with resources all over the country who offer their own expertise in areas such as breed-specific mentoring, instructional classes and seminars in advanced handling skills, grooming, and more.
Q: Is this an online handling class? Will you teach me advanced handling techniques?
A: Dog Show Mentor approaches competition from a strategic and highly intentional perspective. It is not intended to replace a handling class or handling seminar. Some skills-based learning is addressed from the judge’s viewpoint. This is primarily a mentoring group on strategies.
Q: What is an online Masterclass?
A: An online MasterClass is a virtual seminar, an online meeting.
Q: How do these online meetings take place?
A: Dog Show Mentor uses Zoom Pro. Anyone that has a computer or mobile device can attend a MasterClass. Think app!
Q: Are the meetings “live” and will I be seen at the meeting?
A: The meetings are live and recorded, not pre-recorded. You may use your web cam if you choose. You also have the option of having a photo of yourself with you name which is viewed on the screen during the meeting and on the video recording.
Q: Will I have the option of asking questions during the online Masterclass?
A: Following each presentation, Lee opens up the mics and everyone has the opportunity to ask a short question relating to the material.
Q: What if I miss an online MasterClass?
A: All the MasterClasses are recorded and posted in the Members Only area for 60 days. Whether you miss one (or many), you can still benefit by listening to it later at your own convenience. You also have access to interviews by judges, successful owner handlers and other experts 24/7. The Q & A MasterClasses are available for up to a month and are then deleted from the site.
Q: Do I have to wait for the first of the month to begin?
A: You can start at any time. It’s a “rolling month.” The day you start is the first day of your own month.
Q: Can anyone join?
A: Contact Lee@DogShowMentor.com for more information about the program's parameters.
Q: This is a month-to-month membership. Can I drop out at any time?
A: If you do not find value in this program, please allow four (4) working days to withdraw from the program ahead of your renewal date (which is the same day of the recurring months). Less than four (4) days will result in any PayPal fees being passed along. All members are enrolled through PayPal on the recurring payments system.
Q: Will I have to catch up to others who have been in the program longer than me?
A: Dog Show Mentor is an on-going membership program oriented to people at their own level.
Q: My main competition is with other breeder/ owner/handlers rather than professional handlers. Will this program work for me?
A: Dog Show Mentor focuses on the approach to training yourself to compete effectively at the highest level you can, whether it’s competing with professionals or other owner handlers.
Q: How does it work with owner handlers of varying experience? Will we work from a syllabus?
A: There is wide variation of experience in the group, so we don't work from a syllabus. Each person works at their own pace based on their unique goals. I am available for 1:1 coaching to work with each member to help set strategic goals.
Q: What is the Private Facebook group page about? What happens there?
Our Private Facebook group is a place where we talk about specific, relevant topics to achieve our respective goals. Members can ask questions and share wins or have extended discussions of MasterClass topics. It’s our chat room area. It’s also a place where Lee shares announcements of new postings, changes, additions and interim assignments.
Q: What about group dynamics?
All conversations, whether they be on a conference call or online are expected to remain confidential and between the members of this group. Building trust is essential to the ability to create and be part of individuals becoming leaders. As a winner, you set the stage for how to act and what your personal virtues bring to the Sport. Anyone who, in the opinion of the host, Lee Whittier, creates a combative or hostile group environment in any way may be immediately terminated from membership with no refund of payment. A winner is a leader!
Q: What is a 1:1 Secret Weapon Session?
A: A 1:1 Secret Weapon Session (SWS) is an individual, online or in-person coaching session with Lee. This service is available to both members and non-members. It is a strategy session where we address specific questions, concerns or objectives.
Q: What advice can you give to someone just starting out?
A: Join Dog Show Mentor! It can be challenging to understand the sport. This program reveals the secrets of the sport that you’ll find nowhere else.
Q: Can you give me a quick tip?
A: A wise man once told me, “You got to know the rules to play the game.” Those rules are far more complex than just reading the AKC Rulebook. In fact, they extend to cultural norms and unspoken do’s and don’ts. That’s another reason you should become a member!
Q: What kinds of things will I learn?
A: You will learn how to develop specific strategies for showing dogs. You will also learn to evaluate your dog as judges do and sharpen your skills through a targeted approach. Members learn how to maximize the virtues and minimize faults of their dogs.
Q: I go to handling classes and practice regularly with my dog, but I want to know, what is it that prevents me from winning? I know I have set high goals, but I want to be successful, enjoy the journey and have fun.
A: That is exactly what Dog Show Mentor is all about. These are the issues that we cover in our MasterClasses.
Q: I have several puppy people who would like to share a membership.
A: Members of the same household are welcome to enroll as one membership, providing they are life partners or married to one another. There are no shared membership slots other than this. It is designed to give members an edge, so sharing the information would be contrary to one of the program’s objectives. Members pay for their personal use of the information, and it is all copyrighted.
Q: How will I know if the program is right for me?
A: Dog Show Mentor members have between zero and 40+ years of experience in conformation dog shows. They are often people who have enough experience to know that they need help in moving to the next level of excellence. The program is geared to help people move from “coasting” to “excelling” by shifting awareness and mindset. It is only for people who are really dedicated to ramping up their competitive edge.
The Dog Show Mentor program isn’t for everyone, but if you think it might be for you, Lee will take the time to talk with you if you have questions. Contact Lee.
Q: Can I still show dogs to you while I'm a member?
That would be a conflict of interest and ethically questionable. AKC requires a one year wait period from the last day of your membership (not from the last payment date) before you can show dogs to me. If you have a question about this policy and how it affects you, please contact me privately.
Q: Who else will know I’m a member or know about my participation?
A: This is a confidential program, however your anonymity cannot be guaranteed. Upon enrollment in the program, all members agree to all keep all information learned about each other in confidence.
Each application will be evaluated by Lee. Dog Show Mentor reserves the right to deny any application for any reason whatsoever. Members with more than one breed are expected to contribute in the meetings and on the private FB page on one (declared) breed only. References to and photos of other breeds are removed or deleted.
Refunds DogShowMentor.com is a monthly membership program which is most productive for members who choose to stay in the group on a month-to-month basis. You will learn more in the months with Lee than you would in years if you were to depend on chance encounters. However, any member may cancel their membership before 5 PM Pacific Time, 4 days before the day of their individual monthly renewal. All members are charged through PayPal recurring payment schedule on a rolling month. There are no refunds once the transaction has been completed or for pre-payments for 1:1 Secret Weapon Sessions. Apply Now!
Confidentiality & Group Dynamics All conversations, whether they be on a conference call or online are expected to remain confidential and between the members of this group. Building trust is essential to the ability to create and be part of individuals becoming leaders. As a winner, you set the stage for how to act and what your personal virtues bring to the Sport. Anyone who, in the opinion of the host, Lee Whittier, creates a combative or hostile group environment in any way may be immediately terminated from membership with no refund of payment. A winner is a leader!
Materials & Downloads Members may download or print written materials for personal use. Videos and interviews are available on the website 24/7 for your listening pleasure for 60 days, the Real Questions. Real Answers. No Bull! sessions are available for 30 days. You have paid for the right to view the materials that you receive as a member. Please honor the ethics of the group by safekeeping these materials only to your personal use. One person or relationship per membership (marriage or union of two individuals). Why share this valuable information with someone who isn’t committed enough to pay for the privilege to participate? Anyone who shares any materials in any format whatsoever may be immediately terminated from membership with no refund of payment. Materials are copyrighted and duplication is strictly forbidden. See FAQ page for additional information on these topics.
Please click on the AKC Policy tab for details on members showing dogs to Lee.
The Dog Show Mentor program isn’t for everyone, but if you think it might be for you, go to APPLY NOW .
Lee will take the time to talk with you if you have questions.
The Dog Show Mentor,