This article is about what is required for training show dogs or dog show training, as some people call it. Please read the last two paragraphs very carefully and please consider it seriously.
You think that your dog is the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen. She is perfect in every way. You want to show her. Now what?
Well first off a well trained show dog isn’t made over night. It is going to take some patience, determination, a little bit of money and quite a bit of time. Now that we have that part out of the way, let’s talk about a few things.
• Ring Craft Clubs (Local kennel club)
These are clubs that specialize in ring craft. They teach you how to get your dog ready for the shows and also how to present your dog. Although this is not a necessary requirement it is a very good idea. A lot of time and a great deal of effort go into showing a dog.
• Stacking (To stand still and square)
Some breeds can be free stacked (this is where the handler stands in front of the dog while the future ribbon winner stands alert and still). Or they can be hand stacked (this is where each leg is placed manually into the proper position while the handler stands or kneels). You should choose the one that will best fit your dog and then be very consistent with the training. Judges take into consideration how your dog stands. The dog needs to stay in the proper position for a couple of minutes at a time, or at the judge’s discretion. Show dogs need to become accustomed to “strangers” touching them.
• Gaiting (Moving out)
Trotting around the ring at a brisk pace so the judge can really see the movement of your dog. You will need to adjust the pace according to the size of your dog. It will take quite a bit of practice time to learn how to master the correct speed and directions but as usual practice, practice, practice.
• Expression Of Your Dog
This is where your dog looks happy. It’s where the dog gives the judge the impression that everybody is there just to see him. Expression is taught with the lead, the collar and some bait (bait = your dogs favorite treat).
• Practice In Groups
It would be a great idea to find some fun matches or practice classes to take your future show dog to. Future show champions need to get used to other dogs sniffing around and sudden loud noises, just the hustle and bustle of it all.
• The Once Over
As said earlier your dog will have to get use to strangers touching them. This stranger (the judge) is going to look at their teeth, ears, and feet, rub their hands down your dogs’ sides and underbelly and mess with the tail. The judge is going to give your dog the once over.
While you can get quite a bit of information from books and tapes or DVD’s on the subject of training show dogs or dog show training, I highly recommend finding somebody that actually shows dogs to teach you the ropes (if you plan on competing).
There are dog training classes all over the country that teach this sort of thing. You may have to travel a ways but it will all be worth it. It will also give you a chance to see if this is something that you really want to do.