Want your pooch to participate in an upcoming dog show? Showing your dog is a fun activity for both you and your dog! It requires commitment, effort and can be expensive. But it also gives you an opportunity to bond with your dog and resolve behavioral problems in your canine. Training your dog to compete in a dog show and win over hearts requires several rules, tips and tricks to learn – for both you and your pooch.
Here are 5 tips for your first dog show that will surely give your canine an edge over all competing candidates.
Many kennel clubs have training classes offered every week. These classes are held by experienced dog handlers and usually come at affordable prices. Such classes are extremely useful for people showing off their dog in a show for the first time. Instructors go over the basics of presenting your dog in the ring and what will be expected from the dog when it competes.
When attending a handling class, you will learn the technique for gaiting your dog around the ring. You’ll learn how to present your dog for examination, either on a table or on the ground depending on the size of the dog. You will be performing basic patterns with your dog such as “down”, “back, the “L”, and the “Triangle.” Another added advantage of attending a handling class is that breeders get the chance to assess your dog’s confirmation and advice on whether the dog belongs in the show or not. This is good for novice exhibitors because they will not waste energy and money in showing a dog that does not have a chance of winning.
Your dog’s diet and physique need to be given special attention before the show. It makes a profound impact on your dog’s overall appearance. In terms of beauty, daily maintenance is also vital for your dog. Use good quality products that are specifically designed for your dog’s breed. Keep an eye for fleas and insects if your dog has had contact with other animals while playing outdoors. Judges like clean dogs so make sure your dog is bathed before the show weekend. Dogs should also be brushed and spot bathed to stay in prime condition.
Start working on your dog’s socialization skills from the beginning. Dogs need to be socialized since they are young. Well-socialized puppies make great show dogs. Even if your dog has great confirmation but is shy when visiting new places, it will not be able to perform well enough inside the ring. Tips for socializing your puppy include exposing your puppy to new places and people. Your puppy should get used to new situations and noises. Try walking your poppy on different surfaces such as carpets, cement, grass or rubber matting, so new surfaces don’t make your dog apprehensive. Regularly take your pup to the dog park and encourage people to pet it so it gets used to different people and being petted by strangers. These experiences will teach your puppy confidence. Confidence is a key trait in a dog show and will give your dog a winning edge.
Dog owners should encourage their dogs to be groomed. Through this, they get used to being handled and enjoy the overall grooming process.
All dog owners should know their dog’s coat type. For example, Shih Tzus have long flowing coats that require stronger shampoos. They also have relatively dry skin that needs to be conditioned, so it stays moisturized.
Keep in mind to always use shampoo’s designed for dogs and not humans as the Ph balance varies. You do not want to devoid your dog’s coat from its natural oils. Also, brush out your dog’s coat before a bath to remove all dead clumps of hair.
Do not miss out on your dog’s dental hygiene. Dogs can get all the same dental issues as humans can, except they are not able to brush their teeth after meals. Lift their lips to massage their gums and clean out their teeth. You can use a toothbrush with rubber bristles, or you can use a finger brush. You can also give your dog chew toys specially designed to clean out their teeth.
Also, do not forget to trim your dog’s nails and foot hair. Overgrown nails affect dogs’ feet and their ability to move freely.
Nervous handlers can ruin their dog’s performance. If you are nervous or anxious, your dog will sense it, and this can shake your dog’s confidence too. If you feel you are getting nervous, take slow, steady breaths to calm yourself and focus on the ongoing activities inside the ring. If you have spent time and effort preparing your dog, there is nothing you should be worried about. Focus on working with your dog as a team and try and have fun as you go through the tasks.
But real-time experience is unparalleled. Experience generates confidence and expertise. If you have a show quality dog and you put in the required effort, nothing can hold you back from acquiring that trophy. If you feel you are not winning, keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. Study how they handle their dog inside the ring and what grooming techniques they are using. Apply what you absorb from them, and you just might overcome your missteps and get that winning prize.
by Maria A Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™ .
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