Tips for Your First Dog Show

First Dog Show | Dog shows are fun. However, you need to be wary of several things before deciding to participate with your dog in a dog show. First, winning a dog show requires work, patience and commitment. Second, there will be victories and sometimes losses, and it is important to learn from your losses.

This can happen to anybody, which is why you must focus only on the things that lie within your span of control. If you are looking for tops for your first dog show, you have come across the right place. Let’s delve right in.

Size Your Dog Up

You need to objectively size your dog up. Make a note of their weaknesses and try to come up with strengths with which to cover them – you can make use of preexisting strengths, too. There are breed standards on the AKC website that you can refer to. Print the info up and make preparations concerning it. Do not feel as if your dog’s drawbacks, if they have any, will keep them from winning or doing their best. While they contribute to disqualification, it is all good, and your dog deserves the attention and adoration a competition will get them.

But mostly, other dogs have flaws, too, and it comes down to which side hides their flaws the best. You just need to have lesser flaws than your competition, and you are good.

The Right Food Is Key

More than often overlooked, a high-quality diet is a winner’s secret. If you try to start your dog up on some healthy and nutritious supplements only a few weeks before the dog show you are applying for, then that is not fair on both your dog and you. Remember, switching your dog’s diet is a time-consuming process. Take at least a few months to prepare your dog for the show. Then, make sure the food you give them is right for them and not what other dog owner’s are giving their dogs.

Visit Your Vet

Because you are preparing your dog for its first dog show, you will want to visit your vet for a complete checkup to determine any health issues. It would also do you good to look for distemper shots and rabies and the possibility of having them administered. Many vets overlook the administration of Bordetella and influenza, and we recommend that you do not let your vet overlook these.

What is more, is that more than half of dog shows require proof of vaccination. And the timeline of vaccinations is also 6 months. So, you want to get your dog vaccinated as quickly as possible in time for the dog show you are thinking about entering them in.

Get Your Dog to Socialize

This will be your dog’s very first time at a dog show, and it wouldn’t do them any good if they find being surrounded by a crowd of people staring at them and clapping applause a little off-putting. Being active around other dogs and people comes easily to almost all the dogs. But those with separation anxiety and shyness will only prefer the company of their owners and no one else. You can slowly and patiently desensitize them from their limitations in time for the competition. Make sure you walk your dog a lot and that they interact with other dog owners and their dogs as much as possible. Nothing is impossible when it comes to preparing your dog for a competition.

All you have to do is give it your all.

Take Training Seriously

It feels like nothing when you are not reporting by the booth on the day of the competition. But the pressure will build upon the day. This is why you need to train your dog from day one seriously. In fact, this training starts when you bring your dog home as a puppy. This stage is also the easiest to teach your dog obedience and special tricks for the competitions. Because the popular saying of “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” really applies here.

Make sure you know what path you want your dog to walk in the beginning only so that you do not find yourself teaching your dog what they need to learn later in their life. If by any chance, you didn’t pay attention to training your dog early, you will then need a trainer’s help.

Groom Your Dog Like a Pro

If you don’t have the means of personally grooming your dog, we recommend going to a top groomer. The grooming needs of dogs vary from owner to owner. Ensure the groomer you are hiring is a specialist of your dog’s specific breed or has previously groomed dogs of that breed. The basics are cutting your dog’s coat – if it requires any cutting, that is – trimming of wayward nails, and cleaning their teeth. Start work on your dog at least three months before the competition you are participating in. Your groomer will know exactly what to do to enhance your dog’s inherent beauty. But feel free to pitch in with ideas if you have any.

Getting a Lay of the Land

It is wise to scout up on the competition venue beforehand. Most importantly, you need to instill a sense of familiarity inside your dog about the venue. This will help you with any last-minute surprises that may confuse you or, worse, your dog. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What problems can the venue possibly present for you and your dog?
  • Is the show indoors or outdoors?
  • What is the material of the surface your dog will be presenting on?
  • Are there any parking issues?

That is a wrap on our tips for your first dog show. We wish you the best of luck on the big day. Prepare wisely and dedicatedly!

by Maria A Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration: