Dog Showing


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For The Beginner: How To Prepare For A Dog Show 

You are ready to go to your first show. You need to learn how to show dog with a self confident attitude. Let us assume you have chosen one fairly close to home and will be starting out early the morning of the show.

Preparing a show dog starts with a bath. Unlike the pet dog owner, the show dog owner keeps a variety of shampoos and conditioners on hand to meet the needs of the coat on that given day. Many exhibitors believe a very recent bath takes the natural oils and sheen out of the coat and makes it appear dull.  This is particularly true of black dogs. As you dry the dog carefully shape and trim the coat to meet the requirements of the standard. Frequently, fractions of an inch are removed from the coat length, so that the dog's outline is perfectly smooth.

Grooming for show is a complicated business, but it can be rewarding when people tell you how amazing your dog looks, and your dog show ribbon display case  starts to fill up. Some show dogs go through this process up to three times before the end of the show day: for the breed classes, for the group ring, and for best in show competition.

One of the best ways to get ready to join the dog show world is to go to dog shows! Talk to people while you are there, including representatives from the breed clubs and other enthusiasts. Observe the action in and out of the ring. You can learn a lot from watching the pros. The Westminister dog show held at Madison Square Garden New York is a great place to visit to see experts and novices put their dogs through their paces. The date in 2008 for the Westminster Kennel Club's 132nd Annual All Breed Dog Show is 11th and 12th of February. Probably the worlds most famous dog show is Crufts, organised by the Kennel Club UK, and is next being held 6th - 9th March 2008 at the NEC, Birmingham UK.

You need to learn dog show stacking. This terms means how your dog stands while in the show ring in front of the judges. The dog must not lie down after walking. it takes loads of practice to get this just right. When your dog comes to a standstill help position his feet according to how your breed is suppposed to stand because each breed has its own stacking position.

Letting a dog get over-heated, as the owner is awaiting to show his dog ringside, is one of the big mistakes the novice exhibitor makes when he is attending a dog show.  He is never aware of it until it has been pointed out to him, and then it may be too late.  There have been novice exhibitors that stand at the ringside for an hour waiting to go into the ring, and in their efforts to keep the dog clean and dry they won't allow the animal to curl up under a chair or in his own shadow, and before you know it the dog's tongue is hanging out a mile.  He is panting and getting very restless, and by the time he goes into the ring, the poor dog "has had it." 

Notice the old-timers and the profession dog handlers in this respect. Unless it is a cool day or at an indoor show, you will never see them standing in the hot sun with a dog about to go into the ring.  Just remember that in no breed is the expression of the dog enhanced when he is panting.

Remember you may not have the best dog in the show, but you can always have the cleanest!  Nothing discourages a judge more in his examination of a dog than to have to touch or smell a dirty dog.  Incidentally, if you are showing a flat coated dog, pin a large towel around him after his bath and notice how it helps to lay the coat.

The night before the show you should get together all of the things you are taking with you.  While you are still a novice it won't hurt to make out a written list and check it before you leave.  If the show is an outdoor one, regardless of weather reports or how the morning looks to you, take along a raincoat and rubbers or boots.  The show goes on regardless of the weather.  Even though the judging will be under a tent, you will have to go from either the benching tent or your car to the judging tent, and you may have to do it during rain.  If your dog is too big to pick up and carry under your raincoat, it would help if you took along something to throw over him on his way to the judging ring.

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Dog Showing - For The Beginner How To Prepare For A Dog Show

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