What are the tips and exercises to teach your dog before the big day to put all the chances on your side? The answers to your questions can be found here!
Training your dog for a dog show is not an easy task; it requires work and preparation, both for the dog and the owner. Would you like to know more about how a dog show is run and, above all, all the tips and exercises to teach your dog before the big day to give yourself the best chance? The answers to your questions are here!
Dog show: how to prepare?
First of all, choosing to participate in a dog show should not be done on a whim; it requires preparation, both for the dog and the owner. None of the exercises required during the show are innate skills for the dog; it requires training.
The best thing to do when you want to participate with your dog in dog shows is to prepare it from a young age to work on specific exercises and the basic exercises that every dog should know. Preparing for a dog show (and hoping to win a prize) requires work and especially rigour.
But be careful, education is not everything! A dog show allows a dog to be judged on its abilities and its beauty and conformity to the standard of the breed it represents. Therefore, in addition to working on basic training and exercises specific to dog shows, you should learn about the middle of your dog’s breed to be as close as possible to that standard (especially in terms of posture, grooming, etc.).
Moreover, a master who plans to have his dog participate in a dog show assumes that the dog is perfectly socialized. And as you know, socialization must be initiated as soon as possible, within the kennel and not only after its adoption. If you wish to participate in dog shows, you must also choose the kennel of your future dog. On the one hand, to ensure that the dog in question will have sires that conform to the standard of their breed, but also to ensure that all the breeding conditions are favourable and by your wishes.
You will have understood, the preparation for dog shows can start even before the adoption of your future puppy and must, of course, be constant until the D-day.
Dog show: specific exercises
Here are the few points you will need to work on before you can seriously hope to participate in a dog show with your dog:
As mentioned before, socialization will be crucial because many dogs are present at dog shows. Your dog should be neither fearful nor aggressive towards other dogs and should be able to walk between two dogs (one in front, one behind) without difficulty.
The primary indications (sit, down, not move, walk on foot)
Of course, this point concerns all dogs and not only the dogs that compete, but the primary indications will have to be mainly acquired and mastered by the dog which you will expose.
I invite you to discover our articles on the different learning techniques such as walking at heel without pulling, the “not moving”, and the primary indications such as sitting or lying down.
Static is a crucial step in dog shows and should be by the breed standard. The best way to teach stance is to teach it as you would teach any trick, by reinforcing the posture positively and by offering stance exercises regularly.
The different gaits
Working on the different gaits is very important at dog shows! The rates required are different for each breed, so it’s up to you to determine which speeds you will be asked to do. Generally speaking, the dog must know how to walk at a walking pace to the left of his master with a U-shaped leash and learn how to trot without running or jumping.
Handling by the judge
Your dog must also accept to be handled by an unknown person (the judge) who will examine its teeth, ears, testicles if it is a male and its tail. This examination will only be validated if, on the one hand, your dog meets the requirements of the standard of the breed it represents, but also if the examination was conducted without any growling or discomfort felt by your dog.
Training your dog for a dog show: what you should remember
The preparation must start from the youngest age of the dog,
The choice of the breeding and the characteristics of the parents will be necessary,
The dog must be perfectly socialized,
The dog must accept to be handled and approached by strangers,
The dog should be neither fearful nor aggressive,
The dog must know the primary indications such as sit, down, not move, walk on a leash without pulling,
The specific exercises will mainly involve learning the static position and the different gaits particular to each breed standard.
I strongly recommend using a club specializing in preparing dogs for dog shows or professional handlers to accompany and guide you.