Preparing Your Dog for its First Show

Karen Peak
by Karen Peak
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Getting your dog ready for its first show is an exciting and potentially highly rewarding time.

Preparing Your Dog for its First Show
Getting your dog ready for its first show is an exciting and potentially highly rewarding time. And, as with most things, the more prepared you and your pooch are, the more you will enjoy the first occasion your pet is on display. And it doesn’t have to be an intimidating experience.

Once you have committed to showing, think about the type of event you want to enter your animal for. There are several to look into, from quite serious and prestigious championships to charity and fun events.
Decide whether you want to go for an open show or a single breed one many people start off a dog’s showing career with the former, since open events are generally good testing arenas if you’re new to exhibiting.

You’ll also need to consider what class you want to enter your canine for: generally you can enter in as many different categories as you like. Make sure all the relevant paperwork is in order, and save time by entering online.

It’s also an excellent idea to chat to owners who have shown animals before, and attend some shows before exhibiting yourself to get a feel for what goes on. If you can’t get to a real show, consider watching one on a DVD.

Know what to expect and study all the literature you get sent ahead of the event, as well as doing your research online.

You’ll also need a thorough understanding of your dog’s breed, and the American Kennel Club requirements for the breed. Sometimes, if one of the animal’s legs is just one inch too long, it can mean disqualification.

Training for the Ring
Getting your dog to perform well in the ring is much more difficult than it may appear. Judges will not be impressed if your animal just ambles around aimlessly or ungracefully, or slouches in a corner.

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