How to Prepare Your Dog for a Show – Part 1

If you are a proud dog owner has it ever crossed your mind to enter your puppy in a competition? Most dog shows around the world exist to highlight the best of breed for breeding purposes so you must bear this in mind, and not just want your puppy to be crowned cutest dog at the show. If you seriously want to go down the route of showing your dog then the first thing you must accept is that you have to respect the opinions of complete strangers, who are probably far more knowledgeable about your breed than you are. As you get more experienced in showing dogs you will learn what judges expect and will therefore be looking at your dog in a different manner.

Before entering your puppy into a competition research all about the breed. Go online and study other dogs that have already won your breed in shows, then think again if you want to enter your puppy there. If you still want to, then welcome to the competitive world of dog shows. There are many dog clubs around the world that organize dog shows, all have slightly different rules and categories so we will focus more on the American model.

Getting Started

You cannot just turn up at the show with your puppy as there are many steps that must be fulfilled. Firstly, you must register your dog with the relevant dog cub or association. You must have proof from the breeder of the validity of breed, this is normally in the form of a puppy registration. Be sure that the registration form is fully completed. Otherwise, you might be extra charged for changing a limited registration into a full one.

The Three Main Behaviors

There are three the main behavioral traits that your puppy will be judged on: gait, stack, examination. You will have to teach the first two elements during your training regime at the conformation classes. However, the best way to prepare your puppy for the show is to let him to be trained by professionals. In this way, he won’t be scared by other people during the show.

Conformation Classes

Good kennel clubs will hold conformation classes so contact your local one to enroll your puppy there. These classes are specially designed to teach owners and puppies how to prepare for the show in the best way. Each breed has the defined standards. As a result, the judges will ask your puppy to behave according those requirements. There are few puppies that completely matches every single point of a breed standard. You should study all the breed requirements carefully and don’t put too much pressure on your dog. The purpose of the conformation classes is to understand how your puppy differs from the standards and to minimize those aspects and fully encourage all advantages.

The first stage of preparation is done here! However, a few more important steps are left – find them out in the next article.