Those new to exhibiting a dog at dog shows often make many mistakes in their handling of the dog. While these mistakes may not be apparent to the average spectator at the show, you can bet your bottom dollar the experienced judges and other handlers notice them. Judges will subtract points for these mistakes made by the handler and the following dog showing tips for a beginner should help these novices out. We are going to address these common mistakes the novice makes, and how to avoid making them when every little move is being observed and graded.
Never pose with the dog while you are on both knees. This is not considered appropriate and reveals your lack of knowledge as a show dog handler. The best position is to use only one knee of the ground or a squat. Much of your choice for which to use is going to be dictated by the breed you are showing. Smaller breeds will require the one knee or squat posture while you can stand erect with lager breeds. The main focus on either stance during a pose with the dog is to maintain a very erect back. No slouching or you lose points!
The next of our dog showing tips for a beginner covers how you should handle the dog. Use a firm, commanding hold on the leash during all aspects of showing. Be it the walk or trot around the arena with the dog, the importance of showing you are firmly in command of the dog can make the difference between a ribbon and going home empty handed.
Next on our list is how you as the handler walk and trot with the dog. If you are unsure of your steps or gait during this phase of the presentation the judges notice. Always use a steady, well-spaced walking stride matched to the size of the dog, and do the same when trotting with the dog. Stumbling along as you try to keep up with the dog is a no go!
While in the ring with the dog your attention and focus must be on the dog and how he or she is behaving and posing. Rubber necking at the crowd, other dogs, and the judges is frowned upon and will cost you points. Be professional.
Hopefully these dog showing tips for a beginner will help you out as a newbie to the great sport of showing dogs.
Do you show dogs? There are tons of things a newbie needs to know, that you are already aware of. Please help our readers out by adding additional tips in the space below.