Dog showing is a great pastime that most dog owners can get into. You don’t need much experience in it at all, and you might end up very surprised by how well you do!
Even though you don’t need tons of experience to compete in dog shows, it’s still a good idea to have some tips and tricks you can pull out whenever you need them. Here are some great pointers that should see you and your pup go far!
Choose The Right Show For You
There are lots of different dog shows and classes out there and entering the right one will ensure that there is more chance of you walking away with a prize. For instance, most of the prestigious shows and competitions are only for pedigree breeds.
If your dog is a cross breed, you won’t be able to enter it into these types of competitions. However, there are plenty of other classes that are open to cross breeds. You should be aware that some open classes also allow pedigree pups to compete in them. Because of this, you might want to stick to shows that are only for cross breeds, as you will certainly stand more chance of winning.
Understand How Things Work
You will also have a much better chance of winning a prize if you have a good idea how shows work and what kinds of things the judges will be looking for. So, it’s a good idea to get to know the AKC point schedule as this will be what the judges are scoring your dog on. You’ll also want to find out if you will be expected to show off your handling skills in the show. If so, you’ll be expected to walk around the ring with your pooch. To get yourselves ready for any handling, it’s a good idea to practice a short, brisk walk with your dog before show day.
Work On Socialization
Your dog will be around lots of other dogs of all shapes and sizes during the show. This means that it is imperative that they are well socialized. After all, things won’t go too well if your dog starts picking fights with all of the others! It’s easy to work on socialization before the day of the show. You just need to start taking your dog to other situations and places where there are other dogs. The park is a great place to start. They can then start to get used to being around other pups, and they will realize that they don’t pose a threat to them!
Improve Your Grooming Skills
As well as behaving well, your dog is going to have to look exceptional if it is going to bag the top prize! So, you will need to work on your grooming skills. Sure, you could find a local dog groomer to take care of your pretty pooch, but you should also know the basics yourself. That’s just in case anything happens on the morning of the show and you need to clean your dog up! If your dog is a long-haired breed, AKC point schedule or a Yorkshire Terrier, then you might want to learn how to sculpt your pet’s fur. Thankfully, you won’t have to know about sculpting if you have a short-haired breed. You’ll just have to know how to properly wash them and trim their nails.
If you get very serious about showing your dog, then you might want to take them to classes that can correctly prepare them. This is often best for pedigree dogs as the classes can be expensive, so it’s only really worth taking good dogs that stand a chance of winning the big prizes. If you contact your local Kennel Club, they will be able to tell you where and when your nearest classes are. During the class, you will learn what is expected of you and your dog while you are in the ring being judged. For instance, you will learn how to gait your dog when you have to take them around the ring. You will also find out how you should stack your dog and get them ready for the judge to take a look at them. These kinds of classes are only suitable for dogs that are already well behaved. If your dog still has some AKC point schedule, it’s a good idea to take them to an obedience class first to iron any problems out.
Good luck with all your future dog shows!