Becoming a Show Dog

If you’ve decided to enter the world of show dogs, congratulations! Showing dogs is a fun and fascinating hobby that can help you bond with your pooch in ways you never imagined. However, for first-time exhibitors, it’s often difficult to know where to start. In this post, we’ll cover some tips for getting started in the world of showing dogs.

Do your research ahead of time.

The first thing you will want to do is research the breed. The American Kennel Club has a very helpful website that gives a lot of information about each breed, including size, temperament, history and health concerns. If you have ever owned or been around dogs before and have an idea of what type of dog you are looking for in terms of personality traits and activity levels then this will help narrow down your search.

You can also research local shows by going on Facebook pages for your area or checking out local news articles about upcoming events. This way you can find out if there is anything close enough where it won’t be too much trouble getting there with your puppy every week during their young stages when they’re still learning how to potty train or walk on leashes properly!

Ask three people: a veterinarian, a groomer, and a professional handler.

Ask your veterinarian and grooming professional what they recommend. They will have a good idea of what to expect in terms of health, grooming, and temperament. In addition, they can recommend a good handler for you to work with if you don’t have one in mind already. Your vet may also be able to give you advice about grooming or training if needed!

Attend events that welcome dogs to observe and interact with the judges, other exhibitors, handlers, and grooming professionals.

Attend events that welcome dogs to observe and interact with the judges, other exhibitors, handlers, and grooming professionals.

Attending events will give you an opportunity to learn about dog shows and what it takes to become a show dog.

Decide whether you need help from a handler or trainer.

If you want to show your dog, it’s essential that you find a professional handler. A handler is someone who has been trained in the art of showing dogs and knows how to work with them in the ring. If attending shows is something that appeals to you but professional handlers are out of your budget or reach, consider finding a breeder or shelter who offers free training classes for their dogs. While these trainers may not have official credentials, they still have tons of experience working with different breeds and can offer invaluable advice on how to train yours.

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If attending shows is something that appeals to you but professional trainers are out of your budget or reach, consider finding a breeder or shelter who offers free training classes for their dogs. While these trainers may not have official credentials, they still have tons of experience working with different breeds and can offer invaluable advice on how to train yours.

Start socializing your dog early.

Socialization is important for puppies. It helps them learn how to interact with other dogs, people and new environments. Socialization should start as early as possible, ideally by the time your pup hits 6 months old.

Puppy socialization is about exposing your dog to new experiences in a positive way so they become more comfortable around humans and other animals. If you think about it like an intro class for college students, socialization can be fun for both the student and teacher! You don’t want to overwhelm your puppy (or student) with too many new things at once; try starting with just one or two new experiences per day over several days or weeks until they’re comfortable with each one individually before adding another element into your socialization plan.

Get your puppy involved in training classes.

As a puppy, you and your dog will begin training classes together. This is a great way to get started with obedience training and socialization. Training classes will teach you how to train your puppy to sit, stay, come and heel.

Training your dog will help them feel comfortable around other dogs and people—this is especially important for show dogs who need to be able to work with other dogs on stage! It’s also important that they are comfortable in new environments like the ring of the show or at an agility course. Practicing grooming techniques like brushing can help prepare your pup for any unexpected handling by strangers during competitions as well!

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Allow your dog to meet new people without allowing him to jump up on them.

  • Don’t let your dog jump up on people.
  • Don’t allow your dog to jump up on children.
  • Don’t allow your dog to jump up on elderly people.
  • Don’t allow your dog to jump up on people with disabilities or emotional problems.

Understand what makes your breed special.

Each dog breed is unique, and understanding what makes your breed special can help you prepare for the many aspects of being a show dog.

  • Be able to describe your breed’s physical characteristics: Does it have a pronounced underbite? Is it long and lean? Does it have droopy eyes?
  • Be able to describe your breed’s temperament: Is it easygoing or shy? Friendly with strangers or aggressive toward other dogs? Easily startled by loud noises or unbothered by them? Can they be left alone at home for long periods of time without destroying things, barking incessantly, or getting into fights with other pets in the house (or wandering off)? If not, how much exercise do they need every day—and how far away from home do they need to go before they’re satisfied with their walk/run/ride/swim/etc. New owners should also understand that some breeds are very active while others are more laid-back; just like people!

Learn about the AKC’s ideal standard for your breed.

When you start to take show dogs seriously, you’ll want to learn about the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) breed standards. The breed standards are a description of what an ideal dog for that breed should look like and act like. They aren’t rules; they’re guidelines that help judges score your dog’s conformation (its physical features) and temperament (its personality).

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The AKC describes the “ideal” standard for every dog in its registry—from Chihuahuas and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to Great Danes and German Shepherds. This means that if you want to become a show dog handler, you should familiarize yourself with these descriptions so that when you go into competition with your purebred pet, he or she will have an advantage over other dogs because it conforms so closely to their ideal standard.

Becoming a show dog is not difficult, but you need to know what you’re getting into ahead of time.

Becoming a show dog is not difficult, but you need to know what you’re getting into ahead of time.

  • You need to be prepared. There are many things that go into being a show dog and it takes time to learn all of the information and decide if this is the right activity for your dog.
  • You need to know what you are getting into. All breeds have their own ideal standards for appearance, temperament and overall health that must be met by anyone who plans on showing their dogs in conformation events (also known as breed shows). Before deciding whether or not becoming a show dog is right for you, check out some books about your breed’s personality traits, history and origins so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it will fit well with both yourself as well as your lifestyle.*
  • You need knowledge of your breed’s ideal standard requirements so that when they come up during training sessions they won’t seem like such an overwhelming task anymore!

Conclusion

Now, with those tips in mind, you’re ready to get started on the road to dog shows and ribbons. Remember that you don’t have to do it alone—if you need help at any point, reach out to fellow dog owners and breeders for advice. Most importantly, keep having fun and enjoying your dogs!