How to prepare a dog for an exhibition? Being the owner of a show dog, I have often encountered the following situation: the owners complain that the rings are small, everything is too long, there is nowhere to walk the dog because of this, the dog is tired, drooping, in general, the dog is stressed. So know, dear owners of show dogs, or just lovers of shows, that these factors and the prevailing atmosphere do not affect the mental state of the dog at the moment. A frightened dog at the exhibition happens for several reasons:
– the dog is not prepared for mental stress, a weak psyche;
– the dog is not socialized;
– the owner did not prepare the dog for the show due to a combination of these two reasons.
Of course, we are talking about an already mature dog. And of course, these myths are a big misconception when they say that a puppy needs to be accustomed to exhibitions from a very early age. For example, I just bought my dog when the weather was already there, it was already a fairly large “carcass”, with an already formed character. At first, there was no time for exhibitions at all, they got acquainted, found out who was more important, etc. The first time we went to the exhibition in 1.5 years. The dog was fully socialized, prepared and we showed well, so I completely dispelled the myth that a show dog can only be if it is accustomed from childhood!
With regards to puppies at the show, of course, the little puppy gets not that stress, but rather the experience of being at the show. The puppy does not yet have all the strength of the nervous system as in an adult dog. He is emotional, mobile, gets acquainted with the surrounding dogs and objects, and, of course, gets tired very quickly. Therefore, in the ring of puppies and juniors, a certain allowance is made for fussiness and, in case of puppy fatigue, a certain passivity.
Starting a dog, especially knowing that he will have to attend exhibitions, the owner must strengthen his nervous system from an early age. It is not difficult to do this. Daily walking in different places, meeting different people and dogs, as well as constant games in new places, will help to gradually strengthen the dog’s nervous system, harden the dog, making it able to endure various emotional stresses.
Emotional loads will not solve the whole problem if the owner does not walk the dog in time and with certain loads, i.e. along with mental stress, the dog should receive more and more physical stress. An untrained dog will quickly exhaust himself at the show, get tired and look withered and passive. The tired state of the dog at the exhibition only shows the inability to endure worthy physical exertion. For example, for the first 6 shows I went by metro with my dog for lack of a car, but, nevertheless, my dog always looked cheerful and cheerful.
New impressions, acquaintances for an unprepared dog are not just stress, for some even a shock, she gets tired quickly. In such a situation, the dog becomes either aggressive, or even withdraws into itself, tail between its legs. For a show dog, a state of aggression or excessive fearfulness is simply unacceptable.
From the foregoing, we conclude: a show dog is a mentally and physically hardy dog, able to quickly adapt to the environment, familiar with transport and large crowds of people, able to correctly evaluate new people.
If you do not know how to prepare a dog for a show, which means “correct physical activity”, I advise you to contact an experienced dog handler, or the breeder from whom the puppy was purchased.
Good luck and victories in the exhibition field!