I need some tips on getting a 9 month old dog show ready. He went to his first handling class and did not do well. He kept his nose to the floor and his tail unfurled most of the time. When the man who was running the class approached him like a judge would, he backed up and I had to force him to stand, which he also didn't do well. There were a lot of dogs there and he wasn't afraid of any of them. There were agility and obedience classes all going on in the same room so there was a lot of noise, that didn't seem to bother him either. I'll continue to take him, but am looking for any hints on getting him to calm down and to allow the judge to touch him. He doesn't act aggressive, just scared. We have been taking him down town and he is better, but how do I get him accustomed to a show ring and a judge? I guess I was lucky with my first show dog. She was a breeze and feared nothing. He also whined almost the whole time we were there. Thanks, I know it takes practice and that this was our first try, but I didn't expect him to be like this the whole time we were there. I'm not gonna give up.
Liver…...have a friend play judge and feed him liver. And just on the table, off the table a billion times. And you stay calm. If you are nervous, the dog will be nervous. I wouldn't take him to a real show yet if he is that uncomfortable....he is afraid now, but soon he will probably growl in fear if he doesn't get a smooth comfortable introduction.
It doesn't look bad to not show UNLESS it is a major. People will be very angry if you enter a dog and then don't show if you break a major.
Who did you get your pup from?
He may surprise you. Neither of my dogs ever had any show prep, aside from a few minutes with Bryan before the shows, and they both did fine. I think most judges forgive a little puppy behavior, and try to focus as well as they can on the actual conformation of the dog–-unless your pup is say...like Jazzy at one of her first shows... ready for nap and honestly just wanted to sleep the whole time. Poor Bryan about had to drag her around, and he picked her up as they left the ring, she put her head over his arm and was out before they got back to me. LOL
Well, thanks for the tips. We'll keep on trying. We have another class next Monday and I just cooked up some dried garlic liver last night. He seems to be very attracted to it. Real stinky stuff!! We'll wait on the showing thing. I don't want to take a chance and tick anyone off.
I wouldn't show him until he is more relaxed - you don't want him to be so overwhelmed that it becomes a negative experience and makes him dislike showing. I would focus on making handling class fun - don't even worry about whether he stacks properly or anything like that, just make it fun. Bring a small squeaky or something to try to get him to play. Find lots of reasons to reward him - like maybe just every time he looks at/focuses on you. You mentioned your first show dog - if you have another dog that your pup trusts and somebody to take THAT dog to handling class, it might help your pup to settle into the new environment.
This was a thread from about two years ago but I just realized that I never posted a follow up. My dog is doing great. It was just a matter of time and practice. He's still afraid of a few things - bicycles, strollers, things that roll and really loud noises like diesel trucks. I've been showing him and he's actually got two points now and placed third in a major show. He's also not afraid of male judges anymore. I found that the more I relaxed the more he relaxed and the more we exposed him to more of the things he was afraid of (we did it slowly) the more he got used to them. We hope to go to nationals so maybe I'll get to meet some of the great people here who helped us out!!
LOL my bad, I never looked at when it was originally posted. I just clicked on "new posts" and assumed they would be active threads - now that I look at it, I realize that the SPAM message was what made it current! I"ll have to pay more attention!
glad to hear he's coming along well.