A few showing questions

I've some questions on a few things…

I will be taking Zoni to a "AKC sanctioned" Basenji match being held at the end of the month by the WI basenji club. What exactly is the primary purpose of a match? I understand no points are given, so is it mainly just for fun and practice? What is the benefit of being "AKC sanctioned" if it doesn't count?

I get the impression from my breeder that not that much is expected of the 3-6 mo puppies but I'm guessing I would need to have her "reasonably" leash and table trained? Since we don't start conformation classes until April I'm a bit clueless on the finer details, and I'm guessing most of the other puppies will be way ahead of us in show training. :rolleyes: We're doing the puppy obedience classes now though, so she will have some basic training started.

I read on another post that basenjis are typically shown on a "snake chain" type collar? Is there a typical chain thickness (extra fine, medium, etc.) and/or length used? Do i need to get a different chain thickness now since she is so much smaller?

Thanks much,
Clay

A match is for fun and practice. The benefit of an AKC sanctioned match is that they will follow the AKC format for a show so it will be the same as when you go to a show.

You will need to be able to get your puppy around the ring with you on leash and stack her on the table. No one really expects that puppies will stand still or want to go in the same direction as you on leash. Have some yummy treats to help encourage her to do what you want and practice around the house getting her to follow you even without a leash.

For puppies I use a martingale type collar.

@lvoss:

A match is for fun and practice. The benefit of an AKC sanctioned match is that they will follow the AKC format for a show so it will be the same as when you go to a show.

You will need to be able to get your puppy around the ring with you on leash and stack her on the table. No one really expects that puppies will stand still or want to go in the same direction as you on leash. Have some yummy treats to help encourage her to do what you want and practice around the house getting her to follow you even without a leash.

For puppies I use a martingale type collar.

Thanks, lvoss! One follow-up…a chain-type martingale or leather for puppies?

I use leather for puppies.

I read this book this summer and it gives some great tips for training for the show ring using positive reinforcement, Postive Training For Show Dogs by Vicki Ronchette

http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DSH166

@lvoss:

I read this book this summer and it gives some great tips for training for the show ring using positive reinforcement, Postive Training For Show Dogs by Vicki Ronchette

http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DSH166

Thanks again. I got it recently based on one of your previous posts. It's really helpful.

I liked it and my dogs love clicker training so they enjoy the methods that she discusses in the book.

Just remember to keep the training short and fun for puppies.

Yep, matches are just for fun. A sanctioned match is important though, I believe new clubs must hold a certain amount of matches in a certain time frame before they're allowed to hold regular dog shows. Sorta like a trial run to make sure the club can do everything needed to run the event and take care of paperwork appropriately. Also already established clubs will hold matches in the evening after the show, and I have a feeling they are a good money maker for the club since they already have all the equipment and everything taken care of for the weekend.

Matches are great for training puppies. It takes time to get used to a crazy show atmosphere, and it will really help puppies get used to the ring procedure and being examined by strangers. (even in some not so nice places!) lol A couple of specific things that are usually harder for puppies to get used to is standing still while strangers are touching you on the table, and gaiting nicely (trotting, not galloping around like a banshee) with other dogs running in front and behind them. lol These are things you can't simulate so well at home, matches are a great way to see how naughty your puppy can be so you know where to concentrate more of your training. 🙂 The hopes are that by the time you're spending the big bucks for the real shows, that your dog has an idea of what it needs to do and will be somewhat compliant so you have a better chance at getting those points. Like Lisa said, since it's a sactioned match, they will be doing everything like it is a real show and it will help you and your puppy learn the procedures.

Of course if you have an opportunity to go to conformation classes, that's a nice help too! Sometimes you can overkill on the training and make things worse, but in general, the more practice the better.

There are 3 kinds of chains people usually show in, the "snake" chains (they kinda have thicker/closer together links), jewelers link chains (like a necklace), and regular links like a standard choke collar. I would get a fine a chain as you can in the size you need. I usually use a 16" chain by the time they're old enough to show, but some people use a 14. I think for puppies I have a 12", but I usually use a nylon show choke for the little ones, and before that a nylon martingale. The jewelers link is very pretty, but it kinks easily and seems to pull out hair more and be "itchier" for the dogs. I've used them as well as the snake chains, but have reverted back to the regular type chains these days. Most people show in the chains because it gives more control than a martingale and also helps keep their noses out of the ground better. 🙂

Good luck with Zoni, and let us know how she does! 🙂

I feel a little stupid asking this but anyway…I got a few different sizes of the martingale show leads for Zoni but I'm not sure exactly how it should sit on her neck. Shouldn't it sit high on the neck under the jawline? Normally, regular martingale collars sit pretty loose (and low on the neck) but do you adjust these a little tighter so it doesn't drop down the neck when there isn't any tension on the lead? When she isn't scratching at the collar, I can gait her with a relatively loose leash but it tends to slip down her neck the way I have it now but I don't want to make it too tight either.

Thanks!

Yes, I usually adjust them so they are just barely "snug" and tend to stay up at the top of the neck. You don't want it actually tightening on the neck, but put the slide down so that it's pretty close to the neck. Now if the dog puts it's head down and roots around on the floor, then yes it will slide down the neck. lol So even though you want to keep a slightly loose lead, you gotta be quick to put tension on and correct the dog before they get their head down. Otherwise you lose the control of having a nice high collar and it's not nearly effective as you get dragged around the ring. lol They're not fool proof, they still slide down no matter how tight you put them.

To add to what Kelli said, you want the collar up high under the ears because you can control the head better…control the head, control the dog 😉

Thanks Kelli and Andrea. I think now that I was using the wrong size martingale. When I ordered it, the sizing directions said to order one that is 2-4" smaller than the dog's neck so I got a 8" but it tightens around the neck too much since her neck is about 10". I also ordered a 10" and it goes "barely snug" and sounds like Kelli described. I'm not sure why they said to order it so small but I'm glad I ordered the larger size.

We've got some practicing to do now! I've got a much "better" chance at gaiting her than stacking her right now. lol. I'm sure I'll be very amusing to all the show people at the puppy match next weekend. :p

re: "A sanctioned match is important though, I believe new clubs must hold a certain amount of matches in a certain time frame before they're allowed to hold regular dog shows. Sorta like a trial run to make sure the club can do everything needed to run the event and take care of paperwork appropriately. Also already established clubs will hold matches in the evening after the show, and I have a feeling they are a good money maker for the club since they already have all the equipment and everything taken care of for the weekend."

This is partly true - a club however in order to maintain it's status as a show giving club has to complete a certain number of components in a given year - a match can be one of them. Do some do it for money - maybe - but I'll tell you from experience that at the end of a show - about the last thing a show giving club is thinking about it's doing more work! we're typically too tired!!!!!

In any event a match is good practice for the dogs, the judges and a great way to get your feet wet. You will have a blast.

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