Preparation for Puppies in Dog Shows

Learn how to start your puppy early into the dog show life.

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A difficult puppy can be reprimanded by staring him in the eyes while holding him firmly by the scruff of his neck. Obviously, you have to make sure that his back end is supported. The reprimand must be given at the very moment he misbehaves, so that he knows exactly what he is doing wrong. Take care, though, that no accident happens, and don't place your face too close to his, for it is surprising how quickly a young puppy can dart forward, albeit in play.

 When practicing standing, a very useful aid is a mirror, so that you can see exactly how your puppy would look to the judge. Different breeds are shown differently and it is important that, when you and your puppy finally end up in the ring, you present your exhibit to perfection according to the requirements for your particular breed.


Collar and Lead

Even if your puppy is not yet fully vaccinated and able to go out in public places, you can still carry out training in the confines of your home. The pup will, of course, need to get used to the feel of a collar and lead around his neck. When the collar is initially introduced, it will seem very strange to him, for he will have the feeling of being restricted. The collar must not be too tight, nor should it be too loose for fear of his getting caught up in something and throwing himself into a panic or possibly being injured. Obviously, you will have to keep adjusting the collar to make it larger or buying larger collars as he matures.


When introducing the collar, be sure that there are no other animals around to distract him. Since the pup should have total confidence in you, this is an exercise best done while you are alone. Let him smell the collar first, then, holding him firmly, gently slip it over his head. Sooner or later he will realize that there is something around his neck and will most probably paw at it in an attempt to free himself. He may also try to rub his head along the ground or around the bottom of the sofa or something similar, trying to release his head.


Practice for very short periods at first, always under supervision, never allowing the puppy to work himself up into too much of a frenzy before the collar is taken off. Within a few short days, you will find that he accepts the collar perfectly.


When the puppy is confident wearing his collar, it is time to introduce the lead. This can prove to be infinitely more difficult than introducing the collar, though some puppies take to the lead much more easily than others. Ideally, you should choose a lead that can be attached to the collar with which the puppy is already familiar. It must have a trigger mechanism, rather than the sort that just slips in; the latter type can easily become loose if the puppy pulls in the wrong direction and thus is very dangerous.

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