Do you really want to show

The most important thing to remember when showing your dog/s is that you are getting one person's opinion of your dog on that particular day. Tomorrow is another day.
It doesn't matter if you win, lose or draw, you always take home the best dog !!!

If the judge on the day has bred/shown  then he/she will know the standard word for word and what to look for as far as the breed is concerned. He/she will also know all the tricks that can be used to "hide" faults. You will find that certain judges prefer certain "types" of dogs.This is because no two judges interpret the standard in exactly the same way. You will also find some judges prefer sound movement to a "stacked" dog that stands like a statue. Well trained does not always mean well conformed. 
Regardless of what you hear, more likely than not, each judge has a "minds eye" of what he/she is looking for

To exhibit at any shows you must fill out an entry form for that particular show venue and date. These forms are available from the club. These forms have to be filled in and be sent to the show secretary before a closing date.

As most dog shows are held outdoors, I would remind you to take ample shade for both you and your dog/s. Drinking water at different venues may not agree with you or your dog. Take plenty of water with you when travelling to shows and of course a water dish for your dog/s.

Prepare your dog well before the show. There is nothing more irritating than someone brushing handfuls of undercoat from a dog in the assembly area. A once over just prior to entering the ring is OK.

Ensure you have a good, strong choker chain or collar and chain if you prefer that. Dogs can be very anti-social on occasion and you may require to control your dog. Give your competitors plenty of space and don't crowd other dogs.

It is your responsibility to show your dog in its best condition and to get the best out of it on the day. Let's be honest here. We all enter shows in order to win. You will not win with an ill-groomed, overweight dog that refuses to do what you or the judge wishes done. The onus is on you. Talk to other exhibitors and learn as much as you can. *MOST* are good people and will help you. Forget the ones that talk smut of others.

Wear sensible clothing. No tight skirts or high heels. Confortable shoes, as you will be on your feet for the best part of the proceedings. Wear a colour that will contrast your dog and act like a silhouette, especially on a dull day or for night showing under lights.

If at all possible, attend handling classes that are run by Kennel Clubs or accredited trainers. They will be able to show you how to set up your dog and what is expected of you and your dog in a show situation. It is advisable to go and watch a show prior to showing and see what you will need to do. Also, dog showing is not everyone's "cup of tea", so maybe it would be best to sit and watch one first.

Having entered a show, as soon as possible, check in the catalogue that your dog is shown entered in the right class and as the right sex. We are all human and everyone makes mistakes. You are just a number in the ring. Some judges speak softly so, if you do not hear what the judge has asked of you, do not hesitate to ask him/her to repeat the directive. Don't go ahead and do what you "thought" he/she said.

Now I will touch on the most important subject of showing:.....Sportsmanship.
Please, if you cant take being beaten in a dog show ring, give the game away. Watch the bad losers at shows. They pout, mumble obscenities, storm out of the ring, challenge the judges parents martial status and more often than not, pack up and go home. You will never see them offer a congratulatory hand or speak well of another's win. Please don't emulate this type of person. Accept your wins and losses graciously. Accept the fact that you will probably have more losses than wins, which makes a win even more satisfying. Treat a dog show as a social outing and any win as a bonus. If you can do this you will enjoy showing. Many lasting friendships have started in a show ring.
Enjoy your showing, but always always take the best dog home, regardless.

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