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  • 7 Tips to Do Well at Your First Dog Show
  • July 28, 2021
  • Posted by Claude
  • Category Blog
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Author: Daniel McFerrin

Turning your pet into a show dog opens up several new opportunities for you as a dog owner. First of all, it helps you deal with potential behavioral problems and develop a bond between you and your pet. Secondly, it eases you into an active community of like-minded people – experienced pet owners and trainers.

If you are going to show your dog for the first time, it is essential to start from your local competitions first and then aim higher. Besides, you need to clearly understand which qualifications you have to meet, how tough the competition is, and how much expenses participation in a dog show will entail.

But you and your four-legged companion don’t have to worry! Below, you will find seven tips to help you do well at your first show dog competition. They range from checking if your dog meets its breed specifications and competition requirements to socializing your pet and training it, among other things. Read on and make sure you know how to show your pet successfully!

Check if Your Dog Qualifies for the Show

Before you start looking for dog shows in your area, you should make sure that your pet can participate in them. The first thing you have to do is to check that your dog meets its breed specifications.

For a show dog to be considered eligible for competition, it has to be registered with a reputable organization, such as the AKC (American Kennel Club), and meet the minimum breed specifications required by that organization. If your dog meets the criteria, you can register it online or physically at the organization’s office.

Once your dog meets these requirements, you can find out if it is eligible for competitive events on the organization’s website. Then, you can start checking for dog shows in your area and preparing to show off your four-legged friend.

Visit Dog Shows With Your Pet Before Participating

When you visit a dog show for the first time, things can get pretty confusing. There will be several types of competitions and events, multiple exhibitors, and lots of spectators. What’s more, there will be tons of dogs there, with their owners frantically running around trying to figure out how this whole dog show business works. You ensure that you will be ready when it is time for your dog to compete by visiting competitive events with your pet beforehand.

By doing so, you will be able to get an idea of what you need to do when the show starts: how to act near other dogs and pet owners, what accessories you need to have (e.g., grooming tools), how to calm your dog if it gets overwhelmed. For the latter, for example, some dog owners use CBD for pets from relievet.com or brands alike.

Attending dog shows before participating in one will allow you to be confident enough to let your pet compete and enjoy the moment when the time comes. Just remember not to interrupt ongoing competitions and remain respectful towards the judges and other participants.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Well Socialized

If you want to win in a dog show, socializing your pet is probably one of the most important things you have to do. The reason for this is pretty straightforward – if a dog is not well socialized, it might threaten other dogs or their owners and manifest aggressive behavior. This could result in disqualification from shows or even a ban from attending future events.

Socializing your dog refers to how well it interacts with other dogs or strange people. It is also about how easy it is for your four-legged buddy to deal with new situations and environments. Thus, it is essential for your dog to meet lots of different people and animals regularly (especially other dogs!) as well as explore new places and environments – it will allow you to make the whole dog show experience less stressful.

Train Your Dog for Competitions

Dog training is one of the best ways of helping your furry friend prepare for competitions. For example, if you want your pet to become a champion in agility competitions, you need to train it both physically and mentally. You can do this by helping your dog overcome its fear of heights and improving its balance skills by playing fetch with tennis balls or taking it through a trained obstacle course indoors.

Be Prepared for Any Eventualities

Dog shows take place outdoors, so many things might happen during the event – for example, sudden weather changes or animal attacks. Being prepared for such events helps ensure that everything will go smoothly when it comes time for your dog’s performance.

Things such as carrying a first aid kit, keeping spare leashes handy, having a portable water bowl or crate ready, and knowing how to handle unexpected situations are just some of the tips to stick to at a dog show. Safety always comes first.

Calm Your Dog Down Before the Event Begins

As I have already mentioned, one of the reasons dogs are disqualified from competitions is because they exhibit aggressive behavior towards other dogs, owners, or judges. Not only is this bad for the image of your pet, but it could also cause serious damage if things get out of hand.

Your puppy can manifest aggressive behavior if it does not feel safe at the event or if it has been mistreated or abused in the past. It’s essential to make sure that your pet feels comfortable at every event it attends, so look out for signs of its nervousness and do your best to keep your dog calm and composed.

You need to do this before the event begins, so you don’t have to worry about anything once the competition starts. For example, you can use calming treats, toys, or music to help your dog relax. Another solution is using CBD for pets, which has a relaxing effect on dogs.

Final Note

Taking part in a dog show is an excellent experience for both you and your pet. It allows you to bond with your furry companion in a different way, and it also helps your pet build confidence and learn how to deal with stressful situations.

However, if you want to win in a dog show, you need to make sure that your dog meets its breed specifications, is well socialized and trained, has the right equipment for the event, stays relaxed and calm before and during the competition.

By following these tips, you will not only be able to show your four-legged companion successfully, but most importantly – you will also get to enjoy this experience as a whole.

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