If you are a beginner at showing you dogs, then reading the information below may help you learn how to prepare for a dog show.
Letting a dog get over-heated, as the owner is awaiting to show his dog ringside, is one of the big mistakes the novice exhibitor makes when he is attending a dog show. He is never aware of it until it has been pointed out to him, and then it may be too late. There have been novice exhibitors that stand at the ringside for an hour waiting to go into the ring, and in their efforts to keep the dog clean and dry they won't allow the animal to curl up under a chair or in his own shadow, and before you know it the dog's tongue is hanging out a mile. He is panting and getting very restless, and by the time he goes into the ring, the poor dog "has had it." Notice the old-timers and the professionals in this respect. Unless it is a cool day or at an indoor show, you will never see them standing in the hot sun with a dog about to go into the ring. Just remember that in no breed is the expression of the dog enhanced when he is panting.
Now let's get back to the big day. You are ready to go to your first show. Let us assume you have chosen one fairly close to home and will be starting out early the morning of the show. You will have given the dog a bath either the day before or, with some breeds, a few days before the show. Many exhibitors believe a very recent bath takes the natural oils and sheen out of the coat and makes it appear dull. This is particularly true of black dogs. Of course a white dog will have to be bathed just before a show in order to have him really clean. Remember you may not have the best dog in the show, but you can always have the cleanest! Nothing discourages a judge more in his examination of a dog than to have to touch or smell a dirty dog. Incidentally, if you are showing a flat coated dog, pin a large towel around him after his bath and notice how it helps to lay the coat.
The night before the show you should get together all of the things you are taking with you. While you are still a novice it won't hurt to make out a written list and check it before you leave. If the show is an outdoor one, regardless of weather reports or how the morning looks to you, take along a raincoat and rubbers or boots. The show goes on regardless of the weather. Even though the judging will be under a tent, you will have to go from either the benching tent or your car to the judging tent, and you may have to do it during rain. If your dog is too big to pick up and carry under your raincoat, it would help if you took along something to throw over him on his way to the judging ring.
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