Before you start for your first show there are certain pieces of equipment you will need. One is a strong collar that fits your dog well; either round leather, flat leather, or a chain. Another item you will need, if the show is benched, is a bench chain. A bench chain is just what its name implies - used to chain a dog to the bench, snapping onto the ring in the collar and to the ring provided for that purpose on the bench. When fastening the dog to the bench, be sure to leave enough chain so that the dog can lie down but not so much as to allow him to jump off the bench, as he could possibly hang himself that way.
You will also need a show lead. A show lead is usually much finer than the leads used for walking a dog. Before purchasing a show lead, find out what type is used by the successful exhibitors in your breed. In some breeds the dogs are exhibited on the same chain collar used for benching with a fine leather snap-on lead attached to it. In some breeds the exhibitors prefer leather one-piece leads. This type one-piece show lead is made up in whale-hide, lacing, nylon belting, and many other materials. In the toy breeds some exhibitors use a nylon string, which is no heavier than the lead of a pencil. Terriers are almost always shown on a leather collar and lead.
You will need a sponge, and if you have a liking for the synthetic ones, they will do very nicely. You will want to take along a towel - an old one will do. Your dog will have been bathed before being brought to the show, if he is of a breed that requires bathing, but if he becomes carsick and drools over himself, or if he walks through a puddle and then through dust or dirt, the sponge and towel will help you clean him before taking him into the ring.
If you are sure that you have done every necessary bit of trimming at home perhaps it will not be necessary to carry trimming tools with you. However, a great many people find it advisable to carry with them at least a few trimming tools for those last-minute repairs. A pair of scissors, perhaps a small stripping knife, and any other one or two tools for trimming in your breed may come in handy. A comb and brush are necessities, and will be very welcome just before you go into the ring.
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