Free Obedience Training, The Show Ring print postage at home

Step-By-Step Instructions
For Obedience Training Your Dog Yourself

The Show Ring

You may want to show your dog in an obedience trial (against other dogs) and try to win a ribbon. Before you attempt this, be sure your dog has every command down pat. Then, have enough training sessions in the park until he has the commands down pat despite all of the distractions. Next, you will have to do a little research to find where you can take your dog to practice with other dogs in a practice ring.

If you want to show your dog in the conformation ring, you will need to take him to practices with other dogs. In these joint practice sessions, you are all working with your dogs at the same time, and the person in charge will be acting as the judge would. You and your dog will need to follow all directions, and the "judge" will show you the things a judge looks for.

One rule in either the conformation ring or the obedience ring is that dogs may not bite. Your dog has to get used to being around people without growling or biting, and around other dogs without growling or biting.

Here's a tip to make your dog shine above all the others in the conformation ring. Take a pocketful of healthy treats in with you (the ones with the strongest smell possible). Just before you go into the ring, give him one treat so he knows what you have. Then, keep just one in your hand - let him see it is there but don't give it to him. (This is called baiting.) During every action in the ring, he will be giving you full attention in case you decide to give him the treat. While the other "moms and dads" are putting their dogs' paws just so and putting their dogs' tails just so (over and over so the dog looks his best), all you have to do is stand in front of your dog and wiggle that little treat. This will put your dog at full attention, which will also make his whole body looks its best. The judge will look around and see all of these dogs that need help to look good - and your dog just standing there looking perfect all on his own. This would put your dog more than half way to winning! Another tip is for when you want your dog to look at the judge. For this, you would pretend to toss a treat toward the judge, which makes your dog turn his head in just the right direction. A few judges don't allowing baiting in the show ring. If you take him to confirmation classes, practice baiting there. Before entering the show ring, give him a treat from your pocket. While in the show ring, keep one hand in your pocket but don't bring out any bait. He will still be watching your every move.

If you think you may want to put your dog in an obedience trial or into a conformation show, first go to several and see how they work, what the other dogs do, and what the other dogs look like. Watch what goes on in the ring, and what goes on outside the ring. Find your breed and see how those "moms and dads" get their dogs ready. You may even decide that this is not really for you or your dog. But, shows are great to watch when one is close enough to attend. For most people, their "blue ribbon" is actually the way that their dog behaves - at home, at the park and with other people. And, a dog that is well trained is a happy dog.


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