Check List before Moving Your Dog (Go through this check list EVERY time)
- BREATH, TAKE YOUR TIME.
- Collect the lead in your hand.
- Reply to the judge´s command (yes sir/ma’am)
- Make sure the skin of the dog’s neck is tucked in nicely, check lips/drooling.
- Once you come back to the judge, everything is there for all to see. You want the picture to have ‘clean lines’.
- Act Poised – YOUR carriage is very important. Have a friend video tape you moving in practice so you ‘see’ yourself and your dog. You should both be like dancers.
- Do a courtesy turn so you can get your dog into a smooth, rhythmic trot. Having your dog do this turn in a pace or walk is not useful.
- ALWAYS Look down the ring to fixate on an object to move towards.
- A straight line is pertinent; practice this. When you get to the end of the ring make your turn to come back, LOOK UP so you can see if you are in alignment with the judge. Make any necessary adjustments. Look the judge in the eye as if to say your dog is the soundest dog in the ring (this also helps for you to see if the judge is distracted or watching you)
You should already have a game plan in your mind, possibly from watching an experienced handler in the ring before you, as to where exactly you are going to make your turns and upon returning to the judge where you are going to stop and free bait as well as where are you going to show a front-on view of your dog or a side view. You want to leave plenty of room so you are not crowding the judge while free baiting your dog.