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Present Your Dog Properly

by Judy Doniere,
Toledobes, USA

As a judge I am writing about dogs not standing for exams.  I find that many people have never taken their pups out to training classes or haven’t been to class for several weeks.  One or two classes simply won’t do a good enough job, not only for the pups, BUT MOSTLY FOR THE EXHIBITORS.

Many young dogs are motivated by their owner’s nervousness and it follows right down the lead.  Many exhibitors too are rushing to set the dog up and are moving the legs all over the place, having absolutely no idea how the dog should be stacked in the first place.  Sometimes when a judge is shown a dog’s mouth the poor animal’s head is down almost to the floor or possibly the handler opens the dog’s mouth so wide that they almost unhinge the jaws whereupon the pup naturally backs up.

Another problem I have seen is when the judge tries to go over the dog the handler will allow the lead to drop back on the dog’s neck so the dog is literally walking around in a circle or whatever.

The exhibitor sometimes grabs the tail and holds on for dear life using that as a prop to hold the dog in place.

Another problem that I have seen is that the handler will allow the dog to lean against them and thus enabling the dog to use the handler as a security blanket.

I have found that instructing the exhibitor to stand to the front of the dog and hold the head straight while I go over the body works like a charm in 90% of the cases.

Please exhibitors … go to handling classes for several weeks with your dogs whether you are experienced in showing or not.  The dog and you need to get it together.  Why do you think Handlers suggest you send your dog to them for training?  They know how to present a dog but need to work YOUR dog. Every dog is handled differently.

Is it any wonder dogs or pups don’t stand for exam?   The dog has to know what is expected from the handler and vice versa.