Sunday, August 7, 2011

Five Non-Training Tips to Help Your Dog at a Show/Event

1) Give your dog time to see the area. If your dog knows what is going on, he will be more likely to be able to be attentive and comfortable.  Yes, there are exceptions to the rule.

2) Give your dog time to rest.  If your dog has been up and moving for four hours, he will be getting pretty physically and mentally tired.  A tired dog is not going to be able to give his very best performance.  Be sure your dog's rest area is comfortable and not right at a flow of traffic area.

3) Take your dog for regular off property walks.  This will sort of 'passively' socialize your dog to the world. He will be exposed to sights, sounds, smells, and experiences.  If your dog is calm and comfortable in the world, he will be all the better at a show or event.  If your dog never goes off property....the world sure can be exciting.

4) Read the Rules:  In most activities there are things that handlers can do to loose points or even be disqualified. If you have not read the will not be able to perform to your very best.  These points can add up very quickly.  No matter if your dog is typically a good performer or not, there's no reason to loose the points that are in your control.

5) Physically prepare your dog:  Exercise! If your dog gets tired and overwhelmed by the environment...and he's physically not at his best, the event will be even more difficult.  I saw this as a potential issue with some of the dogs at the State Fair 4-H show this year. There were quite a few dogs entered in many events...and if they weren't at their physical best... performances could be less than what was expected.

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