Here’s a few tips and thoughts on dealing with dog show distractions.
My suggestion is, if your dog’s nose dives in the grass, try playing with him to keep his attention, rather than “correcting” him for sniffing. It will serve the double purpose of getting him out of the grass and up on his toes. Here’s Saki, finding some dropped bait as she waits her turn last Friday at the Bull Terrier Club of Philadelphia specialty:
That jump and bark didn’t hurt her any she went on to Best of Variety and a Group 2 that day (thank you, judges Susie Harris and Bruce Schwartz!)
You need to know where you are, and adjust your expectations and technique accordingly. What I want or can expect from a puppy is not the same as what I want or can expect from a special. When I take out a six month old puppy I'm not chasing points, I'm investing in the show dog that they will someday be. And that begins with imprinting a love for the show ring, and letting go of the idea that a puppy should "show" right out of the box.
Patience and play do pay off, and when Bijou comes back in the ring for RWB, she's all business. Bijou’s settling in and she even gives me the beginning of a really nice free stack ...
Thank you, Ray Sharp for awarding Bijou RWB and congratulations to Krista Prater Piles and Farina (the red bitch in the first video) on going WB and finishing Farina's championship that day!
But what does goose poop have to do with the future of dog shows?
We should be extending the same sense of fair play and sportsmanship to our dogs as to our fellow competitors. I would encourage you to treat your dogs with patience and kindness as a service to yourself and your dogs, but at the very least I ask you to do so for the image of our sport and the future of purebred dogs.
Jane Messineo Lindquist (Killion) is the director of "Puppy Culture: The Powerful First Twelve Weeks That Can Shape Your Puppies' Future" as well as the author of "When Pigs Fly: Training Success With Impossible Dogs."