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Old 01-18-2013, 12:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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show prospec and training.

Hi all I am picking my new show prospect puppy up in two weeks. This will be my first "show" dog. I have competed in various dog sports in the past, and am a member of my local kennel club. We get together often to train, and hold competitions, and classes for the community. I am planning to show and compete with my new pup... What are some things that it SHOULDNT be taught? I feel that I should not teach it to sit in the heel position, or sit in front once it is called to come. Rather, should pup only sit if asked to, and not be allowed to do so automatically? I dont want to teach the pup "how not" to perform in the ring. Insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I know a few people that show and do sports, they don't avoid teaching anything... The dogs know the difference between showing, obedience and agility
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I know a few people that show and do sports, they don't avoid teaching anything... The dogs know the difference between showing, obedience and agility
That is good news! I am just worrying confusing the dog, lol. I did teach my last dobe a solid "stand" which worked well while at the vets, for baths, and grooming.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The only thing I would do is to teach "stand" as the default behavior... whatever you teach first (which, for practically everyone, will be "sit") becomes the behavior the dog will default to when unsure of what else to do... for a conformation dog, "sit" is not a good default behavior, so teach "stand" first.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The only thing I would do is to teach "stand" as the default behavior... whatever you teach first (which, for practically everyone, will be "sit") becomes the behavior the dog will default to when unsure of what else to do... for a conformation dog, "sit" is not a good default behavior, so teach "stand" first.
Strange question, but are allowed to talk to your dog much when you are in the ring, when the dog is being examined? I can see myself saying "stand stand stand stand stand, ooooh! whats that (look alert) stand stand"
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You can talk to your dog in the ring
Juno is a competition dog first, show dog next. These are SMART dogs. They know when to act, in different environments with different collars, ect.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You're allowed food and toys in the show ring, of course you can chatter away
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't really see the point in not teaching a dog to sit on a recall or heel... Dogs can learn context situations... Like to go after and take down animals on a hunt, but leave the animals at home or on the farm alone... When to let people in the door, or when to keep people out. Discerning between playing and fighting. Knowing when they can bite and when they can't... Understanding they're hitting a sleeve, not an arm. Heel without sitting in the breed ring, and heeling with a sit outside of it. Knowing they can go buck wild in the yard, but have to "turn off" indoors...

Really, it just depends on how far the handler is going to go to train them to recognize that context
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Atlas is a CH and we worked on agility, Obedience and Confirmation all at the same time.
He knew the difference. I did not find a problem with any of it.
I think it would be hard to start training for a performance sport after a dog got his CH.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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To me, the most important thing is that the dog needs to learn to be free, animated, and to HAVE FUN, in the show ring. It is not not about being obedient or mechanical. I see way to many novices that are so concerned about trying to keep the dog in the right position that they forget about HAVING FUN. If the dog is not HAVING FUN, it will never look good.

Most show people do not train the puppy to sit when they are shown a treat. Sitting is OK, but they are supposed to animate and show off when they are shown a treat.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I just have a different set of "commands". I can tell both of mine to sit and they sit. I can then say "showdog" and the jump up, free stack and focus on the food. They know the difference and I have never had a single issue with mine wanting to sit in the conformation ring.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kansadobe View Post
To me, the most important thing is that the dog needs to learn to be free, animated, and to HAVE FUN, in the show ring. It is not not about being obedient or mechanical. I see way to many novices that are so concerned about trying to keep the dog in the right position that they forget about HAVING FUN. If the dog is not HAVING FUN, it will never look good.

Most show people do not train the puppy to sit when they are shown a treat. Sitting is OK, but they are supposed to animate and show off when they are shown a treat.
This. I highlighted in Bold what's most important.

Sorry...but nothing kills ring presence like a dog looking like it's forced to be there. Those that are having fun always show best.

I didn't teach sit until she had a firm grasp of what stand and stay were. And then when I did teach sit it wasn't for treats and I use a voice command. So...sometimes when practicing I'll tell her to sit and she gets told she's good. But when I tell her to stand and she free stacks herself she gets the treat.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I totally agree with other posters. My doberman has trained in obedience/rally and agility while showing in conformation. Teach a super strong "stand/stay" and reward heavily for that. Use different collars/leashes for conformation vs obedience. When Lucy has her show collar/lead on she is never allowed to sit. She has shown in both conformation and obedience on the same day without problem.

Dogs really can discern the difference provided the "rules" are clear and you are consistent in the application of them.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Dogs really can discern the difference provided the "rules" are clear and you are consistent in the application of them.
I think this is important too. Any time I tell her to stand and she does it, she gets a treat. This could be formal practice or something just out of nowhere...but she gets the treat no matter what. She associates the standing square and staying in that position with yummy goodness. I also never practice with anything that her handler gives her...I save the good stuff for when she's actually in the ring.

I think the single most important thing to teach before anything is "watch me". When she was a tiny pup I'd hold a treat to my eye, say "watch me" and when she made eye contact she got the treat. This advanced into her making eye contact and holding it for however many seconds and then getting the treat. To this day no matter what she's doing...if you say watch me she will turn around and make eye contact. This is very helpful in the ring for keeping her focused, and seems to make her more "expressive" to judges since she'll stare them down. She doesn't have to be a statue in the ring, but when I say watch me I need her complete attention.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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So, when you have, let's say, a conformation/obedience dog--is he learning on his own those relatively subtle cues like separate collars/different treats/different handling behavior and so on that lead him toward acting appropriately for a particular venue, or are you putting special emphasis on those clues to somehow make him aware that the presence of those details means "be different".



Not sure that makes sense........
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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So, when you have, let's say, a conformation/obedience dog--is he learning on his own those relatively subtle cues like separate collars/different treats/different handling behavior and so on that lead him toward acting appropriately for a particular venue, or are you putting special emphasis on those clues to somehow make him aware that the presence of those details means "be different".



Not sure that makes sense........
I suppose it's a little bit of both. Clearly I don't work obedience with a fine show chain and beaded lead. So, when she sees those being loaded into the car she knows we're going to the show or to handling class. Of course, when she gets to the show she's just sort of learned what's expected of her. She gets groomed, she's practiced, then she hits the ring with her handler for yummy chicken.

In obedience, I use pupperoni's if she's learning something new. Otherwise her reward is the praise and excitement she's given. She always gets at treat once we complete a sequence/course. That keeps her upbeat and focused too.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sinister View Post
You can talk to your dog in the ring
Juno is a competition dog first, show dog next. These are SMART dogs. They know when to act, in different environments with different collars, ect.
Hey, Did you train Juno on your own for competition/show? Or did you get a trainer to help?
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