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  #1  
Old 06-14-2009, 05:22 PM
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Default Things to work on before showing

I am hoping to show my puppy Luna. She is only 4 months old right now but I would like to start working on things that are important for showing. What should I do? She is timid around other people and I know that judges will have to handle her. We are working on the leash but so far she hates it
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2009, 05:24 PM
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First off, did you buy her from a breeder who shows her dogs? If so, she should be mentoring you if you've never shown before.

Are you in the US? Look for an all-breed club and ask about their conformation/handling/socialization classes. Most all-breed clubs have them.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:29 PM
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I did buy her from a breeder with many champions and she has offered to mentor me.
The only problem is that she lives about an hour away. I have an appointment with a local lady who gives classes but I don't want her to be totally overwhelmed when we go. They have already evaluated her but she doesn't start her classes until she is 5 1/2 months. I want to know if there are things we can do to make her a little more at ease with the process?

I live in a small, rural town and the nearest big city is about 90 miles away
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:42 PM
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well socialisation is important as ur going to be in a ring with other dogs she'll need to be able to stand and stand on the table and be gone over by the judge and her teeth checked etc and walked round the ring - B is my first showdog and we've only been in the ring for about 3 months but i started ringcraft class (or conformation classes) as soon as possible (when he was 16 weeks) and also when i practice table training at home i get different people to check his teeth and go over him like a judge would, if you do just a little bit everyday like any training
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:31 PM
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Are her parents champions? Grandparents? Just a scattering of champions in her pedigree isn't enough in today's competitive show world. She should at LEAST, at the very minimum, be champion sired. And hopefully both parents and grandparents have finished as well.

Yes, as Chloe said, get her used to being stacked. Both free stacked on the floor and also on the table. Get her VERY used to having her teeth examined. And every part of her touched when she's on the table. A puppy may move a bit, but she should be standing quite still by the time you are ready to show.

Do you have a grooming table? I'd get one if you don't so you can practice, or you can use the top of a washer or similar if it has a non slip surface. Many, Many people who show Chi's use a stacking set which has four pads for feet and nothing else, so it can't move around. If it does, it will be very off balance. They quickly learn to stay still.

I haven't checked youtube, but I did find this very nicely done video on stacking a Chi by a very cute little junior handler!! He does a very nice job. And gives you the basics on what you should be working on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK5f3fL_WKs

There are probably many videos on stacking dogs for show on the table, so I bet if you do some research, you can find lots of information.

You should also be working with her on lead. At this age she should be trotting along nicely with you. It's OK if she lags or forges a bit. She doesn't have to be in heel position. But you want her tail UP (very important) and her ears should be up with a very cute and happy expression. When you come back to the judge, she should be alert and show her expression and free stack. All of this you will learn at your conformation classes. I hope you are taking a class with other students, as your dog needs to be very comfortable and socialized with other people and other puppies.

I haven't seen any close up photos of your puppy, but if she has tear staining, since she is white, that will really detract from her, so I'd work with your breeder on getting that cleared up. As for trimming a long coat, I can't help you there. You will need a professional handler or your breeder to help you before you show.

Good luck. Hope this helps!
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:34 PM
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Her father as well as most of the sires on both sides have Championed but not many of the females, is that a sign? I want to give it a try anyway, mostly for myself. She is of course the perfect specimen in my eyes
She has a tiny bit of staining under her eyes. She has the cutest patches over both eyes, they don't show well in pictures. I have tried to take a few to show you.



http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...cahtori008.jpg

I will work on stacking and touching her, I do that already. I will have my family members handle her as well. I manage an apartment complex so she is around a lot of people. I guess we will see when she starts her confirmation classes. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:24 PM
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Of course she is the perfect specimen to her mommy!

Keep working on the stacking and lead work. Also, take that collar off! It will ruin her coat. She can't wear one while you are growing coat. Do you have a show lead? They are TINY. Don't use a big old leather lead, flexi, etc. Get a show lead. But for sure get that collar off pronto!

Some people work on stacking using stack blocks. They are blocks that cause the dog to stand in the correct position and not move around. It might be helpful for her if she's fidgety. Here's an example of what they look like...

http://www.4mydogs.com/store/merchan...roduct_Count=1

Although many people improvise and either make them themselves or just use 4 cans of peaches or other heavier fruit cans or soup cans. Glue them to a sturdy base. It helps train them not to move around when you are trying to stack. Make sure you have them in the right position though or you'll teach her to stack incorrectly.

Also, get involved in your local all-breed club. Go to meetings, get to know people, attend shows. Here's a list of them. Just put in your state.

http://www.akc.org/clubs/search/inde...onf&display=on

You can also see if there is an AKC sanctioned Chihuahua club in your state. Get involved there as well if you can.

The most important thing you can do now is to socialize, socialize, socialize. A shy puppy who has her ears at half mast and her tail down will not win. You want her to like people and like showing. She must be charming and win over that judge! Few judges will put up a dog that doesn't like to show. Also expose her to as many noises as possible. She needs to be "bomb proof" so that when she goes in the ring, it is a fun experience and not something to be scared of.

Good luck!

Brodysmom
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