The Golden Retriever Club Inc.
New Zealand

Preparation for showing

  • Training - A show dog needs to be trained. Though you may train your dog yourself at home, you can attend conformation and handling classes which are beneficial for both you and your dog. The classes also serve to socialise your dog. This gets him accustomed to being around other dogs in conditions similar to what heíll find at shows. Very often, a show dog is the only dog in a household. Therefore at the show, he may be anxious or overwhelmed by all the activity, noise and other dogs. Socialisation will make showing a better experience for you and your dog.
  • Conditioning - Every show dog - no matter how big or small - needs conditioning. For some dogs, this means a strict exercise regime; for other dogs, it means regular walks. Itís very important that you donít over-exercise your dog.
  • Nutrition - A good diet and the right foods will keep him fit and trim and keep his coat shining.
  • Grooming - All show dogs need to be clean - with clean teeth and clean, trimmed toenails.

Some breeds only need wiping off with a towel before they enter the ring and other breeds need considerable bathing with a good shampoo, brushing and coat conditioning. Some breeds also need their coat plucked, clipped and shaped. During a two-day period of showing, one dog might need to be groomed only once, while another might need constant attention. It depends on the individual dog and the breed. Generally speaking, most dogs with a significant coat, such as an Old English sheepdog, will only go about two days before needing another bath.


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