New and Noteworthy

New and Noteworthy

Pretty Pets: A Spotlight on Dog Shows

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Dog shows give spectators the opportunity to see well-groomed and well-behaved canines strut their stuff and contestants a chance to win a coveted prize and bragging (and wagging) rights.

The American Kennel Club offers the following tips for those seeking to start attending and competing in dog shows and pet pageants.

Tips for Dog Show Spectators

Whether you’re watching a dog show on television or in person, people can learn a lot about different dog breeds and show rules. It can also help them in their decision to add a dog to their family.

Those watching a dog show in person have the opportunity to visit exhibition booths, talk with breeders and handlers, and get a closer look at the dogs competing. Though there is dog show etiquette spectators should follow, including:

  • Do not pet a dog without asking for permission first. The dog may have just been groomed in preparation for being judged.
  • Watch children carefully and make sure they do not grab or poke at dogs.
  • Ask before entering the grooming area because it is not always open to spectators.

How to Prepare a Pet for a Dog Show

According to the American Kennel Club, the best way to get started showing a dog is to join a local kennel club, whether an all-breed kennel club or a breed-specific club. Local clubs offer information on training classes for the show ring and for obedience and agility classes.

A show dog must be trained. Conformation and handling classes can serve to socialize pets and get them accustomed to being around other dogs and people.

Training should also include conditioning the dog through regular exercise. This might mean a strict exercise regimen or regular walks. The dog’s breed will determine their abilities and needs for conditioning.

Grooming is an important aspect of competition. Dogs are usually groomed to highlight their breed’s unique physical features. Grooming includes bathing, hair brushing and styling, nail clipping, and teeth brushing. Most competitors choose groomers familiar with the specific standards for their dog’s breed to ensure the dog meets show requirements.

Finally, competitors should remember to relax and have fun; dog shows can be enjoyable and educational for everyone.

Author: Darice Britt

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