Show dogs are born, not made. So if you want to win the coveted blue ribbon at the next big event, here are some things to bear in mind.
Showing the way
It isn’t easy raising a show dog. To begin with, you have to get a puppy with that innate potential. It’s important to note that very few puppies have that potential – and virtually all that do come from a top show kennel.
Show dogs require…
- Excellent nutrition;
- Proper exercise;
- Ongoing socialisation;
- Daily grooming – especially for coated breeds like poodles or Afghans.
Many handlers (that’s the person who takes the show dog into the ring) start training the dogs to gait (move in certain patterns at certain speeds) and stack (pose) from an early age, being very careful to make it fun and exciting for the dog at all times.
Show dogs must like the dog show game or they won’t get far. Keeping the dogs happy, content and safe should be a handler’s top priority.
Where to start
If you are interested in raising a show dog, contacting your local breed clubs is a great place to start. You’ll want to research what breed interests you, and once you’ve settled on a breed, you will need to find and contact reputable breeders/trainers to get started.
Many top show dog owners invest a lifetime in this pursuit and do so out of a passion for their breed of choice. So if your interest is more casual, show dogs may not be the best match for you.
Very few dogs are show dogs, but for almost all owners that shouldn’t really matter. Dogs are loved and lovable for what they have on the inside, not how they look on the outside. Most dog owners consider their dogs perfect just the way they are, and as long as the dog is healthy, the owner is happy.
So even if your dog isn’t suited for showing, there are loads of fun, competitive activities (like flyball, agility training and many other dog sports) you can do together. And you know your dog will love it – and you – for giving them a go.
About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre
The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.