I have the very good fortune to have a 6 month old puppy who is being trained for obedience and conformation. I know that dogs can learn to "tell what they are supposed to do by the collar they are wearing", but is it too much for a 6 month old pup to learn? I took him to his first conformation class yesterday (I have never shown in conformation), and I thought he did pretty good for a pup who really hasn't been out around many other dogs before. He was a real little trooper, but I could tell he was confused (in between being excited to meet and greet eveyone). I have been training some basic obedience, and of course have been praising him for looking at me while we heel, and now, when gaiting, he isn't really supposed to look at me. I'm sure that I can teach him to stand, but in obedience, there is going to be a lot of "autositting". He is also starting obedience classes this week. Any advice or suggestions? Should I hold off on the obedience for a while and concentrate on conformation?
I'm no expert but when we had the same question and went to obedience class, the instructor who also shows conformation, didn't have us do the autosit. We were told to wait on that until he was older or we quit conformation. Good Luck.
Plenty of people here pull it off just fine. In the show ring, if he forgets or you think he may, just tell him Stack or whatever. I think our dogs are smart enough to figure it out.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Here's how I do it Pat, because I'm stupid, and I think my dogs are much smarter than I give them credit for.
The first couple of times I do a down and back, I put a big old piece of something at the end of the mat. A big piece of cheese. A piece of bread. A toy.
This will get the dog driving to get to the end of that mat.
If he likes toys and doesn't get too suped up, give it a toss to the end of the mat.
Once he gets going on the mat, he'll remember that picture in his head, that there may be something there. Then, I use the about turn command to get them coming back the other way, where the nice friendly judge is
Just that easy.
I've never NOT taught the auto sit, I just don't reward it in the show ring, and voila! No auto-sit.
'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
~ Michelle Held
Rhys, Ruby and Nola