Timidity in the ring
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Thread: Timidity in the ring

  1. #1
    FrenchMaddie is offline Member
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    DefaultTimidity in the ring

    Sorry to bomdard you with questions but after our first show (for me and pup) I am keen to pick as many people's brains as possible.

    Blue is 7 months old, she is uber confident at home, she gets taken out to dog training and agility competitions with my other dogs (mostly outdoors), gets the chance to meet other dogs and people, get taken to all sorts of busy places (airports etc) and I have done my level best on the socialisation front.

    I do agility competitions. I do get a bit anxious before going into the ring but I found the show ring easy by comparison (no a complicated course to remember!). Soemthing obviously happened because Blue was trasnformed from the usual confident pup to a shivering wreck, almost. It was a huge, indoor show at a big exhibition centre with lots of noise and on concrete.

    My questions to you are:
    Could it have been my unconscious anxiety making her nervous (I did not feel nervous at all)?
    Could it have been the venue and should I continue to take her to shows in similar venues and risk making it worse?

    I guess I know the answers deep down but if anyone has any experiences they could share I'd love to hear them, good or bad.
    Nicola, Milly, Coco and Blue!<br />&quot;No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich&quot; - Louis Sabin<br />

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  3. #2
    CaliforniaLabLover's Avatar
    CaliforniaLabLover is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Timidity in the ring

    Heck, I'm most confident at home, too!

    I think you should probably take her to smaller, outdoor shows/matches first and then work your way up to possibly showing indoors (definitely practice first- ask large, noisey stores around you- if you have one and if they allow dogs in this type of setting- if you can come with your dog and work inside, then ask people to bend over to pet her, kindof like a judge would do). I've heard person after person say that they'll never take their puppies to the large indoor shows simply because of the overwhelming nature of it all- the echoes, the lighting, the slippery flooring, the lack of padding on their growing joints, and just simply "the noise" in general.

    I find that when I show, if I'm nervous, that also is transmitted right down the lead, and my dogs (whether obedience or conformation) get stressed out as well- often ending up much more fidgity, serious, or downright "on-edge" where anything startles them. :-\

    7 months is still a baby...try not to expect too much of her at this age, make things as fun, comforting (lots of sweet-talking and comforting pats), and pleasant as possible now so that it continues to be fun in the ring when she's older- remember, very few labs finish championships as puppies (ie- you will want her to have the time of her life now so that she continues to have a ball as an adult when she'll be most likely to take home points)...give her time and don't worry about winning/losing at this point, just *make it fun* for her! I hope you stuck around for a while to get her used to the noises without being in the ring?

    ~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~

    "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon

  4. #3
    FrenchMaddie is offline Member
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    DefaultRe: Timidity in the ring

    Hi, thanks so much for your reply. ;D

    Yes we did hang around! In France you have no choice - you have to arrive by a certain time and stay until 17.30 for most shows. It's the same with agility shows too. Also I made a point of going walkies around the show during the time after our class and rather then leave her in her cage or bench we sat by it and as the public came around it gave her a chance to meet and greet new people and to be petted by them. The other puppies seemed so confident in comparison but then I was the only amateur showing the rest were pro breeders/handlers.

    The puppy classes we have entered (up to 9 months) do not confer placings or results, they are just a chance for the pup to get used to being at a show and for a judge to look at them to give you an idea of how they are progressing (that's another story !!). Sadly the majority of shows are indoors - there are very few local, small outdoors shows. Typical French!!

    I think it will be okay if we just contiinue to go to the shows: to get the feel of them, try out in the ring etc. There is no pressure, we are both learning and at present we can only enter puppy classes. The first one had 8 entries (but the ring was TINY so it seemd much more) and the second (next weekend at Montpellier) has 3 entries so I am hoping we won't feel quite so squashed in!!!!
    Nicola, Milly, Coco and Blue!<br />&quot;No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich&quot; - Louis Sabin<br />

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  6. #4
    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Timidity in the ring

    I remember the first time I took Maddy into an indoor facility for an obedience trial. OMG She started shaking and getting bad dandruff from the instant we opened the door. She did horribly too. I don't know if it was because it was her first time or because it was loud and crowded. We now live in an area where MOST shows are inside and training classes are inside, she has gotten over her fear.

    It was your first show. You will have lots of time to get practice and experience in different places. Don't be so hard on yourself. She'll learn!

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