I'm back from a 2-week computer break down, and I have a story to tell about our last show. For those novices who are afraid to make a scene in the ring, don't worry. The exhibition I put on with one of my 6-9 month puppies has you beat.....regardless of how hard you try to flub. I took this pup bitch in on Saturday at the Farm and Ranch show in Houston. I knew she didn't like the show ring, but she had been doing better so I thought I'd give it a try. Well, I felt like I had a big catfish on a rope in there. She bucked, whirled, lunged, twisted, cartwheeled, etc. Never once gaited for the go rounds OR the down and back. On the stand for exam, she hung her head and twisted her legs....absolutely refused to free stack or hand stack. When we finished the last go round I was just glad it was almost over. Everyone at ringside (and the competitors behind me in the ring) were about to wet themselves they were laughing so hard. And then.....that heartless judge (LOL) pointed to us and gave the catfish first in the class. Yep! Had to go in and do it all over again......and she did. :P This is the sweetest, most laid back pup to live with. She IS lead broke. However, she freaks in the ring. I've let her play outside the ring. She's happy until we walk in. She DID gait for me on Sunday, although she was obviously unhappy (won her class again). ??? Anybody have any suggestions other than continue to expose her to the situation? Unfortunately I'm in an area where very few folks show in conformation, so it's difficult to find enough people to simulate a show ring situation. I'm open to suggestions on this one.
Do you have ring gating so you can set up at home? If you do, set up a ring. Take couple of your other dogs and place them in sit/stay or stand/stay in the ring. Now get a toy (I'd use a fleece braid tug toy) and play with her as you move around the ring or free bait. Take it with you when you go to shows and use it in the ring. Make her forget about where she is and concentrate of how much fun she's having with you and her toy.
Eiderdowns That's My Buddy
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