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Russian Black Terrier | South Russian Ovtcharka

Black Russian Terrier training for a show

The dog show is a beauty contest. But to look good is not enough to be the best. The participants should know very many things that are parts of the knowledge, one can get only if possesses enough strength, patience and time.     

Formerly we didn't attach much importance to teaching a dog to behave well on the ring, after all, the scores didn't depend on this. And nobody was shocked if a judge was bitten. However life goes on and the requirements for the shows quality have changed. Of course, the quality of training fell under that influence too. Since that time the experienced handlers accumulated a lot of know-hows, but nonetheless, every owner is able to get into at least general principles of show-training. And if he will, he'll find his chance.

At the beginning one should concentrate both on techniques and psychology of training. Sometimes a young dog, who is great with all the exercises at home, becomes flustered in unfamiliar environment and is difficult to control. To avoid this, one should first of all prepare his dog's mind to such changes.

The basic thing in show-training is to accustom the puppy to the adult well-mannered dog community. This will contribute to his future development. As the puppy grows, try to change your usual rout when walking outside as often as possible. From time to time visit crowded places (don't forget to leash you pup). Of course, these changes should be introduced little by little, without disrupting the animal's routine.

The next moment, which is also very important, is a skill of preparing a dog for the ring. When the pup is two months old, it is time to teach him to stand correctly, i.e. make a showing stance at the command. Put the cub every day on a smooth surface (if you have a small breed puppy, put him on a table) and watch his fore legs standing straight and parallel, and the hind legs standing a little apart. The pup must stand even, doesn't hunch up, with the head proudly set. Of course, you can't get this picture right away. But remember that a little puppy gets tired very quickly and forced trainings may very simply kill the puppy's desire to take part in shows in the future. So don't try to put him in the stance for longer than one or two seconds. Be persistent and patient. Never try to scold or spank the cub if he doesn't come in. And never forget to praise him, giving a dainty for each correctly done exercise.

After your pet comprehended what you want him to do and learnt his first lesson, gradually make your lessons longer. It is necessary to develop his self-control while the puppy is in stance. By about nine months he should know how to stand moveless for a minute. For proper stance training you should study both indoors and outdoors, where there are so many irritants. From time to time ask your friend to play a role of judge: to examine the pup, touch his back, chest, legs, check up his teeth. Remember, when the bite is checked up, only lips are pulled apart and the teeth stay clenched.

By five to six months start training the correct gate. Don't make the puppy run very quickly from the very beginning. At first, it would be enough just to accustom the dog to walk leashed on your left side along a big circle anticlockwise pausing from time to time.

While training the correct gate never use a pinch collar (irrespective to the dog's size). If gets used to metal prongs the dog will ignore an ordinary collar or a choke-chain. The point is that at the show it is flatly prohibited to use a pinch collar. It would be better to use a show collar - a thin chain, leather or a silk cord.

At first his first steps are unsure, but soon he learns not to stumble. If your cub refuses to walk leashed, jibs and lies down, you can present learning as a play. Perhaps, the naughty child will feel pleasure to run beside you if he sees a tidbit in front of his nose and is able to catch it up from time to time. Anyway, remember each dog needs an individual approach.

As the pup learnt the lesson of walking leashed, show him how to trot. To make it easier, teach him the command Trot and enunciate it before you start moving. At first, keep to a slow pace, almost walk. Then gradually speed up till fast, sweeping trot. Do trainings on a smooth earth or asphalt road. Never stop abruptly after a long run - walk with the animal for about five minutes. Don't forget to praise and encourage your four-footed friend during the lesson.

It would be useful to exhibit the dog in the Junior Class as often and possible. The pup gains experience even at a small-scale arrangement, which will help when you take part in the bigger shows.

Try not to be nervous on the ring. You companion catches your emotions and may not be able to show good results. While moving, draw your hand with the leash a little aside (slightly forward or back). In this case you won't step on you dog's foot or tail, or hair. Don't strain the leash too much. Watch that your charge was always half body ahead or behind you.

Arrive to a show beforehand to have enough time to settle and to find out where your ring is and when the examination will start. You'll also be able to put the dog's coat in to order and give him a little break before the competition will start. At the ring hold the dog close but not too tight so as he doesn't approach to other competitors. Don't allow barking. Watch that the judge could clearly see your dog but at the same time don't screen other animals.

Concentrate on your own dog. At the same time keep an eye on the judge. While he examines other participants you both have an opportunity to relax. However be ready to drive your pet in a showing stance at the very moment when the judge glances at you. Never dispute over the judge's estimates otherwise you may be disqualified and dismissed for a certain time.

From the moment when you arrive and till the judge pronounces his decision, never forget why you are here and who should be in the center of your attention. Come to the show beforehand to have enough time for the final preparations of your dog, which is so necessary to exhibit your pet at the ring in the best way. Give him time to limber up and settle his own business. The dog that is brought to the ring right after arrival can hardly make a good impression on judges.

On the arrival get your ring number at the secretariat and attach it to the sleeve tightly. Make sure that you stand at the appointed place corresponding to your Class. Your number doesn't guarantee, as others suppose, that a judge will wait for you to come. The judge's schedule is tight and he has to meet it.

Even if you are nervous you must look confident and calm. You must realize that a dog show is just a hobby you should enjoy. So behave according to this. If so, the dog will show himself/herself better since he/she promptly catches your mood.

Always come on the ring with dignity. Don't bother to make mistakes, because next time you'll do better. Don't be confused to participate together with more experienced owners. After all, some day they were beginners too.

The judging usually starts with the task to lead the dog along the perimeter of the ring. While it goes, the judge watches how each dog moves and estimates their style, topline, gate, head, tail and the whole balance in appearance.

Concentrate on your dog and keep an eye constantly to make him move in the best manner. Watch the distance: don't be close on the heels, neither impede those behind you, and the judge will have more chances to observe your dog properly. Beside this, the judge should have enough space to move himself and to examine the dog from every side. Always lead the dog along the inner side of the circle so as to put him between yourself and the judge and prevent screening otherson the ring.

For individual estimation you must know how to quickly and accurately bring the dog to the judge, because he has only a couple of minutes to examine your animal. You can prepare for this task at home training in front of the mirror and focusing the attention on how your dog looks. Imagine yourself a judge and try to do as fast as possible.

Be very attentive at what the judge asks to do. Lately most judges prefer walking the triangle path. This means the dog must walk on the outer side of the ring to the first corner and further, along the next side to the second corner, and then bias to the judge. Learn to lead the dog so, as not to linger in the corners or do unwanted movements. Judge will rather prefer a dog, who is able to walk along the triangle without breaking his way, since this dog is easier to examine.

The dog's gate is one of crucial points in estimating, and it is reasonable that while preparing to the show you should concentrate on the dog's movements. Ask somebody to lead your dog at different speed. Thus it will become clear, which one is the best to be shown at. As a rule, the most advantageous is the average speed, at which the dog can carry the head straight and the topline is well-pronounced. Don't make the dog gallop on the ring and do not induce him move faster putting out of breed-specific rate. Let him move with his natural speed. Rush never allows exhibiting the dog in the best way. Teach the dog make vigorous and unconstrained movements while running at the breed-specific speed. When approaching to the judge and retreating, the dog must move along the straight line.

When you lead the dog back to the judge, stop one and a half to couple of meters before him and try to put the dog in the stance. When the dog stops, show him a dainty you were using at the lessons or a toy to allow the judge see the dog on alert. Always take away the tidbits that you brought, never through them on the ring, because another dog may find them.

During the rewarding procedure take your dog's award with thanks, despite what you really think. It is done what is done. Disputes with the judge and walkouts are useless and regard as unsporting. Remember that you'll have to deal with this company later on.

If your dog lost, be so kind as to congratulate the winner and don't show your disappointment. If you won, keep your head and don't put it on airs. It may seem strange, but sometimes to win with dignity is more difficult than to lose

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