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ristakrat 12-04-2013 11:19 AM

Advice on showing a puppy?
I have fun loving and proud working line pup just under 6 months old. I'm entertaining the idea of showing her in local all breed shows but I have some concerns. My first concern is that whenever she meets new people she is boiling over with excitement and jumps and urinates. Pee usually gets on the person she is meeting and is thrown about by her enthusiastic tail. Before she meets people I'll have her sit and stay but I think this just builds up the anticipation and makes it worse.
My second concern is that she is the same way with new dogs too except she likes to bark at them first. We are currently in a group advanced obedience class and now she only barks if barked at first. Yay, small victory.
She is a little out of control. It frustrates me and I'm still trying to find the best way to conquer such behavior.
Is this normal puppy behavior?
Should I be alarmed?
What shenanigans or other puppy behaviors are tolerated in the ring if any?

Xeph 12-05-2013 11:15 AM

You shouldn't be alarmed, but I would not show your puppy until you get the urination thing under control, which will likely mean not showing her until she's older, and teaching her how to better control herself.

Did you plan on showing her in UKC?

dogfaeries 12-05-2013 11:22 AM

I'm with Jackie on this. Wait until you can get calm behavior in the ring. Judges will tolerate a certain amount of puppy silliness, but not an out of control puppy. Are there any conformation classes around where you can take her? That is the route I would suggest you take if you want to show.

ristakrat 12-07-2013 05:24 PM

My pup has been doing great the past few days. We had some pretty big challenges this week and she really impressed me by ignoring people and other dogs and everyone she was allowed to meet stayed dry :) woohoo! Maybe we have reached a turning point.
There are some local club handling classes that I'll be sure to attend.
I don't have a preference for any specific kennel club other than location.
I actually went to an all breed AKC show today to see what it was all about. I noticed that my GSD doesn't look like the other GSDs in the show. I'm worried that might be a problem. I'm sure it would still be fun :)

Xeph 12-08-2013 11:55 PM

I would show your puppy in UKC. She is just not going to do anything in AKC. She doesn't have the same kind of structure, as she is working lines, not American show lines.

Xeph 12-08-2013 11:56 PM

And I don't mean to be discouraging. AKC is just SO expensive, and to have no pay out from it...not worth it.

It would be one thing if a ton of working lines were entering together, but with only one? You're looking at $64 for one show weekend, just in entry fees.

qbchottu 12-08-2013 11:59 PM

Try a SV or UKC show - agree with others - I wouldn't bother showing a working line in AKC

marbury 12-09-2013 10:07 AM

Start slowly shaping her behavior. Encourage her to stand for petting without jumping up. Ask strangers who pet her if they'd be willing to help do some training with her; you'd be surprised at how many people are 'honored' to help train your dog! Ask them to 'go over' your dog as a judge might. Don't discipline your pup if she gets wiggly or bouncy but have her settle before the exam continues. You want to build a habit of standing politely for exam. Most passerby on the street don't pet the hind end of an unknown dog or go over their legs, tail, or underbelly. That's the part that can spook dogs new to judging. If you get a jump on it now and just make it totally normal for her to get pretty personal with her casual petters you'll have an easier time in the ring.
Get her used to gaiting at an optimal speed. Get YOU used to gaiting her at an optimal speed! And when you hop in a ring for the first time, forget about the judge. If you don't have the benefit of local ringcraft or handling classes consider your first entry a paid learning fee. Just concentrate on making it fun and engaging for your pup and the rest will follow with time and repetition. HAVE FUN!

martemchik 12-09-2013 10:43 AM

If you are going to do AKC, you're just going to be donating money to the club hosting the show. I've heard of people showing their working dogs in AKC that were the only GSD there and they were still handed a 2nd place ribbon to make sure they didn't go into the group. You'll get really discouraged in AKC, its just not worth it.

Freestep 12-09-2013 11:16 AM

I would wait until your pup is a little more mentally mature before showing. Some training clubs have a class for conformation showing, which is worth your while if you're planning on going into the ring.

I'm going to disagree with some of the others who say it isn't worth it to show in AKC. You will not win, of course, because working line dogs will always be beaten by show line dogs. But I love to see working dogs, of any breed, in the show ring. People complain about the extremes of the show dogs, but unless we show our working dogs, judges never really get to see what a "real" GSD looks like. If all they have to choose from are extreme show dogs, that's what they will reward, and it won't change unless we give them something else to choose from.

But this is a long-term goal, not about winning, but about getting your dog out there and being seen. If everyone with correct working dogs gets their dogs seen in the conformation ring, eventually things might change, and more moderate "working" structure will stand a fighting chance. So I do think it's worth it, if you can afford to do it. You just have to go in there with a good attitude, be gracious, and not expect to win.

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