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Old 03-21-2014, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to get started??

I have a wonderful 8 week old pup....she is from ASL. I had planned on doing rally and agility and still plan on that but was wondering if I could give conformation a try also. I am just wondering how the heck to get started? I have dabbled in showing before with a Clumber pup but he did not pan out as he matured so he became a pet only dog.

I have young kids so not sure if traveling is really in the cards. I really want to just get the experience.

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Old 03-21-2014, 03:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There are several dog clubs in Oklahoma. Many clubs have conformation classes where you can train yourself and the dog to show. If you just want to dabble, the in-state clubs would suffice. If you want a championship, you will probably have to travel. Have you talked to your breeder about it?
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nichole, you should come to the ARC on a Tuesday night when we do our drop-in conformation classes. There is always someone available to help you learn how to stack and gait, and get your puppy used to being in the ring. It's a very helpful group. Tonight we had about 7 or 8 GSDs, a couple of shelties and one long haired miniature dachshund puppy. Last week it was one of my GSDs, several LH mini dachshunds, a corgi, a toy fox terrier, and several toy poodles. Our club president is an AKC judge, and we have a dachshund person that trains with us that is also an AKC judge. It's nice to have them go over our dogs for us.

Everyone is getting ready for the show in Claremore this weekend. There is a show in Grove the following week. We won't have anything closer than that until the end of May, which is the Tulsa show, and then the big OKC shows the end of June. There will be GSD specialties at Tulsa and OKC.

On a side note, my Russell's litter sister got some sort of Level 1 tracking certification today. She is 13 months old. Her owner trains with a bunch of police officers. He brought her up to the ARC tonight to see everyone. She's soooo cute!
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Start going to classes where they offer conformation. They will teach you how to handle and how to stack your dog, the ring procedure, etc. Go to shows and watch the handlers. Go to a GSD club, or a training school with GSD experience, for classes because showing a GSD is different than showing other breeds- the stack is different, the dog gaits in front (rather than beside or behind the handler) and we have a temperament test (that other breeds do not have). After several classes you will see if you like it. Most important is to make sure your dog likes it, especially if it's a pup!!! You need a happy, look-at-me dog to win (along with good conformation and movement) if you plan to be successful. And wear good shoes :-) I'd also recommend you have someone look at him that's in the breed to evaluate to see if your pup is show quality- save yourself time and money that could be invested into activities where you can be successful (like agility I think you mentioned). Showing is a lot of fun! Having a mentor is something to look for too, so if your breeder is willing look to develop that relationship. Good luck! & Have fun.
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