How to train for the (USA) ring - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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How to train for the (USA) ring

There is a USA show in December I am hoping to have Flash in. He is just over 2 and has had zero ring training unless it counts when we go on our (exercise) runs and I gait him because I like to watch his movement. Lately I have been putting "hup" to it when we do this. We have not started the stand out of motion so I can't use it to my advantage as has been suggested to me. I don't know of any ring classes around us.

Today we began the adventure that is teaching him to stack. I think it was painfully obvious that first I must teach him to simply stand and not sit or down or bark or any other thing he knows to do in an attempt to figure out how to get the goods (food). Sound about right?

What would be the next step after he realizes standing is what I want? Holding front feet in position? Then move on to the back feet? All the while practicing nut and teeth checking when I have volunteers for it? This is what seems logical to me but it is no secret I have next to zero ring experience. I've been to one show ever and I was the double handler for a dog I had never met before then...that is the extent of my ring knowledge.

The German Shepherd's faults are faults of education not nature, for if someone worked with him he would be blissfully happy and most obedient of all dogs. - Max von Stephanitz
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 10:35 PM
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Re: How to train for the (USA) ring

Do you have any clubs near you.

When I tried (twice) to show Raya, I hired a handler and I worked with the handler a few different days 1 week and 2 weeks leading up to the shows so I understood the doubling thing, ie when to call, when to not be seen, when to been see but don't say anthing or move that would encourage the dog to come to you the owner.

Val


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to train for the (USA) ring

Clubs with truly ring savvy members that regularly show up to train?

Closest person I know of is at least a couple hours away and sorry I would rather save that amount of time and money for schh. Time is especially valuable to me and it's already going to be difficult to add ring training into our normal training schedule. Proper form for function is absolutely important to me but the ring is not where he will spend his career. Just being honest. At the same time I don't want to show up with a dog that has not had an ounce of preparation. I can and will "show" him at schh club so he's used to running and stacking with other dogs but my dummy dogs at club will be just that, dummy dogs that don't know what the ring is.


The German Shepherd's faults are faults of education not nature, for if someone worked with him he would be blissfully happy and most obedient of all dogs. - Max von Stephanitz
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to train for the (USA) ring

One other thing, not exactly looking for a V rating here. Probably SG and I would be perfectly happy with that rating.

The German Shepherd's faults are faults of education not nature, for if someone worked with him he would be blissfully happy and most obedient of all dogs. - Max von Stephanitz
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 12:27 AM
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Re: How to train for the (USA) ring

Honestly, the ring training I have done for the WDA/USA rings hasn't really helped. Didn't hurt any, but the show atmosphere is totally different than what you can create. My training with Nikon has helped us leaps and bounds in the UKC ring, but that's because the judges want to see patterns, I have to stack and handle my own dog, things move much more quickly, etc.

I think the main things would be making sure he's OK showing the bite (usually the dog sits with the handler straddling him and opening the mouth...the owner can step in if the dog is unruly), having tattoo and testicles checked.

If you can't get with your handler to do some good ring training beforehand, I would get him in the ring before the show, or before his class and give it a lap or two. You'll need to know how to double the dog. This is more important than anything you can practice at home, and is something that is mostly developed in the ring, during a show (I've practiced doubling, even with my regular handler, at our club and various places but it still is just not the same as doing it at a show). Some people run right alongside their dog the entire time. Nikon goes absolutely nutso so I have a very very easy time - I simply hide in the corner blind and if he starts to look bored or his ears relax too much, I say his name once. If he sees me, he starts digging and clawing into the ground and that is NOT pretty! It's not frowned upon to quick pop in the ring and do a practice lap as long as you're not holding anything up.

Several good people have told me that if you're not sure what to do, or you don't have your handler to work with, it's not really worth practicing because at best, it won't help you any.

Stacking is really different in the WDA/USA rings than what you would see people practicing for UKC/AKC. Because you will double handle, the dog will naturally be "up" and alert, pushing forward. Nikon posts a lot when I stack him, but doesn't really have this problem during shows because there is so much going on he leans forward better, isn't slouching and posting.

A good handler should be able to stack any dog, regardless of their type or experience. There are ways to hold the collar, the dog's "handle" on their neck/jaw, etc that the handler will know.

A good handler will also direct your double handling and be clear on where you need to be, when to call the dog, etc.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 12:35 AM
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Re: How to train for the (USA) ring

Oh also, your dog will probably be measured so I would do that beforehand (some dogs just hate that thing!) and will be tested for gun fire at his age.

My dog had a real problem holding his head up when gaiting (along with the clawing at the ground!) so I would walk him about two blocks from our house, put a ball or rag in his mouth, and then jog/gait him home. Carrying the toy gets the dog's head up. I controlled the speed and praised for the correct gait.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-08-2009, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to train for the (USA) ring

That's our problem, I'm going to have to handle. I don't know anyone that handles and call me crazy but I'm not showing up and handing my dog over to someone I've never met, relying on someone elses word that this person is good. I've met too many supposedly good people in schh that I don't want my dog anywhere near and I can't imagine the ring is any different.

If I know my dog I will not need a second handler because he'll be "up" from all the stimulation. I know it will be an environment like one he's never been in before.

I guess the bright side of not knowing anyone in our area to handle is that I've been told most dogs there will have had minimal ring training and it will be a bit circus like. So we won't be the only ones out there looking like idiots.

The German Shepherd's faults are faults of education not nature, for if someone worked with him he would be blissfully happy and most obedient of all dogs. - Max von Stephanitz
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 10:33 AM
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Re: How to train for the (USA) ring

If that's the case I would focus more on correct gaiting than the stacking. If he is in the working class they generally want to see different types of gaiting: slower laps, a fast lap on lead (the dog should really be pulling forward and driving from the rear), several normal laps, the off lead lap (which you would have to do anyway). Whether or not ring training effects placements and ratings often depends on the judge and how the other dogs are performing, but even my own dog who is somewhat ring trained (we don't do a lot of ring training but we simply enter shows as training) has been knocked places because of improper double handling (either I was too much, or I was not in the right place at the right time and the dog was looking bored or confused). My experience has been that the stacking is not nearly as important because the judges closely examine and touch the dogs, they can feel the bone structure and you really cannot "correct" faults with a good stack, it's mainly just to have the dog stand still so it can be examined. Pretty much everything that has been said to me about my dog, good or bad, were things that were either directly related to movement or as obvious during the movement as when the dog is stacked.

For stacking, you mainly want the dog used to being held still and placed, not that the dog has to develop muscle memory for the perfect position (they will not expect the dog to free stack as in the AKC/UKC ring), but simply so that you can quickly place the dog because the judge will be looking down the line and may look at your dog for all of 1 second and keep moving if the dog is not being presented. Doesn't have to be a perfect stack (I've seen some nasty stacks from "pro" handlers with top rated dogs), but it's more about you getting the practice setting him up pretty quickly.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 08:59 AM
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Re: How to train for the (USA) ring

Quote:
Originally Posted By: jesusicaClubs with truly ring savvy members that regularly show up to train?
I do - there are others too.

Quote:
Quote: At the same time I don't want to show up with a dog that has not had an ounce of preparation.
Some judges take much offense to that - even judges that are "working line friendly".

Here is an article that I wrote for USA Magazine a while ago - SV Showing 101

http://www.monsterdog.net/svshowing.html

I handle my own dogs in the SV ring. It's not typical, but can be done.

Not all shows offer the "over 24 months untitled" class -

Christine

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 02:59 PM
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Re: How to train for the (USA) ring

Christine that's a really nice article covering all the basics!
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