Never did this before. HELP? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Never did this before. HELP?

So my puppy will be turning 6 months july 18th and i want to start getting him ready for showing. What do i need to do in order to get him in shows? Is there any tests he needs to pass? How much does it cost? And he is 5 months now and weighs 69lbs. and is 20in. tall, would there be a issue trying to get him in? His parents were BIG dogs but they werent in show, Just agility. Please help and tell me info i need to know about shows

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 10:49 AM
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He needs to be happy and comfortable in a show setting, both in the ring in very close proximity to other dogs, but also the atmosphere in general can be very loud and chaotic. A lot of show people start bringing puppies to shows right away and letting them get used to being crated in that atmosphere.

He needs to be OK with strangers feeling him all over, examining his bite, checking his testicles. He should know to stand still and not show fear or aggression. My biggest challenge with these exams is that my puppies liked people so they wanted to be wiggly and kiss the judge rather than hold still.

He needs to hold still and be comfortable being placed in a stack (or trained to walk into a stack) and hold that position. If you are handling him, you need to know how to stack him properly to show off his positive attributes.

You should understand the various "patterns" that a judge might ask you to perform and also have good ring etiquette. If you are first in line you never start until you ask the next person if they are ready to move. Always congratulate everyone, etc.

Beyond that, it depends what venue you are showing in. For example, UKC rings are generally very small which often changes how I can present my dogs. Some judges do not allow bait. There is NO professional handling allowed. In AKC you can use handlers and I think you can always use bait. In USA/WDA/SV the rings are MUCH larger, you will need a handler so that you can double handle, and you cannot use bait. Each venue also has it's own preferences/requirements as far as the dog's equipment and the handler's attire. For UKC I dress plain so as not to distract from my dog. I wear athletic shoes. I use a thin black lead 4-6' (again, small rings, ugh!) and a gold chain collar or thin black rolled leather martingale with a gold chain. For USA/WDA/SV shows I use a 27" gold Fursaver and my handlers use their own leashes (I bring an 8-10' 5/8" leather line just in case). Those handlers wear athletic/track suits.

What lines is your dog and what types of shows are you entering? Do you have photos of your dog? My puppy is 10 months and 60lbs.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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He is a American line shepherd and I wanted to enter him in the AKC show. I dont know too much about shows thats why i want to start learning now and teaching my pup what he needs to know. He is super friendly and i am worried that he will want to play rather then be "PROFESSIONAL" i dont know how to teach him not to react to a dog as he LOVES playing with them. Is there a standard weight and height for GSDs in the show?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 10:58 AM
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Either get him into a conformation class or join your local GSD club. They will teach you how to handle your dog and all about what it takes to show.

Elaine and the herd
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 11:36 AM
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I have two places locally to me for conformation classes. I have gone to the one, twice now. Great socialization for my puppies. The people running it are experienced breeders, handlers, exhibitors. Lots of craziness going on with lots of puppies and dogs. Find your local kennel club (doesnt have to be GSD related) and they will be able to get you started. AKC's website is a great place to start. They have lots of info there.

Dawn Brogan

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 03:01 PM
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This may give you the info you are looking for.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 03:19 PM
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Did you buy him with conformation competition in mind? If so, then the breeder is a good place to start. Also, there are show handling classes around, check the AKC website for possibilities.
If you didn't buy him specifically to show, you may want to consider getting him critiqued before you spend a bunch of time and money on showing a dog who has no chance in the ring. AKC conformation can be pretty ruthless and not for the faint of heart and since the GSD is a very popular breed there is a bunch of competition out there.
A fun match is a good place to get some hands on experience without the expense or pressure of a pointed show. Also check the AKC site for info on that in your area.

You asked if there were "standard" sizes, etc. Yes, there are, it's called "The Standard" oddly enough . You need to read it and get a feel for what the "perfect" dog should be and understand how your dog passes and fails on the different aspects of the breed. This is where a critique from someone knowledgeable will come in handy. This is not an undertaking for someone who thinks their dog is perfect and will get upset if someone honestly tells you the good and bad points of your dog. A very good handler knows the standard inside and out and knows the best and worst features of a dog they are showing.


Last edited by bocron; 07-01-2011 at 03:23 PM.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 11:24 AM
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No one expects a six month old puppy to be "professional". I have shown in AKC competition (non-GSD) for seventeen years and have had puppies wiggle and kiss the judge, roll over, jump up, etc. The big thing with puppies is to make sure that you are not so nervous that you, the owner/handler, make it an unpleasant experience for the puppy. Have fun and take it easy so that you both enjoy the experience.

Everyone else has given you good advice as well. Contact your puppy's breeder, take conformation handling classes and go to shows as a spectator first. Showing can get expensive very quickly and the AKC rings can be a very cut-throat environment. They can also be a wonderful place to learn about many things "dog".


Sabra - female GSD - born April 30, 2012
Sargeant - rescued senior GSD male/foster failure - approximately ten years old (August 2013)
Max - rescued GSD - Dec 22, 2010 to March 7, 2012 - at the bridge
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