We're going to have a little intro class with our kennel club here. Just on stacking, and doing the trotting out. LOL, I think I waited waaayyyy too long to train for this. @Rits now that I've spent so much time on getting a focused heel, trotting around looking forward is going to be a challenge. Suggestions? And then watching this video and getting reminded of all the hands-on, feely-mealy all over the body... oh boy.
There's nobody in our kennel club that actually wants to show conformation, but we all thought it would be great to know how to stack, stand, show teeth, be touched by other people and trot out smartly. And I agree, it'll be great for the dogs & handlers to learn to do this and we were told to print out standards for our breed and see what we should look like in the ring. More fun to the plate!
Before moving out, bait her head and neck up (let her nibble on the bait to help pull it up) and then with a flick hand motion, flick your hand away from the mouth and forward as if you threw the bait. They usually follow your hand motion and sort of look around for where the bait may have landed. At home you can do this and put a command to it (maybe look or watch) and actually toss the bait and when she looks forward, mark yes and tell her to get it! and release her to the bait. To build more focus and drive on the bait, I like to race them to it. Makes it a fun game. Then you can do the hand motion in the future and randomly release her to the bait as you build duration for looking forward.
This focus on the bait game works for stacking too by setting a piece ahead of them on the floor while you touch them, releasing them for looking forward and standing still while touched. They start to get a very nice forward presence as they lean into their chest, waiting for the "get it!" And if you pick the bait up right before moving out, giving them a little nibble, they get super excited knowing if they work for it they'll get it. Once they are trained to this game you don't always have to have bait on the floor or in your hand. They naturally begin holding themselves that way just like the obedience dog in the ring performs without any treats because they know they will be eventually paid, the conformation dog does the same.
Its never too late to train something new! And, as you're starting to discover and thinking about some of her weak areas that will be a challenge during this training, this will be very good for her and will translate into other areas of obedience. Other people and other dogs are almost always going to be around. Conformation takes much more work from both the dog and the handler than people give it credit for! I hope y'all have fun as you learn new things and tackle your challenges! Who knows, maybe you and Asha will be showing at a UDC show one day
That's so very true! Most of the training sessions we've had for the last 6 - 8 weeks with our trainer have been focused on conformation and the next few will be too. Next time we are going to try to get together with the dreaded standard Poodle (don't ask me why she's scared of them LOL) to do conformation training together.
OMG, when I took Conf classes with Hawk (even though we'd already been to a few shows) we had a lot of fun but it was a bit crazy at the same time. After the 3rd wk, the instructor had us all trade dogs. That was quite interesting.
Derek was handed one of our breeder's dogs who is greener than Ripley when it comes to showing but a little older. He came back and said he's spoiled by Ripley's training It was her first outside show too so she of course was wanting to sniff the grass and thought it was play time.