Gunslinger Mastiffs Presents:
Dog Showing Information and Tips
Training Your Mastiff Puppy for the Show Ring
Training Videos Below!!!
Have Fun!!!! This is the most important rule, always!!! You must make this fun for your mastiff puppy and dog throughout his/her career. Be playful, use your high puppy voice - especially as a pup, and always BIG reward and praise for doing what you ask.
Bake show training into everything that you do. When you give a treat, make your dog stand at attention for it, and give the "Stand" command simultaneously. Give treat and praise when the dog does what you want.
You only need to train for a few minutes each day, and if you do it as part of your normal routine, the dog will assume this is normal. For instance, to give a treat, take him/her outside, and do some movement exercises with him/her, and finish with the "Stand" command, THEN give treat and praise.
Always use a metal choke collar when doing leash training, and when you go for walks. The dog will be cued by the clinking of the collar as it tightens, and will react to that over time before the collar gets too tight. This is the collar that is used for showing, so get him/her use to it now.
If your dog does not like the collar, start by having him/her wear it around the house for short periods of time. IMPORTANT NOTE: NEVER leave your dog unsupervised with a choke collar on. If you cannot supervise, then take it off. NEVER leave it on when you put the dog in the crate, he/she can get it caught and choke to death. If you cannot keep a close eye on your dog with the collar on, either do not put it on, or take it off.
Commands to use and remember (Please do not use different commands. If you hand your dog off to a handler - or anyone else to show, your dog will need to know the correct terminology):
Stand - command to make the dog stand at attention
Teeth - Command to tell the dog to let your/judge's hands in mouth to check bite. Get in the habit of playing with your dog's mouth every day - checking his/her bite, while giving the teeth command
Fix it - command used to fix show stance
Stacking Your Dog Click on links below videos to see some good show pictures of our dogs stacked):
Head up, with mussle horizontal to ground
Leash high-up behind ears to manually show the dog's head - mastiffs are known as a head breed, so it is imperative to show your dog's expression!!!
Front legs straight down - watch that they don't go too far forward - common mistake
legs can be an inch or 2 apeart, to shoulder length, but no wider than shoulder length. Check out the show pictures to see how the pros stack them
Hind legs - back and wider than front - generally a little wider than the width of the body.
As your puppy grows, he/sh will go through spurts where the rear will be higher than the front. If your dog is higher in the rear, you'll want to stack a little longer so the dog's topline in level - a level back.
Feet - all 4 feet should be pointing straight forward. It is acceptable for the back feet to be out at a slight angle, but limit this - no more than 45 degrees.
Finding a show handling class:
Most kennel clubs offer show handling classes, so call around. They may try to get you to join the club - I recommend against this. If you join the club, you probably will not be able to show your dog at the dog shows that they pu on. These shows will generally be close to you, so these are the easy ones to go to!!!
Dog Kennels/Local Vet Clinics: If you cannot find akennel club near you, break out the phone book and start calling boarding kennels and vet clinics. You should be able to find one in the phone book.
AKC Website: Go to the "Events" section, and go down to the bottom right and find the link called "Handler Directory," and try to find a handler near you. Handlers often also offer show handling classes, or should be able to recommend one to you.
Professional Handler's Association: Contains most of the handlers you'll find on the AKC website, but there may be some differnet ones. Follow same directions as for "AKC Website."
Puppy Matches (Great practice and socialization for your puppy!!!) - There may be several puppy matches in your area prior to your dog being old enough to start dog shows (6 months of age). Start checking the AKC Website by going to the Events Ection, then searching on Conformation events in your area. Click on the links to the show premiums in your area, and look to see if they have a puppy match after the show.
Infodog.com - go to this site and check their schedule/calendar for puppy matches in your area. You will also want to join Infodog.com, because you can register for dog shows from this site.
Dog Shows in Your Area - Once you have reached 2 weeks after your puppy's 2nd vaccination, take him/her to as many local dog shows as you can. You can find shows in your area at the AKC website, in the events section - search on Conformation by state.
Registering for Dog Shows - Join Infodog.com, and register online!!! Also find out who the other major show superintendents are in your area, and register through their sites where they are the superintendent. Infodog.com is the online show service for MBF; so where MBF is the superintendent, register at Infodog.com.
Show registration deadlines are always 2 & 1/2 weeks prior to the show weekend. She deadlines are almost always Wednesdays at noon - 2 & 1/2 weeks prior to the show - check the premium, and DO NOT be late - they will not enter you if late.
If you use Infodog.com to register for a show run by a different superintendent, you will need to register at least 2 days before the deadline so the information can be forwarded to the correct superintendent. I always register directly with the superintendent to avoind isues.
Mastiff Puppy Training Videos
Click on the below links to get an idea of the position your puppy/dog should be in for a good show stack:
Wyatt Show Picture Page
Lucie Show Picture Page
Abbey Show Picture Page
Good luck, and remember HAVE FUN!!!
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Gunslinger Mastiffs Site Map & Index
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Amazing similar and look-alike pictures of our dogs through the years
Annie in October 2004: Do you feel sorry for me??? Can I have your credit card to go shopping??? Us gals learn young:):)
Janie September 23, 2006: Yes, I know, Pathetic!!!
Lucie September 24, 2006: Poor Lucie....
Blizzard of 2006
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Gunslinger Mastiffs - Blizzard of 2006!!!