TRAINING ENCOMPASSES BOTH YOU AS THE HANDLER AND, BY EXTENSION, YOUR DOG IN THE CHOREOGRAPHY OF RING PRESENTATION. THAT COMPOSITION INCLUDES LEARNING HOW TO PRESENT YOUR DOG’S DENTITION TO THE JUDGE, AND HOW TO WALK OR RUN IN A WAY THAT ENHANCES YOUR DOG’S BREED-SPECIFIC GAIT, PRACTICING HOW TO STAND FOR EXAM, AND HOW TO STAND OUT!
When exhibitors with under-trained, under-socialized dogs are not stepping in as leaders for their dogs, they become allocated to the role of followers. They have allowed their dogs to make the decisions. The dogs are in control. SHOW UP PREPARED TO EXECUTE AS PLANNED Picture in your mind how you want your dog to behave, not what you fear might happen. Here is a common scenario that I have observed: The handler is concerned because he knows his dog doesn’t stand well for exam. In a vicious cycle, the dog becomes more anxious as he is picking up on the handler’s unease. I ask you, do you bring out the best (or the worst) in your dog? What energy are you transmitting to your dog? Are you confident or anxious? If you are in the sport of dog shows for the long game, consider what you have to do to get your dog into a position to win. As leaders, we must implement a mindset that facilitates preparation and a long-term plan. Before you go to your next show, create an action plan and retrain your dog. Do the preparation that will allow you to step into the ring with full confidence. Show up prepared to execute as planned. Be a leader for your dog so that he can rely on you to make the next ring experience a good one; actually, let me restate—a brilliant one!
If you’re having a problem with showing an anxious dog: 1. Keep the collar/lead in your hand. 2. Take control of the
head—the head controls the dog. 3. Put the bait away.
ABOUT LEE WHITTIER
Ms. Lee Whittier has been involved in the sport of purebred dogs for over three decades. Her involvement began as an owner, exhibitor and, subsequently, a breeder of Rottweilers. She has owned Akitas, Bullmastiffs, and a Sussex Spaniel. She currently owns, breeds, and exhibits Tibetan Terriers. Ms. Whittier began judging in 2000, and then took a hiatus for several years to work for the American Kennel Club as an Executive Field Representative in the Pacific Northwest. She returned to judging in 2011, and currently judges the Working, Terrier, Toy, and Non-Sporting Groups, eleven Hound Breeds, six Sporting Breeds, Bouvier des Flandres, and Best in Show. Ms. Whittier has judged dog shows around the world, from the United States to Asia, at shows large and small; all of great importance to each and every exhibitor. Some of the larger shows are Westminster Kennel Club, Kennel Club of Philadelphia, Del Valle, Great Western Terrier Association, Northern California Terrier Association, Hatboro, Malibu Kennel Club, and the Kennel Club of Palm Springs. Ms. Lee Whittier is a standing member of Dog Fanciers of Oregon, the American Rottweiler Club, and the Tibetan Terrier Club of America. She is Show Chair for Vancouver Kennel Club and the Terrier Association of Oregon’s January show with Rose City Classic. As an active member in numerous clubs, she has worked in the capacity of Show Chair, President, Vice-President, Secretary, Board Member, and Constitution & By-Laws Revision Committee Member.
In addition to judging, Ms. Whittier developed the Dog Show Mentor program, exclusively for owner handlers. This is an online program where owner handlers of all stages and levels learn to develop an individual, strategic approach to showing dogs. She also travels to speak to owner handlers all over the world. She currently lives in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband, Wayne, and their three Tibetan Terriers. Her other interests include gardening and hiking with the dogs.
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