If you’re interested in raising a show dog, your work begins before the puppy is born. The only dogs who can participate are those with the right pedigree. So, your very first step is to find a reputable breeder. Naturally, you should get recommendations from your vet or a local kennel club. You may find cheap breeders in the local newspaper, but then you have to face a lot of risks.
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Choose a Show Breed
Some dogs are well-suited to be a family pet, and other dogs are great at working with police officers. Some dogs are great companions to run with, and others prefer to spend their days sleeping. As you consider the available breeds, think about trainability, grooming requirements, coat appearance, and common health conditions. Check with the American Kennel Club to learn more about each breed. You can also go to a dog or trade show and find out which dogs tend to do well.
Choose a Puppy
Don’t just pick up the first puppy that approaches you. A pushy puppy may not be the easiest to train. Instead, pay attention to all of the puppies in the litter and then narrow down your options. All of the puppies should be friendly and trusting. They should be excited to explore you and roam around a bit. If tails are tucked under or if the puppy shies away from you, it’s best to move on to another breeder.
After watching the puppies in a group, pull one aside to play with it individually. Look for signs of intelligence and friendliness. Watch out for distractibility and stubbornness. Any dog can be trained if the owner spends the time and effort to do so but choosing a puppy with positive tendencies can simplify your job.
Keep Track of Your Paperwork
Remember that some shows won’t allow dogs to participate without the right breeding. This generally means you need to have the right papers in hand. The proper certificates and registration go through the American Kennel Club, the Professional Kennel Club, and the United Kennel Club. Both parents should be included in the paperwork, and both parents must have their own paper trail. A pink papered german shepherd, for example, has two parents with a Körordnung classification (a breed survey for show dogs.)
Sign Up for Training Classes
Your new show dog will begin training right away, and you should enroll in some training classes for yourself. Both of you will need to learn the ins and outs of dog shows. As you learn together, you’ll find that you develop a close bond as well as performing well in shows.