Showing a dog can be a rewarding experience for both owner and pet alike. You’ll get the most out of the experience by undergoing the right preparation.
It’s important, first, to consider what type of competition is suitable for your animal. A show that involves physically taxing trials won’t work for every dog – or owner. In addition to reading about the types of competitions licensed by the Irish Kennel club, it’s a good idea to go along to a show yourself to see first-hand what the experience is like. Click here to see what shows are running in the near future.
After you’ve settled on a show that you think would be enjoyable for both yourself and your dog, you’ll need to do plenty of work ahead of the day. Training will be important, particularly if you’ve only trained your pet as a companion. Click here to find a list of clubs and societies who can offer advice on appropriate training for your dog, or here to see a list of training events. Entering a show, when you’re ready, is straightforward. Simply fill in the relevant entry form or make contact with the person listed in the event calendar. Closer to the day, you may also need to call in professional groomers. Again, an appropriate club or society for your breed should be able to offer advice on this. In any case, an extra effort on your animal’s appearance is obviously a sound investment.
On the day itself, make sure you’re organised and have all the relevant paperwork for your animal. Arrive well in time and, as much as possible, be relaxed: your dog will respond will if he or she knows that you’re feeling in control of the situation and not stressed out. See what you can pick up from the top performers, and make sure to have fun!