Dog Shows

Small Is Perfect For Dog Show Beginners

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The toy/small dog breeds require small travel crates as compared to larger dogs. You can easily fit the smaller travel crates in small vehicles, and even take two or three small dogs at a time to the dog shows. At the dog show each dog is assigned a behind the scenes spot for last minute grooming and other tasks before entering the arena. A smaller/toy breed dog is going to be much easier to get prepared when space is at a premium. This space might be included in your registration expenses, but if not you will save money because the small breed dogs do not need as much of the premium space and the costs are going be less for this space also.

Small dogs entered in dog shows must have a handler. This can be you or a professional dog handler who will show the dog. This involves a fair amount of physical fitness as the dog has to trot around the arena many times during the course of a dog show. Due to the smaller size of these dogs, even those who are not in top physical condition find it easier to keep up with the speed of smaller dogs during the run/trot phase of the event.

These are but a few of the reasons why small dogs are perfect show dogs for people wanting to jump into the exciting sport of showing dogs.

Have you shown a dog in a competition? Please offer tips and advice to our readers.

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    Having shown both Shibas (roughly 20-23 lbs) and Elkhounds (roughly 50-55 lbs), I don’t know that smaller is cheaper (except for the crate itself)… In 15+ years, I’ve never had to pay for a grooming spot, but it IS easier to fit your equipment into a tight corner with a smaller dog, and also easier to fit into a car as well as easier to carry into a show. I’ve found the entry fees to be the same, the training class prices to be the same, it’s pretty much the same across the board.

    The MAIN benefits of showing a smaller dog – at least that I’ve found – is the fact that most smaller breeds are shown indoors, while the larger breeds are shown outdoors. Doesn’t matter if it just rained and the ground is mud, or if it might start raining at any minute – the Elkhounds and larger breeds are almost always outdoors. 8:00 a.m., the temperature is still in the 40’s? Get used to it… And, since you want to groom near your ring (so you can keep on top of the progress, be able to tell when your ring time is approaching), then you are also grooming your dog in those same conditions…

    However, the smaller breeds are almost always shown indoors. Warmer, dry, your clothes stay cleaner – there’s no comparison. Also, in the scorching heat of summer, many indoor venues have air conditioning; the larger breeds are still outdoors, fighting for whatever shade they can find to keep their dogs cool.

    The other benefit that I’ve noticed between the breeds is showing the dog itself. While you are in the ring, you will have to make at least 2 circles around the perimeter of the ring, maybe even 3 or 4. That is called gaiting your dog, and each breed is gaited at different speeds. The larger dogs have longer legs, so are gaited at a faster speed. Imagine gaiting a Great Dane vs. gaiting a chihuahua – would you like to run a marathon or take a walk in the park? (exaggeration, but that’s the basic idea…)

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