Dog shows are being accused of ruining breeds. People say breeders go to get winnings and don’t care about the well-being of the dogs. One might ask how the breeds would be without shows. How would the Chihuahua be?
Meaning of the shows is to keep the construction on average the same as the standard says. Standard, on the other hand, is based on the purpose of the breed. Chihuahua is supposed to be a good companion – healthy, fearless and its construction should be that kind of that it enjoys its life. When the dogs would not be compared would they become too big or small, would their feet be correct and character good? There are many features to speak about in shows but shows have their meaning.
The show needs to be a pleasant experience for the dog. For the dog, the environment is different than at home and the walks they are used to. It’s crowded and there are many strange dogs, smaller and bigger. One needs to support the dog all the time. One needs to be careful that the bigger dogs don’t decrypt their aggressions to it but on the other hand, make sure to give a chance for the dog to get used to the show life with its own terms.
After the ring one needs to reward the dog no matter what the result was. The dog doesn’t understand if it did good or not. A dog only knows the reactions of the owner, the nervousness, disappointment or joy.
If one wants to go to shows the training needs be started already in the puppy age. Chihuahua is one of the breeds which are being judged on the table. Training with the puppy can very well be started already in early age. Chihuahua is greedy for the food and training is easy with treats. One shows the treat for the puppy and then the puppy is lifted into a table which is large enough and very stable. After this one needs to get the puppy’s attention to the treatment and this way to distract the puppy from the new situation. If puppy likes to be on the table and is confident it might wag its tail happily. That’s when one can try to set puppy in position wanted and its bite can be checked. From the males, one can also check testicles.
If puppy instead is trying to get out of or is lying on the table the dog should be petted and talked with a calming voice. Puppy should however not be taken down or into lap from the table. With this one is only rewarding puppy’s insecurity Instead leave the puppy on the table in peace (one shouldn’t leave the puppy alone there because it might fall) and let it gather some courage. Normally it tries to stand. This is when one should confirm the behavior by praising and rewarding it with a treat. When it stands puppy is being rewarded and it should be allowed to stand for a while and then praised again.
When practicing the standing on the table next day again puppy is usually already much more confident. It is already possible to start to set it to the right show position, but doing with the puppy’s terms. Once again – the tail tells a lot. If the tail is between the legs it tells about insecurity and in this situation, one still needs to proceed slowly and carefully. Most important thing is to keep own nerves under control.
First thing is to get the puppy to walk nicely on the leash. This is anyway expected in normal walks as well. When puppy arrives at the house one could put a narrow collar on it after the puppy is used to the house. It might bother the puppy for a while but one can distract its attention elsewhere. Not until the puppy is used to the collar one shouldn’t attach a leash on it. If these are tried together as well as taking the puppy out it might happen that puppy will put on the break or sit without knowing what to do. One thing at the time!
At first, one can let the puppy show the way and then little by little, with a treat or gently pulling the leash, guide the puppy to the way one wants. It helps the situation also if one has an older dog with who already knows how to walk on a leash. By doing this puppy’s attention is focused on the other dog, not on the leash. One shouldn’t drag the puppy. By doing this puppy easily starts to “tiptoe” on the leash because it’s an unpleasant experience for the puppy.
When puppy knows how to walk in the leash it’s easy to practice free stacking in the leash. For this one can change for the show leash. A dog starts to learn to connect things. In the beginning, the stacking practices should be so short that the dog is able to do them. The treat helps in this, first one gives an opportunity for the dog to sniff it and then it’s kept in front of the dog. In this, one should attach a command “stand” into this. When standing is proper the dog is rewarded. Later one should give up the treat so that one doesn’t need to feed the dog in the ring.
In addition, the dog should be able to trot in the rhythm of the handler when a judge is looking for its movements from up and down and the side. Last-mentioned can also be seen other way; the handler needs to be able to adapt its movements into the speed of the dog when the dog is trotting its idealistic speed.
If the dog is standing vigorously still the judge can’t wish for more. Standing still on the leash can be trained e.g. in the home yard but it needs to succeed also in a bigger pack of dogs. Many times breeder or local subdivision can advice suitable training place or a place and a time when show practices are held.