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Metrowest, MA
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I agree with most of what both Tom and KarMar have both said! I also prefer, in a show dog, one who will “self stack” naturally. I would never use stacking blocks. But there are times when with some dogs, you may need to move a foot or two, either by hand or with your leash. I found Jane Lindquist’s (Puppy Culture) videos REALLY helpful to me as a novice dog show handler to learning to stack and gait a dog properly, and prepare them to be examined on the table.

BTW, even if it turns out that Enzo is not a good candidate for showing, you can learn a lot buy teaching him these things that can help YOU with your next show prospect. So it is not wasted time! I have a friend who has spent the last 6 months doing exactly that with her young absolutely NOT “show prospect” (but otherwise lovely) Havanese, knowing that she was going to be getting a show prospect. She just picked up her show prospect last week and feels much more confident in teaching her!

Here is a link to the Puppy Culture “show” videos. You can buy them one at a time, or as a “bundle” for a discount. I bought them one at a time, not knowing if I’d like them and that was a mistake, because I ended up buying all anyway! LOL! (I gave you a link to the bundle, if you buy them separately, they range from $21.95 - $29.95, so they are very affordable):


You also want to be careful of the idea of “heeling”, because that is not the same as “gaiting”. A dog who is heeling is tight against your side, preferrably, looking up at you. A dog who is gaiting is further away from you, either beside or slightly ahead of you, and (importantly!) looking straight ahead so thst they move straight. They are taught differently. A dog CAN learn to do both, but it’s hard if you are not VERY clear in you own mind what the differences are, and how to teach both. For someone who is not experienced in EITHER, I strongly suggest choosing to teach one or the other first. Then later, with the help of a trainer, you can add the second.

While I agree with KarMar that this is a breed where people often dhow their dogs as puppies and they do well, if you choose to wait, that can also work fine. Panda got a few points as a puppy, and then we got busy with obedience and rally, and the show ring went on the back burner. She nor I really had a clue what we were doing when we won our first few points. She won because she was cute! Whn she went back into the ring as a mature 3 year old, she was a dream to show. She knew her job, there was no fooling around, and she finished very quickly. So it can work either way!

You just have to keep their coat up for longer… which I think is the BIGGEST reason most dogs in our breed are shown young… They show them young then cut them down so they don’t have to deal with the coat any more! ;)
 
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Metrowest, MA
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Huh. I wonder why. That's good to know though.
Because they are cold and unhappy about being wet! LOL! You can tell a lot about legs. Less about other things. Soaping DEFINITELY has its place, but it is only PART of assess ing a dog. I like it a LOT for certain things, but once you HAVE the dog and are preparing for show... NO dog is perfect, and honestly, you want to emphasize the good and learn to show in a way that you de-emphasize the less than perfect.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Not bad at all!
 
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