7 Habits of Highly Effective Show Dogs

(With apologies to Stephen Covey)

I’ve found there are 7 qualities of a resilient, successful show dog.  Having them doesn’t guarantee success, but they all contribute to winning.

#1—He eats!

Even a dog that eats well at home can get picky on the road.  Early in his show career I took Kunga to Topeka, KS for a 5 day show.  It was mid-August and about a zillion degrees with humidity up near swamp level.  From the first exposure to the sights and smells of that large show, Kunga stopped eating.  For 5 days I tried everything, but he only had a half a hamburger one day and a dish of vanilla ice cream another day.

People offered numerous remedies, aimed at disguising the scent of all those luscious canine ladies: Vaseline on his nose, vanilla extract, lavender oil.  But I couldn’t bring myself to end what was probably Kunga’s favorite aspect of showing, smelling the whole shebang.

Since that grueling experience Kunga has reverted to type and now eats whatever I feed him, show or no show, home or on the road.  It means he doesn’t lose energy or condition, and both of us are better for it.

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  • http://www.capradanes.com Cindy Capra Woerpel

    I have learned from my very first show dog “Scout” (who has it all) and had many of my own and others that finished since. Confidence. Which covers lots of areas. Being able to hand off your dog to someone else inside or outside the ring. The dog that is well adjusted can conquer just about anything I guess except for lack of confirmation (lol). I hate dogs that can leave the owners. I tell the owners its always great to have them visit other people, places as they grow. I think it makes them a more well rounded dog. I’m sure you know that but just thought I’d post. : )