Last night Freighter attended his first drop-in conformation class. We have him entered in a show in a couple of weeks and this is a great place to show him what a dog show is all about. There is a dog training club near us that offers this class in addition to their obedience/rally/agility classes. The ring is set up as it would be for a show and the dogs are lined up as they would be at a show. Of course it is not exactly the same because the class is made up of all different breeds.
We have found that this class is a nice break for the dogs. It is a good way to get them out of the house in the winter and tire them out a bit. It is also an opportunity to work on obedience in an informal setting.
At first Freighter was not quite sure about the whole thing. His tail was down as he was taking it all in.
But pretty soon he figured the whole thing out and since it involved lots of treats, he decided it was a lot of fun!
Freighter’s sis Sunny was also at the class. Freighter breeder/co-owner spent some time working with Freighter in addition to her own dog, Sunny.
The handlers worked on “stacking” their dogs. One nice little drill the instructor did was called “green light-red light”. The handlers moved the dogs when she said “green light” and then stopped when she said “red light”. Once stopped, they had a very short count down to stack the dog. She suggested that if they only had time to set the front of the dog, do that and the rear would eventually follow. When you are showing a dog, you only have a matter of moments to present the dog in the best way. The object of this class is not to “judge” the dog, but to work on the handler’s skills at showing a dog.
The instructor also practiced going over the dog as the judge would in the ring.
And of course the handlers practiced moving the dogs.
My new camera takes nice pictures in this building considering the dogs are moving fast and the funky lighting. I used the view finder rather than the LCD screen and found it was much easier to get the focus correct. I can’t tell you how many blurry pictures I have taken in this building due to the poor lighting. I think I am really going to have fun with this camera.
Freighter gets his stitches out today.