My First Conformation Class

| November 10, 2013 | 0 Comments
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="560" caption="School is now in Session"][/caption]
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No Dog Left Behind!

Hello Everyone,

Today was my first step towards getting my puppy, Indie, and me into the show ring! By joining Retriever Life I have had a lot of great opportunities arise and learning to handle and show dogs is only one of them! Not only do I get to spend a lot of time with great dogs but I also get to indulge my passion for reading and writing, through my process of learning to work with dogs. I have trained horses for most of my adult life so working with dogs comes very naturally. I am really eager to learn new things about the various sports retrievers participate in and learn to participate in them myself. This conformation class was only our first step in this direction and I can’t wait for what is to come! My goal is to show Indie in the conformation ring eventually and Retriever Life is helping me to document and share our journey. I took Sugar Kane, aka CH Misty Mountain Some Like It Hot, to my first class though since the show ring is old hat for her. I had hoped that instead of throwing me the ropes and watching me scramble she would gently hand them to me, which she did. The class was taught by Tonya Struble, who is a very well-known breeder as well as handler. She is an excellent and very straightforward teacher, which I really appreciated. She doesn’t sugar coat anything so if you’re doing something wrong she’s going to tell you right away, which makes it easier to learn from your mistakes and develop good habits.

What I Learned Today

The most beneficial thing I learned from Tonya was how to stack and bait my dog. Stacking is intended to show off the structure of the dog. All four legs must be square with the front legs representing a perpendicular angle to the ground and the hind legs being slightly extended behind the dog. Baiting is where a treat is held in front of the dog’s head in order to make them stretch out and show off their top line. Sugar likes to bobble her head in anticipation for the cookie and I need to be faster at stacking and baiting but these are all things that we can work on. I hope to attend Tonya’s class weekly so I can learn enough to start Indie and bring him to class. I’m really looking forward to continuing to develop my handling skills along with my hunting skills with Sugar and Indie and I hope that you will check in frequently to follow our adventures!

Category : Blog, Conformation

Misha Abbenhouse

About the Author ()

Being surrounded by the Great Northwest for the entirety of my life I have come to really enjoy the outdoors, loving the rain almost as much as the fleeting sunshine and all the activities that come along with it. I've always loved animals especially those of the equine and canine variety. My intense interest in dogs led me to start writing about the adventures that Indy, my black lab, and I shared. Aside from animals, I love to read and write and college really fostered this love and I now find myself being able to couple my two great loves of writing and dogs.

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