Bullmastiff at a Show
What are the Shows For?
Puppy Class: these are first shows conducted for the young. Mostly they are aimed to train your pet.
"Breed valid" mark is necessary for the dog to participate in further breeding work (according to RCF each dog admitted for the breeding work must have the mark "very good" and higher).
Titles are very desirable for the pedigree dogs are suppposed to take part in breeding work.
But description often is more important than titles. A cynologist who chooses a pair of dogs for mating may get much significant information out of a description made by an expert of the breed.
Finally shows are an advertising action for your dog (especially for males whose owners are lookinf for their mates).
Things Needed for the Show
Before going to the first show, one should acquire the following devices:
A durable and safe collar and a leash the dog couldn't break. A "ring leash" - is a chain or a thin cord, serving as a collar and at the same time as a leash for showing the dog at the ring (it would be better if the "ring leash" is very thin but durable). A thin "ring leash" points onto your dog's might. Strangling collars are prohibited at the ring. A sponge and a towel for your dog are always in place. You must take your dog's bowl and some water. A vacuum bottle with tea or coffee and sandwiches will certainly come in use. Don't forget to take the necessary papers (the xerocopy of the pedigree certificate, paid ticket for the exhibition, veterinary passport and the certificate of vaccinations done if this is needed in your town), a notebook and a pen.
In the morning of the day of the show take the dog for a good walk, in order to save yourself from unpleasant "surprises" at the ring. Take a walk with the dog right after arriving to the show and before going to the ring. Even if your pet can wait for the toilet he would show himself better if there's nothing to disturb him. Take a paper-bag just in case to clean after your dog.
Find out beforehand where the show takes place and what is the most convenient way to get there. If you are late you'll get nervous and make your dog nervous too. One should come to the show more than an hour before the beginning of his ring. Remember that the dog needs to examine the environment and get used to it. Beside this, one has to pass the veterinarian control and register his dog, get the schedule, find his ring, attach the number and so on. All these procedures need time.
How to Sign Up for the Show
First of all, you have to acquire catalogues and journals with schedules of shows of the next year. RCF publishes the special "RCF Bulletin", a journal with the calendar of shows and sporting events as well as with other useful information. RCOU (Russian Cynology Organizations Union) also publishes the schedules of shows in periodicals. There're guides containing such information (e.g. "Zookurier"). The information can be found on the web sites of the organizations mentioned above.
When you make a call to a club, you should find out where and when the show will take place, what is the latest date of registration, what's the registration fee, where to sign up for the participation.
To sign up for the participation you need to have a xerocopy of a pedigree certificate or a puppy card you leave at the club and get the paid ticket in return. Keep the paid ticket and take it to the show. Besides the direct information about the shows the beginner should as well get to know the main rules of the competitions - the regulations. The regulations describes the procedure of the examination at the ring, explains what do titles and marks mean, gives the information about the certificates given at the different class shows and the procedure on exchange of certificates for a higher title.
Coaching of a Bullmastiff for the Show
A dog show is a beauty contest per se. In order to get the first prize, your pet should look attractively and also know many things that are the real science. One should spend a lot of energy, time and patience to perceive it.
Beginning the show training, one should pay attention both to technical and psychological moments as well. Very often in happens so that a juvenile dog perfectly fulfills all your commands at home but becomes confused in an unfamiliar situation and is hard to control. To avoid this one should coach the pet's psychology to changes. The first you need is to accustom your puppy to the company of adult dogs. As your puppy grows bigger try to change as often as possible the usual route of walks and from time to time visit such crowded places as markets. Of cause this should be done gradually, avoiding sharp changes in the routine of the pup's life. Try as often as possible to exhibit your pet in the puppy and junior classes. The puppy should get the experience. In result it will be less complicated to take part in the most popular shows in future.
Bullmastiff at the Show (Recommendations)
Give a thorough look at your breed standard. It includes the description of your pet stand.
Your cloths should be in contrast to the color of the dog's hair and not to merge with his body outlines. Don't exhibit a black colored dog in a black cloths or a light-colored one in a light cloths.
Take a clasp pin since the ring number may not stick to cloths or may leave permanent spots on cloths (e.g. on noubuk or velour) after sticking.
Let the dog spend the day before the show in a quiet and familiar atmosphere, otherwise he may get tired and would have a sluggish look.
Always take a wetted towel (often you have to wipe the dog for some reasons) and don't forget a napkin for slobber.
After the running it's better to stop the dog by pulling, i.e. stop before giving the command to stop when the leash is in tension. At this the dog trunk protrudes forward and fore legs take a broad stand.
If there are many dogs at the ring and you have to wait when your turn to be inspected by the expert, don't keep the dog in the stand all the time as he will quickly get tired. Let him sit in an attractive posture in order the referee could see all the merits of your pet at an accidental glance.
Your assistant who should attract the dog's attention should stand at the side of the ring the dog will turn his muzzle to during being described in the stand. He must as well as you watch the referee in order to call the dog only when the referee's attention is paid right to your pet (most often the best position is behind the referee's back) - the dog gets bored quickly when is called all the time.
Refereeing at the Ring
Here are you at the ring with your dog. Don't ask questions to the referee and never talk to people surrounding the ring. Concentrate on your dog and follow the instructions given by the referee's assistant or the referee himself. Even if the examination hasn't started yet, don't allow the dog to stand in a slack posture. Strive to give him the show stand, if it's necessary to stroll, grab the leash correctly and watch the way the dog moves. This will help the dog smell the spirit of work and also to make a good impression on the expert. He involuntarily observes all the dogs coming at the ring and at first sight marks their merits and demerits, though the examination hasn't yet officially started.
Many experts examine dog's teeth themselves but sometimes they may ask the exhibitor to do this himself. The expert estimates if the bite and the number of teeth are correct. To do this one should just lift the dog's lips up from the front showing the incisors and then from the left and from the right. You should accustom the dog to this procedure beforehand. The dog should quietly react on this and don't try to bite.
Choosing the best dog of the ring the referee examines the competitors in the stand and then while moving. Afoot such faults as splay elbows or cowhocks are revealed and the symmetry of body is estimated. Therefore the better you manage to show your dog afoot the higher will be the expert's mark. The referee asks the competitor to lead the dog round the circle to estimate his exterior from the side, and then - along the straight line away from him and towards him to determine the way the hind and fore legs move. It is important not to force the dog to go because this distorts his natural gait. To have a success at the ring one must train his dog to move correctly. The length of step and speed of movement should be so as to let the dog move lightly. Look at the referee carefully during the exam. Be always on call and set the dog correct if needed when the referee looks at him. When the referee looks at other dog he perhaps being comparing him to your dog, so keep readiness and continue showing him in the correct stand, 'cause the referee may recur to yours.
Usually the head is examined at first. The referee estimates the skull, the position of eyes and ears and general appearance of muzzle. If your dog's ears are set somehow incorrect, situate the leash high up at the neck (right behind the ears to help them get a correct position). If the referee starts palpating the dog's head, watch your dog doesn't tend to jump off. Many referees are more skillful in dog handling than some owners. Therefore don't make the dog nervous and gently put your pet into his place. Keep up with the referee's actions when he throws down keys or a box of matches. The dog should notice this. The referee wants to attract the dog's attention to check the expression of his temper and reaction. If the dog didn't react onto referee's action throw some thing of yours before the dog's eyes. When the referee approaches to the dog from the front he estimates the way the dog's fore legs stand. Try to set the dog correctly before the referee comes to you. Correct the dog's "front": the fore legs should stand at the width of chest and be absolutely parallel to one another. To make the leg stand correctly don't take it by toes, because the dog will jerk it back. Take the fore leg by the elbow and direct it in the proper place. With one hand hold the dog by the collar and the same time correct the leg position with another hand.
After the examination of fore legs the referee usually palpates (or surveys) shoulders, back, loin and rump. Meanwhile hold the dog by his head so that he stands symmetrically, and the line of neck remains correct. After that the referee starts the survey of the hind legs. Remember that at that time the legs should take a correct position. Hind legs should hold the position as follows: standquite far from one another (broader than the fore limbs) and set back so that the hocks (the part of leg from the hock to toes) are exactly square with the floor from every side. Again, when you correct the way the hind leg stands don't take it by toes but slightly move it in correct position by the knee-joint.
After the examination of your dog the referee may turn to another one. However possibly he just wants to go a little aside to observe your dog once more, estimating it in the whole. Try your dog to look in the best way at that moment. If the referee has turned to another dog, hold your dog in the stand for a while because the referee may come back to compare the next dog with yours. While the referee estimates your dog afoot on the line from him and towards him you should move exactly along the line he draws. The dog shouldn't tend to play, jump or try to sniff the floor.
So, after the one-by-one examination is over, the referee starts walking along the raw of dogs align and inspect them once again. Your dog should be prepared to this comparative examination and keep the correct stand. Your task at the ring is to help the referee to survey the dog properly. Never screen the dog by your body. The dog should be always between you and the referee. At the ring you should always be able to see the referee and your dog. Don't come close to neighbor dogs because it'll be difficult for you to move around your dog when the referee will examine him from all sides and may provoke another dog to fighting. If the referee asks you to stand up near one of the dog at the ring or asks another competitor to stand beside you, make your dog get a good stand because the referee wants to compare your dog with another one and is choosing the best of them.
When You Win
If your pet has won the first prize in the class be ready that he'll be compared with the dog of the opposite sex - the winner of the same class, and if repeats this will entail your dog will later be compared with the winners of other classes (except for puppy and junior classes). All the winners of the groups must participate in the final content of the show - the choosing of the best dog of the show. A showing of the dog is the same as the showing in your own class. No doubt you'll have to feel nervous and worry once again. Remember that the winners are always shot by reporters. So place your pet so that he looks full of dignity on the photos.
Thus if your dog has taken a title or got in to the order, you must make sure that everything is recorded in your dog certificate and in the description. If your dog has taken a title, don't forget to take the acknowledging certificate signed by the expert. Be careful with the papers, since a title without the certificate signed by the expert is invalid.
Behavior at the Show Rules
1. Always control your emotions. Know how to win in cool blood (don't lose your head or put on airs). This might be much more difficult than to lose with dignity. Know how to lose with dignity (disputes with the referee or stalking out of the ring are useless and are considered as unsporting behavior). Congratulate the winner and try to hide your disappointment. The show is nothing more but a sport
2. Never dispute against the referee. You may ask any question after the examination
3. Don't provoke fights and always keep off provocations of other's dogs
4. Avoid open critics of other dogs. Express your opinion with tact
5. You are at the show. Remember the one you've come here for, and accordingly, who is to be in the center of attention.