How to Get Started in the Ring

How to Get Started in the Ring

Postby chelynnah » Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:05 pm

From: starr'smom (Original Message) Sent: 18/03/2003 11:40
Hi All,
Just a few questions I need to post to get some opinions....
I have a young almost 5 mos old girl I am prepping for the show ring eventually... I would appreciate any information on good diet information as she is really skinning and lanky now (puppy awkward stage, i am sure) but would like a bit more meat on her as she is really ribby too.
Any one with show experience in this breed I would appreciate knowing some conditioning success information for the ring, as well as how I should be prepping her too.

We are currently working on light table training, free stacking/baiting for expression, and of course, mom is working on her skills too. I was told that stacking blocks were a good way to train a dog to stack but I just cannot get up the nerve to do this... as iam uncomfortable in doing this> not to mention, the kit is very pricey. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated.

Ps. I know she is young yet, so exercise and everything else is within reason for her age, but for later in the future this would help too, as well as things I should be doing now but not or don't know about.

From: becca Sent: 18/03/2003 12:48
Hi Sharon,
I think it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job! Your little girl sounds very normal to me. You might feed her some meat to get more meat on her bones. Whippets always look like they are wasting away!
I have the stacking box and have hardly ever used it! I know it's helpful, but seems like too much work!!
Sounds to me, you are doing great with this little baby doll. At this age, she will get all the conditioning and exercise she needs on her own just by being a whippet puppy.
I wouldn't worry, she will pull together as she gets older.
Keep us informed!! Becca

From: chelsea76 Sent: 18/03/2003 21:05
It sounds like you're doing well. I honestly wouldn't worry too much about fattening her up yet - after she is a year old you'll have a better idea of what her body type will be - as long as she is eating well she'll be fine:)

I've never heard of stacking blocks. Have you tried clicker training for free-stacking? I have to admit that I'm bad about Savannah free-stacking - I've not trained her well at it. Though when I manually stack her she'll hold it forever.

Best of luck


From: skeezix123 Sent: 18/03/2003 21:30
I'm afraid that again I am a bad mummy. My whippet Skeezix is just my companion and resident couch potato. No show ring, or lure coursing. He just hangs out and looks regal


From: §HAZ♥ Sent: 18/03/2003 21:55
hi sharon,becca, wendy.....
I have never heard of the things you have stacking/baiting for expression????.....clicker training for free-stacking...i just have no
Could you explain to me please, and is there a web site that tells you all about it maybe???

From: chelsea76 Sent: 18/03/2003 21:56
Vee, How does that make you a bad mummy?? That makes you an awesome mummy. Being a good mum doesn't mean showing etc, it means giving him a good spoiled life doing things he enjoys.


From: chelsea76 Sent: 18/03/2003 22:01

When you stand a dog in the correct position for showing that is called stacking. Free stacking is when the dog will place him/herself in that position themselves without you having to place any of their feet.

In the US whippets are shown with their ears forward so the judge can see that they don't stand up (which is a fault), so you use a piece of bait (a very tasty treat) to keep the dog's interested. In the UK we don't place as much emphasis on this - hence a lot of incorrect ears in the ring that are hidding when folded back. With the coming of foreign judges though the days of hiding might be over as they will often make an interesting noise to get the dog to pull their ears forward.

Clicker training is the use of a clicker and then a treat to tell the dog it has done what you want. ie if you are training 'sit' you give the command, when the dog sits you click right away and then give the treat. For clicker training a free-stack you would click and treat when the dog has all it's feet in the correct position. To train though you would start with the dog close to the correct position and then work towards a full proper stack.

If you come to the show I can show you a lot of these things. All part and parcel of the show ring. I've only learned in the past 2 years myself.


From: §HAZ♥ Sent: 18/03/2003 22:02
Well said Wendy (to skeezix)!!!!

From: §HAZ♥ Sent: 18/03/2003 22:08
Thanks for explaining that Wendy, I'm finding this all really interesting.........Great idea, show me at the show!! BTW what time do you suggest that i turn up???? Dont want to be too early or too late.....

From: becca Sent: 18/03/2003 22:10
Hi Shaz,
Don't worry, these are just terms used for showing. Free stacking is when your dog is trained to automatically step into a show stance with just holding the lead a certain way. Baiting is when you hold a favorite treat out in front of your dog to get a pleasing expression ie; good ears, alertness, etc.
Clicker training, works on the same principle as bait, but with a clicker (noise) instead of food.
Maybe someone else knows a web site, but I do not. I hope this helps you Shaz...
Becca and Louise

From: chelsea76 Sent: 18/03/2003 22:23
If you try to be there between 9-9:30 then I'll be able to spend some time with you and show you some of this (while warming up Savannah). She's in the Novice class which is about 1/2 way through the classes. Judging starts at 9:30, so you'd be able to see the puppy classes (they start at 6 months old). I'll also be able to talk you through some of the stuff while other classes are happening. As for how long each class takes it just depends on how quick the judge is and how many paces he/she puts us through. Again I can show you on the day. I'll also bring along a list of what ages and requirements make up which classes. I don't claim to know all or even most of it about showing, but certainly glad to share what I know and it's so much easier to explain when it's happening in front of you.

There will also be stalls there with some great whippet coats and tons of other stuff. Be sure to get Milo's measurements from base of neck to tail in case you want to buy one! Same with his neck measurement - as if JR Whippet Rescue have a stall there they make fantastic whippet collars!

From: starr'smom Sent: 19/03/2003 00:35
Wow, Thanks for all the kind words and support. I am new to this breed and want to make sure I am doing the right thing. I am also anxious to start showing too. I am also encouraged to start clicker training too, sounds so easy and practical...
At what age did some of you start showing your whippets? Did you do matches for the experience with your pup?
As for some of you who are pet owners, I am sorry if I 've excluded you~by no means was it my intentions... :( and doesn't make you bad mummies either; that's silly~ mine are pets first and foremost. They have to be just incase they don't make it in the show world.

Thanks again for all your info.


From: WhipPetLisa Sent: 19/03/2003 00:51
Hi Sharon,

Your questions are good ones. I am strictly a pet owner, but I don't feel excluded by your questions at all. I enjoy learning and hearing about the experiences of those who do show.

I think we have a great mix of folks here...from newbies to the breed like myself to breeders with many years of experience. We all share a love for Whippets and we are supportive of each other.

You can set up your own photo album here if wish by going to the pictures page and clicking on create a new album. This way your photos can be enjoyed long after the discussion threads end.

Rocco and Starr are adorable and it looks like they love each other!


From: chelsea76 Sent: 19/03/2003 16:24
I'm not sure what it's like in the States. We took Savannah to Ring craft from about a month or so after we got her. You can't show till 6 months - even in fun shows, but you can take her to ringcraft (which may be called matches in the States). She was allowed in Puppy Matches at the Canine Club - special ones where pups get the chance to try to compete before 6 months, but against each other - to train them what it's like to show. We didn't manage to do much of that with her though.

We take her and our whippet mix to fun/exemption shows to get used to the environment and to give Chelsea a chance to compete at something (she gets things like happiest dog - waggiest tail etc).

Anyway, do what you can - the earlier the better, and if it doesn't work out you've still got a well-socialised dog:)


From: Sally Sent: 19/03/2003 16:50

Check with local kennel clubs, vets, or your local business directory for classes. Classes to prepare for conformation dog shows are usually called "handling" or "conformation" classes. The instruction is for you as well as your dog. It's great for socializing, too, because there will be many different breeds there. We have taken our girls to a conformation class run by a local kennel club, and have really made progress. It helps to have an instructor that is patient and will really work with you and your dog. It's fun, too! Dena and Maggie run for the door when we arrive every week. They like the "cookie place"!


From: §HAZ♥ Sent: 19/03/2003 18:43
I definitley want to see the puppy classes!!! so will be there for 9.30. Thanks for telling me about the stalls too, Milo really does need a new collar, and i never did get round to making him a coat, so will probably invest in one of those too........
really looking forward to going, wont be taking Milo though, i have never left him in the car for more than about 15 mins so i'll not bother.......
I have 2 skin kids that are very eager to go too, what do you think, as i have never been to a show before i dont know if it will be ok for them to go, they are 6 and 8, what do you think?????

From: §HAZ♥ Sent: 19/03/2003 18:46
bye the way sharon, dont worry, i didnt feel excluded either, i find anything to do with whippets really interesting so go right ahead and ask anything you like... we can all learn together......
bye for now

From: chelsea76 Sent: 19/03/2003 20:41
Won't be a problem for the kids as long as they don't disturb the owners while they're getting their dogs ready. Whippet people are great, but overall when involved in a show people are pretty tense until after they've shown their dogs. They can hang with us though:) They'll probably enjoy it for the first while, but may get bored.

I may end up being there on my own as Nick accidentally swapped into that Saturday morning working (forgot we had the show) and doesn't think he can swap back out of it. I may try to get someone to come for the drive with me as it's an awful long way on my own. However if he's not coming I'll leave Chelsea at home.

Looking forward to catching up with you there!

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