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Hi all,
Denver and I are starting handling classes in the coming week. I’m very excited, as I have been scouring my area for a class and finally found one within an hours drive. The instructor said I will need to get a show lead & collar so I am wondering what exactly that is and where I can get it. I obviously don’t need anything fancy..just something to start with. If anyone could point me in the right direction that would be much appreciated.

EDIT: She also said I need realllllyyyyy good treats as well. What do most people use?

Thanks!
 

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Maegan
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Once Eevee’s micro flora is back to the right population, I will also be using liver. I just buy the freeze dried kind from Chewy - she will do anything for it. I know a lot of people do what Laura posted. Hot dogs and string cheese are also good because you can keep them in your mouth without getting too grossed out.

In the mean time, I’m using freeze dried salmon treats, which she also loves. It smells, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do sometimes.
 

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Kate
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Re lead and collar - you probably won't have enough time to find the right stuff before your first class. Make sure you have a regular collar (not a harness) and skinny lead (nothing bulky - you want to be able to hold it all folded up in one hand). Then at class, ask for guidance on what size collar to buy.

^^^ Will keep you from spending money on the wrong thing or the wrong size re/ the collar.


As for treats - string cheese should be fine. :)
 

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My first handling class I just used a slip lead. It's not what I would use at a show but it worked in a pinch. I bought a show slip lead but most people have fine chain slip collars and a pretty leather leads (but those tend to be out of my price range atm). The lead I have is 1/4 inch thick and it looks like it won't hold up but it does cause she doesn't pull (most of the time). Have fun!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all!

The instructor said that she probably has something I can use for the first class, and I'm going to talk to her to see what she recommends purchasing for beginners. I'll bring some string cheese and freeze-dried treats tonight and see how he does with them.
 

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At my first show I splurged on a rabbit fur squeaker bait toy. That is all Lana needs to give me a pretty face. Easier for those with food hounds. If I bring food in the ring, Lana reverts to heel and thinks it's obedience. So I opt to do non-food bait and rewards. :)
 

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Kate
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At my first show I splurged on a rabbit fur squeaker bait toy. That is all Lana needs to give me a pretty face. Easier for those with food hounds. If I bring food in the ring, Lana reverts to heel and thinks it's obedience. So I opt to do non-food bait and rewards. :)
I was going to say that I use lower value bait with Jovi for that reason. He loses his mind when it's the good stuff (like liver).

So classes - I bring a box of cheese crackers or cereal.

Shows I want something higher value like string cheese - but not over the top.
 

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Maegan
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At my first show I splurged on a rabbit fur squeaker bait toy. That is all Lana needs to give me a pretty face. Easier for those with food hounds. If I bring food in the ring, Lana reverts to heel and thinks it's obedience. So I opt to do non-food bait and rewards. :)
I'm kinda the opposite of this. I only use toys for obedience since Eevee has a ton of drive and will whip right around an about turn to retrieve something. I use good food for both though because she is REALLY wiggly right now - I mean she's only 5 months, so that's to be expected, but I need something amazing to keep her from trying to lick the judge during the exam. Lol

Funny story from conformation class yesterday: I have played sports my entire life, so this whole dog show running thing is escaping me and I'm WAY overthinking it, which is leading nowhere. I was trying to run smoothly and not bounce and distract from my dog, but apparently, I was running like such a goober that my friend told me she didn't even notice my dog because she was staring at me! and that I didn't even look like the same person compared to how I normally walk run. So, she told me a piece of advice that she got a long time ago: Run with from your crotch, not your knees. LOL

I got better as class went on, but I still laughed at myself. Eevee on the other hand was a total rock star and LOVES to gait.
 

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Funny story from conformation class yesterday: I have played sports my entire life, so this whole dog show running thing is escaping me and I'm WAY overthinking it, which is leading nowhere. I was trying to run smoothly and not bounce and distract from my dog, but apparently, I was running like such a goober that my friend told me she didn't even notice my dog because she was staring at me! and that I didn't even look like the same person compared to how I normally walk run. So, she told me a piece of advice that she got a long time ago: Run with from your crotch, not your knees. LOL

I got better as class went on, but I still laughed at myself. Eevee on the other hand was a total rock star and LOVES to gait.
Ummmmm.... you're not the ONLY one. I suck at gaiting. I'm marginally better at stacking.... but I'm WAY better at getting Lana to free stack (she is GORGEOUS when she freestacks). At one of my classes the instructor was like "You want to be a gliding accessory showcasing your dog... not a lumbering oaf." Ok. I'm hella fat. I lumber no matter how I move. But sure, we'll keep practicing a gliding gait for a fat and stout person. I know my aesthetic isn't going to do Lana any favors in the ring. We look MUCH better in obedience where I can fast walk and it's not a big pile of jiggling fat causing an earthquake. She's going out with a handler in a couple months for a show. We'll see how she does with someone who actually knows how to pull off the aesthetic.
 

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Maegan
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Don't be so hard on yourself! Handling is hard! This whole conformation thing is a completely new ballgame for me. Mostly, I was trying not to bounce like this lady I saw at the National who is SO bouncy when she runs I couldn't even tell you what color her dog is! Anyway, in trying so hard not to bounce, I looked like a complete fool, but thankfully, that's what class is for! What threw me off is that last week, Eevee wasn't big enough for me to run, so I just fast-walked. She grew enough in one week for me to need to start full on running. I was not prepared for that mentally. LOL
 

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Oh geez now I'm nervous I will look like a total fool! Handlers I have watched at shows make it look so easy...

I'm a preschool teacher, so I was able to snag some cheese sticks from the snack fridge, but I'm thinking I may also bring some of Denver's normal training treats. I'll ask the instructor what she recommends I use. I am also bringing Denver's slip lead...but hoping that she has something better I can use. Then going to go online and order our own stuff tonight. The last show I was at I was tempted to buy a cheap show collar/lead and now I wish I had.

Wish us luck! We are getting in the car to go now :)
 

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Don't be nervous. Looking like a fool in front of dog friends is one of the best times to look like a fool. Ya know? I ALWAYS look like a fool in our obedience class cause I'm one of two going for competition precision, but the people who know my goals only encourage me. And the girls in handling class also encourage me. I feel very supported. Especially at my first show. SUPER supported.
 

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Well, we're back. It was SO much fun. The instructor was wonderful and gave me such good advice, critique, and lots of homework and things to work on. There was one other golden in the class, so of course that handler and I had a lot to chat about and were instantly connected. She just earned her first point on her 1YO bitch and we were all celebrating for her. That handler also gave me the very first show lead she used on her golden and told me I could keep it! She was very nice.

The instructor even invited me to go to a show with her in a few weeks to watch and learn and just take it all in.

She said that Denver is a great first dog to learn with because he needs very little help stacking and has such a happy eager disposition. The hardest part for us was getting Denver to start to learn 'stand' because up until now he's been obedience trained to auto-sit whenever we stop walking, so that's going to be our focus until the next class.
 

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Makes me tickled and happy to hear about people being that nice to someone new. <B
It was honestly so great to be around people who love their dogs, love what they do with their dogs AND also remember being in a brand-new position like I am. Right now I'm excited to learn all about conformation and see where I can go with it. It's been fun to network with so many golden people/just dog people in general :)
 

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Maegan
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I'm so glad you had a great time! You and Denver will get better after each class. Once you start showing, you will have to start a thread for your progress!

It makes me happy to hear about people being really nice too, Kate. :) I honestly haven't really run into anyone being outright mean, but I know it happens. I'm lucky to have the Sunnyside ladies right here in Columbus - they have been so welcoming and wonderful to me and they have so many different classes at their facility that I have to limit my visits to twice a week. LOL
 

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So glad it went well!! Lana has an autosit too!!! Her stand command needs work so we switched to "stay" as soon as I say stay she freezes. Then we taught her "step" so that she can be cued to take a single step to straighten out her frame. That has been the easiest way to freestack her. I'm so proud of you for trying it! :)
 
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