HOFKENNEL | Tips on Showing Dogs
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Tips on Showing Dogs

Tips on Showing Dogs

The following tips have been extracted from manuals supplied by the National Breed supervisor of the Netherlands and are a combination of  suggestions made by various people. The main contents are the tips provided by Mr J. Verdaasdonk, the owner of the Huize Hintdonk kennels. Further suggestions are made by Mr. P. Neffs.

  1. The handler and owner/caller should discuss everything beforehand. By means of sign language the handler can instruct the owner/caller of the dog.
  2. Show the dog as soon as it enters the ring.
  3. Whilst the judge is still at his table place the dog once or twice in the show stance.

4.The dog should either be in show stance or be sitting or is in the down position so that the judge cannot get a bad impression.

  1. When the dog is presented for individual examination don’t just come from where ever you are make sure you always approach from a direction that is advantageous. When you handle a dog with suspect movement endeavour to place the dog in a show stance whilst the previous dog is still being evaluated.
  2. After the individual evaluation move the dog out of the judge’s view.
  3. Never display faults through inexperience.
  4. Remove a knick behind the withers by first brushing the coat against the grain of the hair and than lightly pressing it down.
  5. Don’t let a dog with light eyes face the sun.

10.Place a dog with long nails in somewhat thicker grass.

  1. When a dog has a high tail-set brush the coat against the grain, move his rear-end into the wind or hold the tail at trousers height.
  2. When a dog has slightly bend legs: remove the problem by taking the dog with both hands at the upper arm and placing the legs outwards.
  3. When the dog has a steep croup do not place the hind leg at the handler’s side too far forward.
  4. Do not spread the front and hind legs too far apart when you are showing a “long” dog.
  5. When a dog moves cow hocked or close make it only pull slightly on its leash.
  6. An “east/west” dog is corrected by lifting the dog with two hands at the upper arm and place the legs straight and closely together.

17.When a dog shows “open elbows” call the dog strongly so that it pulls slightly.

  1. With poor hind angulation place the dog in such manner that the hindquarters slope down by placing the back legs more backwards. Present depth in the knee. Place the farthest placed back leg under the tail.
  2. When a dog is ambling lift the dog momentarily, or pull it sideways or change speed.
  3. When a dog has a weak under jaw, make it tired beforehand so that it presents itself with open jaws.
  4. When a dog has widely placed ears draw its attention through calling.
  5. Attention can be drawn by means of sound for example calling, whistling, rattling or a combination of sound and the view of an article such as a handkerchief, ball or by means of a hand by moving the hand low over the ground and forward. The dog must be able to identify the attraction! Overdoing it is harmful.
  6. A long tail is placed over the hock on the handler’s side.
  7. When the dog falls on the forehand, call strongly and keep the line taught without undue irregular pulling.
  8. When a dog has poor front angulation do not attract the dog and don’t let the dog raise its head high.
  9. Save the dog energy as much as you can when the judge is not paying attention.
  10. Never call a dog when it is not necessary. Only when the dog weakens should the owner occasionally show him/herself.
  11. During the gunshot test the owner should be right opposite the dog. Beforehand call but not during the firing of the gun.
  12. Be prepared for the judge’s questions. Don’t let your attention to the dog wane. If you can’t do both place the dog in a sit during the discussion.
  13. Narrow thighs are brushed shortly before the assessment instance. You can also wash them in the morning.
  14. A dull coat is rubbed with a cotton cloth.
  15. Keep the nose and eyes of the dog free when showing the teeth.
  16. Don’t present a small dog at a fast gait; make shorter strides and maintain a fast pace. If possible cut corners.
  17. Never let attention dwindle. Always watch the judge. Make sure that the owner/caller always watches you.
  18. Make sure that you are in a fit condition.
  19. By preference keep the line at a 45-degree angle.
  20. Always remember the number of the handler in front and behind you.
  21. When there is a disagreement between the handlers about the position always consult the judge.
  22. Watch out for dogs lunging out at your dog.
  23. Wear fitting shoes and clothing.
  24. Avoid going closely near excreta dogs often want to pull away.
  25. During warm weather let the dog drink (only too much can cause harm).
  26. Never react to comments made by the public.

and lastly

  1. Always behave in a sportily manner.


  1. A dog showing too much back slope is normally placed with the back foot on the handler’s side too far forward.
  2. To show good front angulation lift the dog at both upper arms and place the legs well under the dog. The same effect can be achieved by placing the front leg at the judge’s side further backwards than the other front leg.
  3. When a dog has a steep croup place the hind leg on the side of the handler further backwards.
  4. Flat withers can be corrected by placing the front legs together. Get the dog’s attention.
  5. A correctly constructed dog is best shown when pulling slightly. (You should be able to control the pull with on finger through the loop of the leash.
  6. When the dog falls on the forehand keep the line as low as possible.

7.. The owner/caller should be out of sight.