Ringcraft is a training discipline to help you present your dog in the best possible way for a judge to assess their breed type against the Breed Standard. Getting your dog to ‘perform in the ring’ is a lot harder than it looks. We are here to help you learn how to present and move your dog in the show ring and how to show of its finer points.
Please note you and your dog have to find it an enjoyable experience. If you or your dog is stressed in the ring or your dog is unhappy around other dogs or does not like being handled by strangers you will not fair well in the show ring.
Breeds are presented in the ring in their own unique way and this includes the presentation of their coats. If you are new to showing or your breed you will need to study it by watching it being shown and asking questions of people experienced in the breed at open and championship shows. More information about these shows is below. Your breeder should also be available to help and guide you.
We will provide training and experience in the areas below. However, please note it is important that you support this learning by practicing at home. Show dogs spend a lot of time standing in the ring and on the table when being examined. To make sure you are getting this right, practice this as much as possible in front of a mirror at home and get your family and friends to help.
Presenting Your Dog on the Table – we will give your dog experience of standing on the table correctly and being examined by the trainer (the Judge). The trainer will ‘go over’ your dog by feeling all over its body. This will include examining their teeth, feet (if appropriate for the breed) and testicles. All male dogs must have two testicles fully descended.
Presenting your dog in the line-up – we will give your dog experience of standing still in one position without being distracted in a line-up of dogs and allowing the trainer (the Judge) and other dogs move in front and around it.
Moving your dog with other dogs – We will give your dog experience of moving with other dogs in a circle and in parallel.
Moving your dog in the ring – We will give you and your dog experience of moving your dog in a triangle in the ring on a loose lead and presenting your dog to the judge.
Collar and lead – When training your dog you should always use a show lead and collar that is the right size for your puppy and adult dog. These can be purchased from open and championship shows.
Socialising Your Puppy/Young Dog
Getting your puppy/young dog familiar with the outside world and crowded places helps prepare them for busy show venues. Visit as many busy places as you can where there are lots of people, children, noise and bustle, such as shops, markets, public houses, schools; anywhere where you can safely introduce it to busy noisy places. People love a puppy so let them stoke it and hold it if it is safe to do so.
Get your puppy used to being in a crate, traveling in the car and left for short periods of time. This will hold it in good stead for its future show career. The time you put in now will pay dividends in the future.
In addition to Ringcraft training; your puppy may also benefit by attending training as part of the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/training/good-citizen-dog-training-scheme/