Preparation for exhibitions

An exhibition is a celebration, an adrenaline pump, it is conversing with friends, getting a load of emotions and simply having fun. For some people it is a sport, for some a hobby, for some a hangout spot, for some it is realizing their ambitions. The canine owners are usually enthralled people in love with their Blackies, that is why some of them have got it bad with exhibitions and can’t go without, for the excitement of victory is a phenomenal feeling.

Celebration is a celebration, but a victory is hard to earn. The road to it is long and weary.

You don’t get born a champion, you become one! This is the main secret of success. The one who puts effort in his dog will definitely achieve success!


The pledge of victory comprises several elements - those are good properties of the dog itself given to it by parents, good exhibition training, nice handling, decent physical training, good grooming and of course some luck! And there you are on the pedestal!

Let’s try to talk a little about these constituents.

Exhibition training is the dog’s ability to behave in the ring. Usually prior to the show your dog trains with a handler that teaches your pet many wisdoms of the ring. Some need a few classes, some might need to train long and hard, but it’s a necessity, without which there is nothing to do in the right! The dog must be able to show its teeth to the expert, to move beautifully and correctly, must let the expert inspect it and be able to stand in the exhibition posture. And to be perfectly controllable.

Handling is displaying the dog in the ring. Naturally when one looks at the dog in the ring and the handler’s work (the person displaying the dog) it could seem that it’s all fine and dandy, you just hold on to the leash and make a run. However it is absolutely not like that. All dogs have certain appearance flaws (there are no perfect ones), different attitudes, and only a professional handler can smartly and without the audience noticing, to display the dog from an advantageous side emphasising its strong points bearing in mind the expert’s judging habits, his preferences and ring conditions. The handler must have excellent connection with the dog, he must feel it and predict its behavior in the ring. To display a dog in the ring is similar to an actor’s play. The handler’s mastery and talent are indispensable on the way to the pedestal.

Physical training is the dog’s physical preparation. An exhibition is a beauty contest! Only a good in good physical condition, healthy with nice muscles and in good condition can hope for getting the highest marks from the experts. Future and current champions must take PE lessons, meaning to walk and move a lot. Running after a bicycle, swimming, running up the stairs, etc., are all good for preparation. The main rule for straining the dog: any kind of physical strain must be introduced gradually. Because some industrious owners might overdo it! Also the dog must be fed well and be in a good exhibition condition, meaning moderately fleshy and under no circumstance should it be thin or fat!

Grooming is trimming and preparation of hair for the exhibition. If you are striving towards victory, then you must put in effort! The shampoo for using before the exhibition is better picked beforehand, since different hair types require different products. After washing the dog you blow-dry it with the hair laid and pulled. Prior to that procedure the dog must have its hair perfectly brushed and combed. Then the dried and treated hair is cut. Some hair structures are best left untouched by the blow-dryer and dried naturally, but that is best consulted about with the breeder or groomer. The dog is prepared on or several days prior to exhibition. After the trimming it is best not to wash the dog again (otherwise only if necessary), since it robs off the trimming shape. However if you trimmed your dog for several days, it is best to wash the paws, the lower stomach (the skirt) and the beard.

And, of course, one needs luck, there is no going anywhere without it!

Let us list a number of necessary things you need to take with you to the exhibition

1. The dog’s veterinary passport

2. Receipt for having paid the exhibition participant’s toll

3. Aphotocopy of the breeding background and Champion’s certificates for the dog (they might be needed)

4. The ring - leash

5. Dog make-up: hair laying sprays (if employed).

6. Number holder when in ring

7. Brush and slicker brush

8. Delicacy for the dog

9. Rug

10. Cage (if you have one, it’s a very important thing at exhibitions)

11. Blow-dryer

12. Towel for the beard

13. Bowl

14. Water

15. Towel or napkins for the dog in case of bad weather or accidentally wet hair

16. Neckband and leash

17. First aid kit (compulsory if the exhibition is in a remote location)

You might also need:

1. Achair to spend time on by the ring

2. Food and drink for you (sometimes exhibitions drag on)

3. Money

4. Map to the spot and exact address

5. Photo or video camera

It is needed to reduce to a minimum the chance of any force-majeure. In order to do that one day prior you need to:

  • Check if the car is up and running
  • Fill in fuel (not to waste time in the morning)
  • Have a good night’s sleep


Bear in mind that all exhibitions work with preliminary registration, which usually ends 2-4 weeks prior to the actual exhibition depending on said exhibition’s status and organizers’ conditions. Having arrived at the spot, you will need to undergo veterinary inspection and receive the registration number for the dog. It is best to arrive at the exhibition at 1-1.5 hours before the ring action.

Have explosive victories! And we’ll see you in the ring!


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