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Your First Show

Your first show is an exciting time and unwittingly you transfer a lot of this excitement to your dog. So many people are disappointed with their dog’s effort at a show. During training your dog can behave perfectly but at a show you are probably worked up and your dog picks up on this and starts doing things that he may not have done before. Don’t forget that everyone is busy before a show – setting up courses and handling equipment. The atmosphere is exciting for everyone so here are just a few pointers that may help.

Preparing for the show

  • Don’t feed your dog before a show.
  • Pack all your gear the night before so that you avoid excitement on the morning of the show.
  • Even if it means getting up even earlier, exercise your dog before arriving at the ground. Once you arrive your dog should be left in the car while everything is being set up.
  • Get your chairs, equipment etc. set up before you get your dog. Some dogs are best left in the car until just before competing. Others like to be out with you all day. It is up to you to decide which is best for your dog.

At the show

  • See if you can help set up the ring etc. At CCATS shows all members are expected to help (see The Obstacles page for the letter-codes associated with each obstacle).
  • Take your time walking the course and make sure you know where it goes. Take special note of hurdles etc. on a corner. These are often the ones that are missed. Ask the judge if you are unsure of anything or want clarification of any rules.
  • Ensure that you know where you come in the running order and that you have your dog toileted and ready to run well before your turn. Make yourself known to the call steward and wait nearby until your turn.
  • When it is your turn to run give the scribe your permanent number and wait for the signal from the judge to say you can start. DO NOT take off before you have been given the signal.

Some rules to remember

  • Ready to start? – Take off your dog’s collar unless it meets regulations and make sure you are not carrying any toys or food in your pockets.
  • Timing starts when you or your dog breaks the beam on the first hurdle. Once the time starts, ready or not you must carry on. So make sure you keep an eye on your dog before the start so that you start when you want to, not when your dog decides to go.
  • Once you have started don’t touch your dog. Intentionally touching carries a penalty of five points (each time). If your dog jumps up at you just turn away from your dog – don’t push him away.
  • While running don’t touch any of the equipment not even to show your dog where to go. You will get a 5 point penalty if you do.
  • If your dog misses an obstacle take him back to do it again but don’t let him back jump as this means elimination.
  • Be careful, particularly with the weaves that you don’t knee your dog to make him go the way you want. You will get a 5 point penalty.