Winning with a puppy that you have put your heart and soul into is one of the most wonderful feelings!! But developing that winning attitude takes time, patience, and luck. There are some puppies that from their very first steps they seem to have a "see me" attitude. These puppies maySweetie the Show Dog not be the pick of the litter but may be the best "show dog" at maturity. A structurally sound dog with the right attitude will win many times over the structurally "better" dog that could care less about showing. Keep the "better" dog for breeding but have fun with the "show" dog. Pictured here is a 6 month old puppy named "Sweetie". She exemplifies a stand up show dog. This picture was taken at her first show where she went BOS over specials for a 5 point major. Her "ring presence" was outstanding.

I look for these puppies, what I call a "stand up show dogs" and bring them along slowly and never make showing seem like work. Every puppy should think standing for "treats" and walking on a leash is FUN!!!

I always start by hand feeding puppies as they are weaning from their mother. I want them to associated taking "treats" from me and getting use to my fingers and hands NOT being food.
Gradually, I walk around calling them and giving them treats, slowly as I stop they will stop and stand. I call their name and give them a treat. Repetitive training will enforce paying attention to the lady with food and I will get it when I am still.

The next step is to get the puppy accustomed to you stacking them while they are standing. I do this by stacking from the side or over the puppy and saying "stay". Again, time is your friend. Take it slow and always in your most cheerful voice --praise, praise, praise.

Leash training and training the puppy to gait correctly is always fun. I start by walking the wild and crazy puppy with my older dogs. With flexi-leashes in hand we go merrily down the road with the adults showing the puppy--"Hey it is fun to have this thing on my neck!!" After a few trips the puppy seems to know that a collar and leash is atleast OK. Again, gradually I teach the puppy to follow me or that I will follow it -if it is moving in front at a nice gait.

I cannot stress enought-GO SLOW WITH YOUR PUPPY. A happy energetic puppy can sour on showing if pushed too quickly and too soon.

Author--Ruth Darlene Stewart.