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I have a private obedience client who has four English Mastiffs. Apparently, the breeder that he bought all the boys from is looking to earn a championship on his male. My client recommended me as a handler. The breeder contacted me, and I informed him that I have absolutely no experience with conformation. He told me that he would prefer a newbie than someone that might already have enemies. He is going to pay for me to take classes at The Dog Training Club of St. Pete.

I am just looking for information, suggestions, thoughts, etc.
Is it worth me getting involved in? I think it would be fun and a good learning experience.
Any websites I should check out?
Any books I should read?
How long should I expect it take for Luke (the mastiff) and I to get ready, training wise, to compete?
Things I should know about conformation (good or bad).

I am really considering handling for him. I am just not sure I want the first dog I handle to be almost twice my weight. I already train four of them every Sunday (2 eleven month olds and 2 ten week olds), how much worse could it be? :?
Actually, he is talking about getting a couple more and wants me to handle all of them. :violent1:

Thanks for any info, advice, or whatever.
 

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well.. unless you are planning on takeing them to church, I believe you are interested in confOrmation...LOL

forget the books...
the only way to learn to handle is to take classes..lots of them. I suggest you start with a dog that is going to be easier to handle (smaller) any dog..even a dog that will not be showen .
Once you have an idea about what you're supposed to be doing, then take classes with the mastiff.
 

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the BIG&thelittle said:
well.. unless you are planning on takeing them to church, I believe you are interested in confOrmation...LOL
Would taking them to church make them behave better for me in the ring? [-o<
 

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ultimatek9 said:
the BIG&thelittle said:
well.. unless you are planning on takeing them to church, I believe you are interested in confOrmation...LOL
Would taking them to church make them behave better for me in the ring? [-o<
well.. I usually pray i wont trip, me or the dog ..or throw up..so far so good.
Although i have been known to mutter the Lords name under my breath while in the ring with a male mastiff on the end of the lead...:)
 

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Some things to consider when beginning...

Some judges place the PERSON on the end of the lead, not the dog...

The dog will reflect your abilities, I was VERY obvious that I didn't know what I was doing... and so was the dog....

You need to know every fault each dog has that you will be handling, so you are able to play up the dog's strengths, while TRYING to draw attention away from the faults.

Train for muscle memory in stacking... judges love a free stacked dog, makes you look good, makes the dog look better. Besides, those are some big paws to have to move around.

Before a show, walk them for at least an hour, all around the show grounds, stop and stack the dog, do a down and back, try to get a free stack... so when the dog gets in the ring, he will perform as good in the ring, as he did while walking around. It helps calm them down, tires them out, and lets them sniff everything they want to sniff, so that you have their attention.

Pop a mint in your mouth before you go into the ring. Your breath changes odor when you are nervous, and the dog can pick up on that.

If you have a male that is girl crazy, put some A&D ointment near his nose to mask the smell of females. It doesn't always work, but it helps.

Stay away from catty people, or people that gossip to you. I guarantee they will be gossiping about you as you trot across the ring.

Oh.. Sports Bras and bike shorts. Skirts fall down, and boobs bounce. You don't want to be the center of attention, you want people and the judge to look at your dog. LOL

Just off the top of my head...
 

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the BIG&thelittle said:
well.. unless you are planning on takeing them to church, I believe you are interested in confOrmation...LOL

forget the books...
the only way to learn to handle is to take classes..lots of them. I suggest you start with a dog that is going to be easier to handle (smaller) any dog..even a dog that will not be showen .
Once you have an idea about what you're supposed to be doing, then take classes with the mastiff.

showen????? of you mean SHOWN. :wink:
 

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bubbabulldog said:
the BIG&thelittle said:
well.. unless you are planning on takeing them to church, I believe you are interested in confOrmation...LOL

forget the books...
the only way to learn to handle is to take classes..lots of them. I suggest you start with a dog that is going to be easier to handle (smaller) any dog..even a dog that will not be showen .
Once you have an idea about what you're supposed to be doing, then take classes with the mastiff.

showen????? of you mean SHOWN. :wink:

yupe..that's it..thanks
 
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