Thursday, March 19, 2009

Handling Class

Yesterday I took Bug to handling class at Masterpeace. Kerry had some helpful pointers/instructions for me.

She asked me to keep his head up while he is on the table. She said that when he is looking down, a judge who isn’t good at judging shoulders might feel him quickly and not like the way his shoulders feel – even though he has nice shoulders. She had me feel the difference between when his head was looking up straight ahead versus if he was looking down. Wow.

I asked if it was okay to feed him while he was on the table or have food out. She said it depends on the judge; she has had judges smack her hand away while others do not care.

Note, I did a MUCH better job setting him up on the table!

When gaiting she recommends I have the lead under Bug’s chin and keep my arm DOWN. She said if his ears are not forward and I have the lead up high it is going to knock his ear. Also she feels like his shoulder and top line look nicer when the lead is below the chin and my arm is down. She said when I am holding it up; it alters/drags his lines.

She thought Bug looked really good with the extra weight and that he *felt* good. She asked if I feed him raw and commented that she feels feeding raw puts the weight on differently, in a good way.

It was a fairly big class with a herd of Boxers, so Bug and I worked A LOT on shaping a Stand and Waiting in a Stand. Bug did very well with that. Hooray.

Toward the end of the class she moved the table and some crates around to get the baby dogs used to seeing that sort of movement in the ring. She had everyone feed their dogs the entire time. Bug thought she turned into some sort of monster and did some alert barking. Odd boy!

I also asked her my clothes questions. She said she has only ever worn pants in the ring once, but that is how she personally was trained. She said with Bug she would wear light colors as he has a nice top line and the only thing we would want to hide (the slight turn-out) is white.

I got a lot out of the class and feel like Bug and I have come a tremendous distance since the first drop-in class I attended there last summer. Totally different handler!

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