For the novice handler in particular, the prospect of exhibiting a dog in the show ring can appear a nerve-wrecking and daunting task. There is also a great deal of enjoyment to be had for the handler who can take pride in showing an obedient, well trained and nicely presented dog that will not only please the judge but also be appealing to the many spectators and enthusiasts around the ring.
Becoming skilled in the art of handling requires time, patience and plenty of practice but hopefully a lot of fun to be had along the way and this is where attending a handling class can prove to be invaluable. Whilst it must be pointed out that the N.W.S.B.T.C. training class is not an Obedience class there are experienced handlers and exhibitors present who can offer advice, support and encouragement in a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere that will enable you to gain confidence in yourself and your dog.
You will be shown how to stand, position and present your dog in the best possible light, be able to practice walking on the mat at a comfortable pace with the use of the correct collar and lead. You will learn to talk and encourage your dog, be made aware of what the Judge requires from you, your dog will become accustomed to the presence of other dogs both in the line up and around the room and will get used to having different people looking at and checking over him/her.
The training class will not only benefit the handler and his dog but also anyone who has aspirations of becoming a Show Judge. You will be able to get ‘hands on’ practice of going over dogs, many who through inexperience, are more difficult to handle than the generally and hopefully well trained and well behaved exhibits of the show ring.
As well as being an important training ground for the show ring the handling class also serves as a social gathering place where Stafford enthusiasts of all ages, whether experienced or novice, and with or without dogs are welcome. There will always be approachable members of the N.W.S.B.T.C. on hand who are more than willing to help, discuss and advise on the many aspects of puppy rearing, nutrition and general well being of the Stafford .
Run-off competitions and Match Meetings with free buffet are also held on a regular basis.
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