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HELP Show Alaskan Malamute

shannon1233A
April 30th, 2005, 01:03 PM
We are starting Conformation Classes on May 17 with out 6 month Alaskan Malamute. I've searched the forum trying to find tips on how to prepare her for the classes since they don't start for another 3 weeks. She was in her first show last weekend (Guelph/Fergus) in Ontario btw, and although she did okay, she kept her tail down and seemed frightened. We're socializing her on walks meeting other dogs every day, but the show was so noisy, lots of barking etc.

Can someone help with advice re the proper way to teach her to stack, stand(with tail curled over back, she does this any other time, lol), proper "lead" to buy (they vary so much). Etc. I've googled show training, and they all tell you what the dog has to do, but not how to teach the dog and me how to do it, lol Her breeder/handler lives 3 hours away so she can't help much.

Pleeeeese help me and Kenzie in any way you can before we start the classes her next show is only 1 week after she starts her classes :eek: :angel:

Lucky Rescue
April 30th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Your puppy should have been started on this - standing for exam, stacking, showing on leash - at 8 or 9 weeks old, and of course should have been socialized to everything and anything.

There is also the possibility that she just doesn't have the right temperament for showing. Some dogs cannot be shown because they hate it. If your dog cannot overcome her fear, then showing her is futile, since Malamutes should be confident and outgoing as part of the breed standard.

I doubt that one week of classes will prepare her, but you never know. If not, just keep up the training and classes and maybe she can be shown later on.

Here are some books for beginners that may help you! Good luck!:)
Showing for beginners (http://www.bulldoginformation.com/dog-showing.html)

CyberKitten
April 30th, 2005, 02:03 PM
The breeder you adopted the dog from should help you with this. Typically when you buy a show quality dog, the breeder will assist you and if s/he cannpt become a mentor - and it is highly recomemmened that that anyone starting in the show circuit have a mentor to help them learn what to do and how to do it. Ask your breeder - they will know! First, visit and watch some shows and concurrently, prepare your dog with your breeder's help. She has to be show quality to be shown and even then must be vetted and then be permitted to be shown. As LR says, this process usually begins right away. Even tho I had it in my mind not to show YY even tho she is show quality, I did make sure she was socialized enough to not mind people examining her and to be good at interacting with humans and other beings. I started from the time she arrived.

You still can start now tho but you will be playing catch up. Find a mentor and raed everything you can!! And watch others as they show their dogs.

Good luck!

shannon1233A
April 30th, 2005, 03:21 PM
LuckyRescue:Your puppy should have been started on this - standing for exam, stacking, showing on leash - at 8 or 9 weeks old, and of course should have been socialized to everything and anything.
There is also the possibility that she just doesn't have the right temperament for showing. Some dogs cannot be shown because they hate it.

Kenzie according to the breeder/hander has the perfec temperament. She was afraid the first day due to all the loud barking from many other dogs when we were behind the scenes. The second day she pulled us into the arena, tail wagging, barking excitedly, not with fear, all excited and happy. The third day, she pranced around in there like she owned the place!and actually WON first in her puppy class. I thought she hadn't showed as well as the other mal pups with experience, but the breeder/hander said the judge gave it to her because of her bone and body structure, face, legs, gait around the ring etc.


If I think for one second Kenzie isn't enjoying the shows, it'll be "we're outta here" and home on the couch with me!

If your dog cannot overcome her fear, then showing her is futile, since Malamutes should be confident and outgoing as part of the breed standard.

I doubt that one week of classes will prepare her, but you never know. If not, just keep up the training and classes and maybe she can be shown later on.

We don't expect her to win at all, but just want to be able to enjoy it as much as she'd like to, hence, exposing her to it before hand. Again, if we think for a second she's not, we're out of there.

We've had Mals all our lives, Kenzie was bought for us by our kids when our beloved 13 yr old mal died in Nov. So we're fully aware of the Mal temperament and love their independance, confident, outgoing nature! :)

Here are some books for beginners that may help you! Good luck!:)
Showing for beginners (http://www.bulldoginformation.com/dog-showing.html)

Thank you for your input. BTW, Kenzie's dad is Cdn Champ, and mom is well on her way as well. He can be seen in the Root stores, so I think the breeder is well aware of the mal traits necessary to show and she feels Kenzie is the next Cdn champ and that's why she'd like to show her. She feels Keznie has all the best genes from Mom & Dad, BUT she was bought as a Companion dog, and whatever Kenzie enjoys most, whether it be home on the couch, pulling the grandkids on a sled, or being at a show is what Kenzie will get!! She's our baby!!!!!

shannon1233A
April 30th, 2005, 03:24 PM
:sorry: Part of my answer in in the quotes in above post. I answered your concerns/comments and it appears like other posters quotes, sorry!!!!!

db7
April 30th, 2005, 04:26 PM
There are so many things at a show that can make a dog uneasy, especially a young dog. Slippery floors, echoes, the bright lights, crazy dog hair-dos, blow driers and fancy potions. Weird smells.....

Your classes should help as it will give the dog repeated exposure to show-like conditions. Provided you don't push too hard, gotta be fun. She'll never score a point showing discomfort or timidness.

It is a good sign that she began to get more comfortable as the weekend progressed. If she ever starts to go the other way, fine on Friday, antsy on Sat, scratch her and get out before there is a permanent impression made on her. It can be a long road back.

One thing you might want to try is to do the outdoor shows rather than the arena/indoor hall shows. She could be more comfortable outdoors.

db7
April 30th, 2005, 04:35 PM
Forgot to mention, make sure you are totally relaxed, like nothing special is going on. If you are nervous at all it'll go right down the lead and straight into the dog!

Chances are the breeder was stacking the dog when it was a pup as they evaluate each dog.

Cheapest tool for teaching stacking is 4 tin cans.

How many pups did she defeat?

shannon1233A
April 30th, 2005, 04:54 PM
:) Thank you very much for the advice and taking the time to respond :) As I said, HER hapiness is first and foremost to us. To be honest, it was our first show and frankly we weren't as enthused about it as she was. No offence to anybody out there that does this on a regular basis, and maybe it was just that particular show, but we found the people there to be a little....hmmmm how do I put this....snobbish? We're a retired couple and thought great, we'll meet people with similar love of dogs, but most seemed more interested in being competitive than enjoying themselves.

Four tin cans???? Now you've got my interest, not to mention all the things I'm imagining! :D What in the world do you do with a 60 lb dog and 4 tin cans??

She beat 3 other mals and an akita in another ring. Sorry, not familiar enough with the terms to know which was for which, except Best of Breed and Best of Opposite Sex?

db7
April 30th, 2005, 05:02 PM
Four tin cans.....Teach her to stand on them.

Sounds like you are off to a great start.

And welcome to the show world. People are people, it takes all types. You might find more friendly's at a sled race rather than at a conformation show. They are after all, all about appearances and vanity.

In my experience a bench show is interesting for the 5 minutes your dog is in the ring and that's all.

CyberKitten
April 30th, 2005, 05:41 PM
Should I feel paranoid that you did not respond to my questions but thanked others for their replies. ;) I replied to it while looking over my shoulder waiting for someone to come in my office and tell me I was needed so I must wonder I will now think twice before anwering anyone's question, sigh (if my input is not wanted..) Sorry to sound cranky - I am having a busy crazy day and when one takes time to reply and help, I don;t care if ppl do not reply but wonder what I did when other respones are acknowledged and mine - or others are not.

You never replied about your breeder and getting a mentor. Did you ask your breeder about this - and a mentor should be able to help you - at the risk of repeating myself.

Anyway - even if you do not want my advice, I do wish you luck. It can be a fun experience and dog (and cat) shows seem to be a world and culture all their own.

tenderfoot
April 30th, 2005, 05:46 PM
It might be that your breeder might like to handle the dog for shows and leave you to the love and fun times. This would mean time away from your dog, but you would have to weigh that. They say that dog showing is one place where the novice and professional can compete head to head, but no matter what there are politics involved and the best dog does not always win, but the favored handler might. Beauty contests are never objective, they are always subjective - try as we might to be fair.
We have done the 'show' thing with horses, dogs, llamas....always hoping to find a group of like minded people who just enjoy their animals and want to have fun. I have yet to find many (if any) people in any competive area to be truely in it for the fun - typically it always comes down to human ego. Some of the animals truely enjoy the show ring, but I still think they would be just as happy on a great hike with their people or time on the couch in front of a warm fire.

tenderfoot
April 30th, 2005, 06:01 PM
Dear Cyberkitten,
In Shannon123's defense I don't think you ever really asked a question for her to answer. You made very helpful statements about your experience and ideas for her to try, but unless I am more dyslexic than I thought I don't see a ? anywhere. I know what you mean though - sometimes it is easy to wonder if someone even read your post. One time, someone kept ignoring my remarks and I finally got the hint that I think I had made them mad, so I just backed off.
Have a better day and don't sweat the small stuff!

CyberKitten
April 30th, 2005, 06:13 PM
Very true Tenderfoot, thx - I try not to worry about the little things but sometimes the little things are easier to tackle when so many other larger and more serious (and here I refer to too much death and dying and a friend's medical slide downhill and not wanting to lose her either.)issues that I work hard to prevent but some days the battle seems futile. This is one of those days and weeks actually, sigh.

Oh well!

tenderfoot
April 30th, 2005, 06:29 PM
I know what you mean, my mother was diagnosed with cancer this year. But for me it made everything else seem very small and un-important. Until my horse nearly died and my daughters friend commited sucide (on the same night)- to the point where I was so hysterical that I caused myself to be sick. In the end I learned that being on edge or letting my emotions get the best of me helped nothing and only made it worse. Your friend needs you now - you cannot prevent death or delay dying - you are not God. You are here to help your friend through this as best you can. It's not whether or not you can prevent or change things, but how you deal with them and help the people you love deal with them.
I wish you all the best, and great strength in these tough times.

CyberKitten
April 30th, 2005, 07:56 PM
The trouble is I deal with cancer day in and day out. (It is what I do). But she does not have cancer - but is in a coma. VERY hard! And I think as doctors, we think we can save wveryone and feel particularly helpless when it is someone close.

shannon1233A
April 30th, 2005, 08:10 PM
sorry: :sorry: :sorry: Honest, I tried to answer you after my last post, but for some reason it wouldnt go through. I EVEN EMAILED ADMIN, to let them know everytime I'd try to post, it would take me back to the login page when I was already logged in. Then I'd type a relpy and it wouldn't appear. Hope this one does!!

I sincerely thank you for your input re the mentor and asking about the breeder. As I mentioned in my first post, the breeder lives very far away, but she did give me a couple of pointers at the first show. About a mentor, I've spent 3 days on the phone trying to find someone to no avail until I finally found the classes which start May 17th. Even those are 1 hour away!

AGAIN, THANK YOU, AND I'M SOOOO SORRY I DIDN'T GET TO ANSWER YOU EARLIER. I hope your day gets better. You are a very caring person not only in cyberspace, but in real life too, to care for cancer patients. God Bless You

CyberKitten
April 30th, 2005, 08:32 PM
Thanks shannon. I am glad to hear the breeder is helpful but sorry to hear you could find no mentor and the distance. Maybe if you attend dog shows in the interim you will meet someone there or someone at the shows can give you a lead on someone. I know it can be a lot of work.

I guess the alternative is to ask as many questions as possible of people who have been through it, observe how it's done and read as much as you can. Ppl who show their animals always say the first time is a great learning experience even if no rosettes come with it, lol You learn how your pet interacts with Judges and the other dogs and the oranized chaos of a show!

Good luck!!!

Thx for your warm wishes. I am sorry to have sounded so picky - I did not mean to pick on you when it is hardly your fault the real reason I am down has more to do with my offline life. I guess I have so little time to post info online that I value it too much. :)

You are very kind - I am beginning to wonder if cancer patients (in my case, my patients are all under the age of 19 for the most part tho I do see them when they have to move to the "adult" hospital sometimes, always a tough tranisition) wait for special occasions or times of the year to pass before they die. I have never done a formal study and I am not sure I could get even obtain a grant for one but I had FIVE children die this week. In EVERY case, there was some significant event that seeminly kept them alive longer than was seen as scientifically and medically possible - the birthday of her mother in one case, an event at her school in which her friends had created a special place for her - a school play to be specific - in the end, she was unable to "play" the role but watched it by videoconference -, in another, her grandfather died and he died the next day, in yet another she was waiting for her mom to give birth so she could see her new baby sister (fortunately born at the same hospital - this little girl was 8 and had a rare form of eye cancer that had already taken one eye) and in the last one, she wanted her exams over with and to know she had done well (she is in her 1st yr univ). I just find it inbearable that the world will never know the potential all these children would have brought to it. I know it's just a cliché that "only the good die young" but on weeks like this, it certainly gives one pause.

My friend is also a doctor - had to give up a pediatric practice (we shared an office and I currently foster her sphynx kitties) and a childhood disease returned and has created some severe respiratory and cardiac problems that have now led to neurological consequences.

shannon1233A
April 30th, 2005, 08:33 PM
I've tried to send you a private message but it says your box is full or at maximum number of messages allowed! I wanted to explain and appologize personally but couldn''t due to above> sooooo sorry but I hope my last post to you shows on the board!

shannon1233A
April 30th, 2005, 08:45 PM
What a strong, caring person you are! The world is lucky to have it blessed with people like you {{{HUGS}}}

I believe in people holding on as you've described, even experienced it first hand. You should try to get funding to do such a study. It must take soooo much out of you to do the work you do, but families, and the children you interact with need someone special as yourself to help them all through it. You are indeed an angel on Earth for what you do! And, thank you again for your time and suggestions, I can see why you're in the profession you are...it beams through the computor screen. God Bless hun!

Thanks shannon. I am glad to hear the breeder is helpful but sorry to hear you could find no mentor and the distance. Maybe if you attend dog shows in the interim you will meet someone there or someone at the shows can give you a lead on someone. I know it can be a lot of work.

I guess the alternative is to ask as many questions as possible of people who have been through it, observe how it's done and read as much as you can. Ppl who show their animals always say the first time is a great learning experience even if no rosettes come with it, lol You learn how your pet interacts with Judges and the other dogs and the oranized chaos of a show!

Good luck!!!

Thx for your warm wishes. I am sorry to have sounded so picky - I did not mean to pick on you when it is hardly your fault the real reason I am down has more to do with my offline life. I guess I have so little time to post info online that I value it too much. :)

You are very kind - I am beginning to wonder if cancer patients (in my case, my patients are all under the age of 19 for the most part tho I do see them when they have to move to the "adult" hospital sometimes, always a tough tranisition) wait for special occasions or times of the year to pass before they die. I have never done a formal study and I am not sure I could get even obtain a grant for one but I had FIVE children die this week. In EVERY case, there was some significant event that seeminly kept them alive longer than was seen as scientifically and medically possible - the birthday of her mother in one case, an event at her school in which her friends had created a special place for her - a school play to be specific - in the end, she was unable to "play" the role but watched it by videoconference -, in another, her grandfather died and he died the next day, in yet another she was waiting for her mom to give birth so she could see her new baby sister (fortunately born at the same hospital - this little girl was 8 and had a rare form of eye cancer that had already taken one eye) and in the last one, she wanted her exams over with and to know she had done well (she is in her 1st yr univ). I just find it inbearable that the world will never know the potential all these children would have brought to it. I know it's just a cliché that "only the good die young" but on weeks like this, it certainly gives one pause.

My friend is also a doctor - had to give up a pediatric practice (we shared an office and I currently foster her sphynx kitties) and a childhood disease returned and has created some severe respiratory and cardiac problems that have now led to neurological consequences.

tenderfoot
April 30th, 2005, 09:05 PM
How dare I speak to you of cancer and pain. You live with it everyday and it was merely a blip on my screen for such a short time. I did not know that this was your calling in life.
I was grateful for my fathers cancer (wow, does that sound weird) - it gave us the time we needed to say the things we needed to before he died. Had he been taken by a sudden heart attack we would not have had the chance. He did not suffer long and we could see the value in the time we had with him.
Perhaps these amazing children have revealed their potential to us through their courage while here on earth. A short life has no less value than a long one if lived fully. I am able to think these brave thoughts because I have not been challenged with the illness or passing of one of my children. God save me if such a thing were to enter my life. I cannot imagine how parents and the people who love these children survive. It is a testament to your strength that you can deal with the life you have chosen on a daily basis. Not many of us are that brave. But for this week - there will be another which will bring you great joy and deep understanding - it is just not today. I am sorry for your pain.
Yes, I agree people hold on for what ever reason that is important to them. It would make a great book - perhaps sharing your experiences would be a way of making sense of it all. I am sure it would bring comfort to many.

CyberKitten
April 30th, 2005, 09:28 PM
Oh wow! You guys make me sound like a Saint or something and I am far from that!!!

Yes, there are days that make it all worthwhile. We do win most of the battles now. When I was a child in the late 60's and early 70's, a child diagnosed with leukemia would often not live to see her next birthday. Now, acute leuekmia is hardly a death sentence. And we make progress all the time! (yet cancer rates increase so while it is easier to cope with and treat, it is more common - yet another book!).

I had numerous illnesses as a child too and I met a young boy with cancer when I was in a Children's hospital - I was 5 and when I came home, I used to think in my uncomplicated childhood way if you had cancer of the blood, why would one not just take out all the old blood and replace it with blood transfusions. (I'd seen that and knew that could happen - had no clue about plasma and platets et al tho, lol). I was SO SURE that would cure my friend. It was probably an unusual thing for a child to think about at night in bed but when you face a life threatening illness as a child, you can be 5 going on 40 in some ways but of course in other ways, your life is a little different. So I vowed then to do cancer research and amazingly - with a little luck and a lot of studying, I became a pediatric oncologist. <g> So if I whine on occasion, I have only myself to blame.

Sorry about the mailbox shannon. It is full - I will empty some of the letters.

Tenderfoot, I am sorry about your father. My grandparents both died of cancer but I was able to help them by then. My grandfather had Hodgkin's Disease (often one that affects children) and my grandmother breast cancer. But they both felt they had lived their lives (they were in their late 80's when they died) and were at peace with it.

I sometimes see it as a war - especially when it affects the very young. And some days we win the battles and other days the cancer cells are on the offensive. We just need to win the war!

Gripenfelter
May 1st, 2005, 10:59 AM
I have an Alaskan Malamute as well. I take my pup everywhere. I've take him to pet stores, for car rides, to dog parks, to people's houses to play with other dogs, etc. I know another mal owner here in the city who simply just takes his mal for walks. The difference between our two dogs is night and day.

Mine is very outgoing, plays gently with any animal (even rabbits), and is very confident wherever we go.

My advice would be to take your mal to dog parks, pet stores, and other places there are dogs. Take her to the dog shows even if its just to watch.

I just started show training with my puppy this week and he's 21 weeks old. The local schools wanted him to go through puppy classes when he was 12 weeks old first before he went through show training. They wouldn't let him enter puppy classes until he had his second set of shots.

shannon1233A
May 1st, 2005, 05:07 PM
She's soooo cute! We take Kenzie everywhere too. She loves kids and plays with the grandchildren so gently, completely differently than with adults. She gets her weekly visit to PetSmart too, even if it's just to look around and interact with the other dogs. She also loves my sons kitten, so she's very friendly and outgoing, wanting to give everyone and everything a kiss! She has to greet every dog she meets on her walks as though it'll be the last time she sees them. Maybe it was just the strangeness of it all.....we'll see how the classes go! Sigh....wish I could post a pic