Conformation Handling/

Handle your dog in the show ring like a pro!

Conformation Handling



Join the ranks of owner-handlers showing their own dogs

Conformation Handling:

You have a gorgeous dog. But does your dog have what it takes to earn a Show Championship title? The only place to find out is at a dog show!

But before you jump into your car and head out, you need to practice the art of conformation (i.e. show) handling.

The term conformation refers to how dogs stack up (or conform) to their breed standard. The breed standard is an idealized description of physical and temperamental characteristics for each pure breed. The closer a dog approaches the ideal, the more likely a Championship title will be conferred. At least that is how it works in theory.

In practice, much depends on you, the handler. Because, even if you have a perfect dog (if there is such a thing) your performance in the ring can make or break you. Likewise, you need to teach your dog confidence and swagger. Dog shows are not called a dog SHOWS for nothing. A great performance in the ring can put you over the top.

Dog shows can be highly competitive. Give yourself the edge and join the growing ranks of dog owners who are leaving expensive professional handlers for the joy and satisfaction of showing their own dogs. Yes you can do it with our Conformation Handling class!

What you will accomplish...
  • Week 1
    • What to expect from class. So, you want to show your dog?
    • Breed standards, rules, basic commands, basic ring procedure, tools of the trade.
    • Evaluation of participants.
  • Week 2
    • Entering a dog show.
    • Show do’s and don’ts. Hands on! The Stack!
    • Dog attitude, winning edge, showmanship.
  • Week 3
    • Judges, who they are and what they are looking for.
    • Unusual ring procedures and judges that make you go "huh?"
    • Moving a dog with purpose.
  • Week 4
    • Dog show conditioning of handler and dog.
    • Wait/show/let’s go!
    • Baiting; when, why, with what?
  • Week 5
    • Time to show!
    • Other handlers who get in your space!
    • Dog show etiquette.
  • Week 6
    • Free stacking, eye contact.
    • Lots of moving and hands on.
    • Guest judge!
  • Week 7
    • Full show, be prepared.
    • Moving your dog with purpose!
    • Certificate of participation.

Instructor: Stewart Dankner
CKC Best in Show and multigroup judge, CKC Foundation VP, VP of the Oakville and District Kennel Club.

Prerequisite: None required.


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