Puppies, People And Stress
How do we socialize and ring train puppies when there are no dogs shows due to COVID-19? Tell us (below) how you and your dog clubs are coping.
October 12, 2020 | TheDogPress.com
Sherry L. Shivley, Journalist Award Winner
With mixed results I introduced puppies to their first dog show long after they should have been to puppy matches. One took to it like a duck to water.
The other pup had issues because of no show exposure. Not his fault, his puppy insecurity was due to no shows or matches. There was an incident with other dogs, people slamming hotel doors and speaking loudly outside our door but in the show ring he was steady as a rock.
I would like to apologize to the British lady who parked her dog right in front of the elevator doors. My 9 month old pup has not been out much since birth because of COVID restrictions and he has never been in an elevator. When he saw your dog right in front of him when the doors opened, he reacted badly.
The stress was taking its toll on my older puppy and he had loose stools. He is going through the ‘fearful puppy stage’ that Boxers go through and because he reacted, his older brother also reacted. I was only a month out from shoulder surgery and the two of them surging forward toward your dog, which I admire for staying cool, caused me great pain.
When you said you were not going to stay where “untrained dogs” were and that you were going home which was an hour away, I almost laughed. Like many people, I drove 4 hours one way to the dog show and stayed that night because we had an 8am class the next day.
We all survived to show the next day. There was no barking or fussing and things were much easier. My puppy continued to be a goofball outside the ring but inside a switch flipped and he was a different dog. He won his puppy classes and got a long look for Winners dog.
Outside shows are safer for corona virus but showing outside in Wyoming was a problem because of the constant wind, sometimes gusting. That caused the canopies to flap wildly which scared even the seasoned dogs. Numbers and paperwork flew off the tables and the ground was uneven and hard to run on. But no big deal, that’s dog shows.
Greeley, CO was much cooler with trees for shade and a wonderful sack lunch provided by the Boxer Club of Colorado. COVID masks, normal temps and waivers were required for the shows in Greeley but check-ins were smooth, friendly and no problem.
My girl was introduced to the Beginner Puppy ring and she LOVED it! She had trouble keeping still with all 4 on the floor but the Judge said he sees great promise in her and she had a great time.
Because of COVID-19 the rings had separate entrance and exits, you picked up your own number, it was so much smoother than past shows! Inside it was calm, quiet and professional. No crating ringside, no grooming inside, dogs are happy, people are happy. I hope show committees continue using these guidelines.
PLEASE make these procedural (COVID) changes permanent! Overall, corona virus has not harmed our dog shows, it has IMPROVED them. Change should always be welcome if it is for the greater good of our dogs.
I hope you have been able to attend some shows and would love to hear your thoughts. Email me directly or reply in the boxes below.
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