Bringing a happy dog to the show helps with success, says handler

Sherry Martell
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BIBLE HILL - Preparing a dog to be in the competition spotlight begins nearly from the time a litter of puppies is born.
Experienced dog handler Sherry O'Brien-Stevens said you want to have a happy dog at the show and to do that they have to work with someone they trust completely, building a relationship that instills confidence in the dog.
"The more confidence they have the harder they work in the ring," she said.
Every breed has its own unique set of standards and the breeder said they have to be conditioned for show from the inside out.
O'Brien-Stevens is entering two Collies in the Cobequid Dog Club's 40th annual dog show on the weekend and began preparing them for this show about a week ago.
Once the dog is bathed it must be completely dry, ensuring all moisture is gone before brushing.
It takes O'Brien-Stevens between three and four hours to line brush each dog, painstakingly lifting layer after layer and combing it smooth.
Fur must be clipped to accentuate their features, including around the feet, and then nails are trimmed to a perfect length. Teeth are brushed, which could involve scaling,
She said during a show you want the dog to exhibit good temperament and sound structure.
Expression is also a very important quality for the Collie breed and can be perfected in the ring with a little coaxing enhanced by a liver brownie.
"Over all you try to make your dog look the best you can at the stage of the dog's life," she said.
Dog shows are an opportunity for purebred canines to be judged, identifying their best qualities.

Organizations: Cobequid Dog Club

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  • misty
    January 18, 2010 - 09:57

    these beautiful retired show dogs make wonderful older pets for the family who is happy not having a puppie but a mature dog....to complete their home....