Claire winning 4th in the Gundog Group at Southern Counties with Libby

Ringcraft training CORRECTLY is something that I feel passionately about. Showing is a hobby and a pastime for humans that we expect our dogs to join in with. A show ring can be a very foreign and challenging place from a dogs perspective. They are surrounded by dogs of the same size and breed, but cannot play. They are put on the most enticing floor covered in the most amazing smells, but cannot put their head down. On top of that, they are expected to stand perfectly still whilst a stranger bends completely over them, looks them in the eye, opens their mouths and feels their most private parts!

Traditional ringcrafts are largely based on repetition, continuingly making a dog perform a certain task until it is accepted. On average you will have about 10 minutes of the instructors time over a 2 hour period, and there will be 30 odd dogs all in the hall performing a vast variety of behaviours and vocalisations, both good and bad, that the instructor hasn’t got a hope of controlling whilst still going over dogs. Is this the best environment for a dog to learn? Is the behaviour of other dogs having an impact on your dog?

This is not my way! I am an advocate of allowing a dog to choose to join in the wonderful world of showing, and this is done by shaping and building on behaviours the dog is happy to show. In my experience, and I have been in the ring for 30 years and have trained and handled Crufts Best of Breed winners and championship show group place winners, a true show dog wants to be there, demands the judge to take notice, and loves the day out. This is what I train for. Always remember, a novice handler may cost the dog a place in the line up, but bad training can ruin a good show dog.

I offer one to one sessions in Hampshire where the dog has the opportunity to learn what we are actually asking it to do. You have my undivided attention for the full hour. We then work on introducing the dog to a show environment, finally when the dog is comfortable with both elements separately we put them together to provide a bombproof show dog. The Claire Johnson way of training show dogs is fast, effective and proven!

I offer a variety of different packages depending on your circumstance, from the newbie starter package where I prepare both owner and dog for their first time in the ring, through to emergency consultations to recover a dog from a bad experience by a dog, table or judge ahead of an important show. Contact me on claire@ownersbestfriend.com for full details.

For a short period only I will be holding small Covid compliant ringcraft group classes on Tuesday evenings at Lets Go Manor, Romsey. These classes will be limited to a maximum of 5 handlers only, to book your spot, just click HERE.

The lovely 13 week old Cedric and his first time show dog owner after one session

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