Showing Mastiffs

Showing can be fun, rewarding (not financially), exciting and entertaining. It can also be frustrating, expensive (financially), time consuming and dull. Unless you live in a very remote area there is almost bound to be ringcraft classes near you. Contact the secretary of your local canine society. Both you and your mastiff can learn a lot by attending, especially if you are both novices. Even if you are a seasoned exhibitor going to classes will be good for the puppy (after it is fully inoculated).

When your mastiff is old enough (6 months) try one or two small local shows to see if you both like showing. They may not have breed classes but you will get much the same experience in variety classes.

You go into the ring with the best dog and you come out of the ring with the best dog no matter
what the judge thinks.

Every dog has its merits and its imperfections and every judge has his or her own set of priorities. So if you have success in the ring to start with don’t be despondent if the next time you exhibit you do less well. The same argument applies equally in reverse. The strength of the opposition is also very relevant.

To find out about shows you will need to study the dog press and the Mastiff Association Events calendar. ‘Dog World’ and ‘Our Dogs’ carry numerous adverts for shows every week. Apply to the show secretary for a schedule and entry form. Complete the entry form accurately and clearly and return it with the required fee before the closing date. In the case of championship shows you should expect to receive confirmation of entry and passes a few days before the show date.

Make sure you have applied to The Kennel Club for a transfer of ownership.

Allow plenty of time to get to the show when the day arrives. It can sometimes take an unbelievably long time to travel the last mile into the show ground. Preparing a mastiff for exhibition is much easier than one of the coated breeds. Do make sure that ears, teeth and coat are clean and toe nails are short.

Don’t forget on the day of the show to have with you: Collar, lead, water bowl, brush and towel for your dog, plus cold weather or wet weather clothing for yourself.

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