ARTICLES & ADVICE
FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY
Show Ring Tips - Hot
This summer has been amazingly hot and humid,
and it has followed me
to ever show I've entered. Here are some tips to help you and your dogs
get through the hot weather and look great doing it.
A large part of showing is adapting to the particular conditions
presented on show day. There so many variables out there that we should
be practicing with our dogs every day and at all times of the day to
get a handle on what might be encountered. You should practice
physically in as many of the variables as possible to acclimate both
you and your dog to what you will potentially encounter. You also need
to practice so your mental aptitude for overcoming any problems is at
its best given a particular set of circumstances. Of all the
difficulties you can encounter, hot weather is probably the most
As a "delicate flower" I am very prone to heat related stress, and as
such I am able to determine if taking the dog to the show is worth it
if staying home is a better option. If it is hot and you do decide to
to the show, being prepared is critical. Start by knowing your dog. If
dog does not do well in the heat, put the dog's welfare first and stay
where you can control the climate.
Some DOs and DON'T
DO keep your dog in a
consistent temperature environment. DON'T
keep your dog in an air conditioned vehicle prior to being shown. The
contrast in temperatures from air conditioning to outdoor hot and humid
will wreak havoc on your
If you want to cool your dog off quickly, you
can use rubbing alcohol
on the belly and the pads of the feet. Alcohol evaporates quickly,
however nothing evaporates quickly in high humidity, and as the
humidity rises so does the risk of heat stroke.
DO use a generator or pay for electric
and run fans on the dogs instead. Dogs react more to temperature
changes than people do, and you know how hard that can be for you.
Think about heading into an air conditioned business out of the heat,
feels great. Now recall what it feels like heading out of that
controlled environment back into
the heat and humidity. It's like a giant slap all over your body.
DO arrive early at an outdoor show and
stake out your territory in the shade. You can enhance the shade by
a pop-up tent. Set yourself up so you are still shaded as the sun moves
higher in the sky in the middle of the day. (You can buy pop-up tents
with three sides for under $200 at many large discount stores. Some of
canopies I have had great success with are: EZ-UP and CARAVAN tents.
Check their web sites to see all the varieties available.) If
you don't have your own tent, the show may provide one. If so, set up
opposite of where the sun will be highest and try to get near an edge
to get any breeze that might pass by.
DO go and watch your judge's procedure.
If the judge isn't taking dogs in catalog order, try to get to the
of the line so you can be judged first and then can get back into the
of the tent or building while others are waiting to be judged. If the
insists on keeping all the dogs in the sun, you do have options. You
put your dog in the shade or asked to be excused from the class and
off the show.
DO put yourself between the dog and the
sun if at all possible while in the show ring. Your shadow will provide
some shade for your dog.
DO spend less time grooming and putzing
around with your dog when it is hot.
DON'T wrap a dog in an ice blanket, that
only constricts the blood vessels on the surface of the skin and
heat from being carried out of the body.
DON'T allow the dog to eat ice. The cold
ice into the hot dog may cause the dog to go into shock. The dog can
the ice, but you are better off putting the ice on the throat, the
the pads of the feet and the rectum.
DON'T give the dog water just prior to
going into the show ring. Your dog is better served by wiping the
saliva out of the dog's mouth so the heat can move out of the body more
If you are in the show ring and you feel your dog losing his balance,
open the mouth and look inside. If the gums are bright red and the eyes
red around the pupils, get the dog out of the ring immediately. Do not
ice on the dog. If there is a veterinarian at the show call them
immediately. You can use cool (not cold) water to lower the dog's body
temperature until someone can get an air conditioned vehicle to take
the dog to the closest veterinarian.
If you are in the show ring and your dog quits participating, let the
dog quit. Do not force the dog to show, it is not worth risking the dog
dying and at the very least you have ruined your dog for showing in the
If you are heading to the show ring and your dog throws up, do not go
into the show ring, go directly home where your dog will be in a
climate controlled environment.
Black dogs, and dogs with short noses like Pugs and Bulldogs are far
more susceptible to the heat than other breeds. Don't keep these dogs
the sun on warm or hot days.
you wish to contact us
558-1369 · E-Mail