Handling is a show of dogs at an exhibition. A handler is the person who skillfully displays an animal in the ring. Such a specialist skillfully masks flaws and emphasizes advantages. Sometimes it’s also called athletes or guides who take part in various dog training competitions, but when it comes to the profession, they are talking about the dog’s exhibition show. We’ll talk about this in more detail.
What does a professional handler do?
At first glance, it may seem that the handler has a minimal task: run a few laps with the pet, stop to demonstrate the dog stance, and that’s all. In fact, this is not such an easy task, because all animals are different, some need to look for a special approach, and each breed has its own characteristics.
In addition, such a specialist should teach the dog:
beautifully trot next to the conductor;
elegantly stand in a certain position;
Feel calm about feeling the whole body and examining teeth by strangers.
Of course, you can try to do it yourself. But if your pet has some minor flaws in appearance (for example, wool has recently molted), then it is better to entrust this matter to a professional. Then you will have more chances to win in the ring.
Although exhibitions are an optional event for pet owners. However, without exhibition ratings, you cannot make documents for puppies if you decide to breed.
A person who has extensive experience in handling is well acquainted with the intricacies unknown to ordinary owners. For example, how to establish competent contact with a dog so that he behaves with dignity and confidence, is not distracted by external stimuli and does not show aggression towards relatives and people, how to correctly demonstrate his teeth and bite, and much more.
In addition, these specialists often tidy up the appearance of the pet before the performance. They wash and comb their hair, brush their teeth, ears and eyes, cut their nails. And some even completely fulfill the duties of a groomer and shear animals of certain breeds.
How to become a handler?
Becoming a handler is easy. In many countries, there are young handler schools and special courses at dog training clubs. Junior handling is intended for children and adolescents (from 9 to 17 years old), and courses can be taken at any age. It is not forbidden to independently learn this craft. The first step is to study the rules of the show and the standards of the breeds.
Many current world-renowned professionals began their careers by learning to successfully show their pet in the ring. After that, they gained experience, got acquainted with representatives of various breeds, managed to see the pros and cons of each dog and present it in a favorable light.
In addition, you should be able to choose the right wardrobe, hairstyle and makeup. So, when performing in the ring, high-heeled shoes are not allowed. Appearance should be neat and not provocative - no bulky hairstyles and bright makeup. After all, the main task is to draw attention to the pet, and not to yourself.
It is also important to be able to not only understand the "dog language", but also competently communicate with an expert. But without a sincere love for our smaller brothers, this lesson is definitely not enough. As you can see, you can become a good handler yourself or find a trusted professional with the help of reviews.