Getting your puppy used to people and strange places is another thing you can do for him while he is growing up. Take him with you as often as you can. After he is lead-broken (so you know he won’t embarrass you), take him with you to the market, or the post office or to buy some cigarettes. This is even more important if you live in the country where his own back yard is all he would get to know without your help. Take him in the car with you when you go to the railroad station, airport, or bus depot; if possible take him through a revolving door and in an elevator. Then when he runs into these things at a dog show, they won’t faze him a bit.
If you take your puppy with you in your car often enough while he is still a puppy and continue to do so while he is growing up, you will never have to car break him or clean him up upon arrival at a show – he will be so used to traveling. Also you will never have to watch him shake and tremble at the sight of a lot of people as he will expect that each and every one is a great friend – it will reflect in his behavior and will benefit him greatly in his show career.
By all means, don’t forget the best training grounds of all, the Sanctioned Match. Whether he wins or loses at the Match, the training he gets there will stand him in good stead. When you go to a Match, go through all the motions just as though it were a big and important show, for the experience is good for you too. Here is where your puppy will get used to being shown, handled and gaited with a strange dog beside him. There have been well trained and well behaved puppies go all to pieces at a Match when perhaps for the first time in a long time they see many strange dogs. Remember, your dog will be expected to behave without thoroughly investigating each and every new arrival.
Of course, if you have two or more dogs at home your puppy may be fairly used to company but he may expect that he can play with the new acquaintances just as he does with his friend at home and the new dog may not feel like playing or the new dog’s owner may not be inclined to allow his youngster to indulge in puppy foolishness at a Match. If you have used the short, quick tugs on the lead when you lead broke your puppy, resort to them at the Match when he gets too frisky. The puppy will soon remember that he is on a lead and is expected to perform for you. The word, “No” in a sharp tone of voice used at the same time as the sharp jerk on the lead will also help, particularly if you have used this word whenever he displeased you or you wanted him to stop doing whatever he was doing.