If you own a full-blooded Tibetan spaniel, entering conformation shows is an option. Conformation shows are competitions in which expert judges choose which dog best fits the breed standard. Some dog shows include many different breeds, while others are restricted to a specific breed or breed group. For example, Tibetan spaniels could enter a conformation show meant for only spaniels and compete against breeds such as the cocker spaniel or the cavalier King Charles spaniel. Follow a few tips so that your Tibetan spaniel succeeds in its conformation shows.
Know the Standard
Even if your Tibetan spaniel is full-blooded, it still may not fit the breed standard. Because the point of conformation shows is to award the dog that best represents the breed, it is important to know whether your spaniel is a good example of a Tibetan spaniel. Some examples of traits included in the American Kennel Club's standard for Tibetan spaniels include a strong, moderately short neck, a height of about 10 inches and dark brown eyes with black rims.
Not only should you know the Tibetan spaniel's breed standard, you should know the judge's preferences before entering the ring with your dog. Because there are not too many people out there who are experts in specific dog breeds, many judges judge conformation shows repeatedly. Go to a couple shows before the one your dog is entering. Look at the dogs that win and the ones that don't and take notes of how you should prepare your Tibetan spaniel.
Make sure your Tibetan spaniel is impeccably groomed and ready to be shown. However, don't go too far with the grooming. The point of a conformation show is to look at the dog in its natural form, so you should not alter its appearance too much. Make sure that your spaniel's coat is lying naturally and is not teased, parted or styled in any way. Do not remove the dog's whiskers. Hair that grows between the pads on the bottom of the dog's feet may be trimmed, but the hair feathering on the top of the dog's foot should not be trimmed.
Tibetan spaniels can be a nervous breed, so arrive at the dog show early. Walk the dog around the area and the ring where it will be shown, if that is possible. This way, you can help minimize the dog's nervous reaction to the crowds. The judges often consider a dog's temperament when they are judging, so this is important.