First, make sure that your dog is clean. This includes trimmed toenails and clean ears and clean teeth. If he has blown his coat, brush it out! Don't leave a loosened undercoat there with all of the little tufts sticking out all over. You aren't fooling anyone, especially a judge with years of experience in dogs. A clean, neat appearance is of paramount importance. Comb him out completely, and make sure that his coat is lying flat against his body, as called for in the standard. If you chalk his white feet, be sure and remove all traces of the chalk. Do not scissor his coat anywhere other than to tidy up the feet, and trim the whiskers, if you feel you must - but most of us leave the whiskers on.
Next, make sure that your dog is trained. If you are unable to get the dog to move down and back in a straight line, it is impossible for the judge to evaluate your dog. Your dog should be trained to move back and forth in a straight line and around in a circle on a loose lead. He should be trained to stand on a table and allow someone to go over him. Don't worry about trying to bait your dog on the table. If he won't use his ears up there, don't try to make him. All you will do is point out to the judge that your dog hates the table! The judge will have plenty of opportunity to see expression when your dog is on the ground, and if he likes your dog, don't worry, he will give him a chance.
Third, make sure your dog is in proper condition. A Corgi that is too fat cannot move properly - a soft topline, faults coming and going, a roll over the back are all exacerbated by an overweight dog. A dog that is too thin may move well, but will not pass on close examination. Often an underweight dog's coat lacks that shine that seems to come from the inside out. A seasonal lack of undercoat can be forgiven, but a dull, lifeless coat cannot possibly protect a dog from the elements. If your dog is terribly out of condition, don't show him.
Finally, pay attention in the ring. When the judge looks at your dog - you look at him too, and if that front foot is out of place, fix it! Don't just smile up at the judge unless you know that your dog is in the proper position. Who knows, the judge may like two dogs equally as well, and what you do to present your dog in the best light may be the determining factor. Never give up and quit showing your dog while you are in the ring. You may think that the judge is ignoring your dog, but maybe he really likes him and is looking for numbers 2,3, and 4. So don't quit until the judge has made his placements. If you don't win, then always remember to congratulate the winner on the way out of the class.
Remember, every dog that is shown today has at least one fault. Some have quite a few! Even the Best in Show dog at each and every show held every week can be faulted somewhere. Just because a judge doesn't put your dog up today, that does not change what he is. You just got someone's opinion of your dog on that day. An educated opinion, but still an opinion. <g> It is not so much what you do on the day of the show, but what you do with your dog every day that counts. If he is a good representative of your breed, is properly groomed, in the bloom of health, and is properly trained and presented, then you will have your day in the spotlight!
Copyright, 1997, Stephanie Seabrook Hedgepath. All rights reserved.