Dogs are like humans, they are all different
They have different temper, they have different construction, one is not equal to the other. There is never one single path to go and you have to chose which way is the best way for presenting each single dog.
I usually start with identifying the energy level, is this a dogs that needs more energy in its presentation or does it need a bit less energy? I have a happy little female galloping around wagging her tail constantly, show after show. I trained and trained and she got happier and happier every time, she pulled nicely in the leash in front of me but always in galopp. People gave me all sorts of strange advise, like “give her more food so she gets fat and have less condition and don´t want to galopp”. This is how she looked in the middle of her “galoppingseason” Look at her muscles on her hind legs and watch her tail moving!
Finally I realized where the problem was, it was me. I am an energetic person and I transferred my energy to my dog. So next show I put my mind into that I was going on a funeral. I walked slowly in a kind of slowmotion, moved my body slower and did not play around with her in the ring or try to get her be happy. Three shows later she trots happily around in the ring! This female I am able to both free stand or handstack. She is just happy with both.
Then there are dogs with a low energy level that you have to add more energy and self confidence in ring. This female pulls lovely in the leach and trot fast in front of me with her tail up, but she does not like when I touch her or move her legs, in the standing, then she looses her posture and almost falls apart. She is the free standing type.
She finds her balance by herself and don´t like if I try to help her. She is the only dog I show totally differently. I keep my “candy hand” in position in front of her, “flick” my fingers and let her take one step forward with her front paws to get in balance.
With young dogs or dogs with a bit low self-confidence, I always stand in front of the dog when the judge examines the dog, to make the dog “thinking forward” and not pushing itself sidewards towards me.
Sometimes there are dogs that you want to stand a certain way, to fool the eye. They might stand in balance and look nice, but they might have a construction that you want to hide or at least not highlight to the judge. Those dogs might be better to handstack if the temper allows it. Here is a female with the best temper ever, she loves showing herself to everybody and is the “queen” in the ring. But she is a bit long loin, on females it is allowed to a certain point, but in this case I try to not exaggerate that part. Sometimes when she sands freely she becomes to angulated in her hooks. I really need to train in front of the mirror with this female. Look how different positions can change the look of your dog!
Whatever way you chose to use on your dog, remember the most important advise!
Never ever reward a dog that not shows “expectation”, then you have taught the dog the wrong behavior.
This is the most usual fault in training dogs, to keep giving it candy while doing nothing,with the intention to just to keep it happy in the ring.
Author Suzanne Nisser Blanck