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Bess is incredibly badly behaved in the show ring.  She's been to 10 shows now, and she either won't stand, or won't move with all 4 legs on the floor.  There are little improvements each time, but one step forwards seems to be two steps back.

I get lots of helpful advice - unfortunately a lot of it conflicting - but mostly that I'm not firm enough with her, and she's taking advantage of me.  I'm working hard with her at home and ring craft as I do want to continue handling my own dog.

I have had one recent suggestion, however, and I think there might be something in it.  Someone has suggested that she's got into a pattern of misbehaving, and something needs to be done to break the cycle.

I'm therefore wondering if someone would be mad enough to volunteer to take her into the ring for me if they happen to be going to the same show?  Having someone else handling her would at least show me what I'm doing wrong, and if she does behave better, may break the vicious cycle of poor behaviour.

I'm not looking for her to get placed - just for her to behave herself! 

The next couple of shows I'm going to are the Coventry and District Gundog Society on the 3rd March (she's entered into Junior and Novice), and the Herts and Essex Border Canine Society on the 17th March (Junior class).

So, is anyone up to a challenge?  :0) 

Or I'm happy to hear why this really is not a good idea!

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Hi Trish poor you, I was going to offer to go to the show and handle Bess for you althouigh I have been in the ring only 3 times, if no one else could do it I would have been willing to give it a go, BUT I have just looked it up and it is Cambridgshire and I cann`t leave Abbie that long so sorry ( probobly would have been rubish anyway ) good luck

I've been in the same situation - Bella was the first Setter I've shown since the 90s and I had the same problems. It will get better, partly because she'll get older and also you'll gain confidence and get better known. And following the same line of thought, I found that my girl is an angel when not handled by me.

You had a pretty large class at MISS, didn't you, and that ups the odds against getting placed and increases the puppy boredom. I didn't go in the end, wasn't well enough.  I stuck to Open shows for Bella's first 9 months and came to enjoy it as we started to get the hang of it. I think you have to overdramatise ignoring the bad behaviour and rewarding the good. Its a good idea to have another person take her for a Test Drive, it'll surprise her, but I can't offer I'm afraid, we're too far away.

Thanks Angela and Jean.

Yes, it was a large class which didn't help as the dogs were standing quite close to each other so off course Bess wanted to play.  As I said though, I'm not worried about being placed.  I want to work on her behaviour, and then I can worry whether we get a rosette or not.  I'm not trying for a perfect stand at the moment, for example, just a stand on 4 legs and not two!  :0) 

Trish - have you though of handling another calmer dog to gain confidence yourself? We tried showing with Merlin and gave up - he was very like Bess hyperactive, played up in the ring, bounced the judge it was embarasing - he was the same at obedience - spent the first 12 months in beginers just learning how to calm down, he couldn't go to the party because he was to hyperactive and excited, when he finally passed the session everyone cheered.Even now aged 4 he gets overexcited and pulls and jumps around in a strange place, we try to do the same walks he is confident and happy with and he is no bother BUT holidays are a nightmare.

Fergal is exact oposite, calm attentive at ringcraft he just trotts around happily, and has moved to advanced obedience at just 5 months. We are going to start with some open shown next month to see how he does  but I feel much more confident with him than I ever did with Merlin.

Hi Trish. Where do you go to ringcraft? and are there other Irish trained there? Is Bess the same there as at shows? We live near Southend and train at Southend on Sea &DCS ringcraft, ie we train our own dogs there and are trainers too.We do have other Irish come too. Is it too far for you to visit us for some support do you think? Look us up on the website.

I can identify with what you're going through, but other than persevering and perhaps just doing open shows for a while, there's no other way of replicating the environment, nerves etc. Our youngster is a handful at the moment so we gave Midland Irish a miss and went to an open show instead....he was actually very good and I wasn't so hyped up so that probably had something to do with it!


Hi Sue - yes, Bess is the same at ringcraft, which is why I got the award for the owner with the most perseverence and the most difficult dog!  :0)  There are no other ISs there, and the trainers don't have experience with the breed.  I do a lot of Open shows - probably showing about once a fortnight.  I thought it best to keep on taking her out to get her used to the environment.  Actually I'm a lot less nervous about showing now - I know I'm providing the entertainment and making a fool of myself, so I don't worry so much about it.  Less nerves for me hasn't helped her though.

I live near Colchester, so Southend is quite a way to go, but it sounds like it might be very useful for me to bring her down.  Do you just turn up, or do you have to register in advance?  Even if I only get down there occasionally it might be useful to meet someone who really knows about showing IS. 

Hi Trish you can just turn up, but have to join the club to participate.

If you do come down, let me know and I'll bring one of my calmer dogs and you can have a go with him like Andrea suggested.

I'll look out for you at open shows. Don't think Herts & Essex is on the cards for us as we've got our Veteran through to Essex top dog the night before, and we're doing Romford on 2nd so won't be at Coventry.




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