Is it allowed to use food to motivate dogs while handling? I was very suprised to see many handlers having something in their hand (probaby food). I thought it is not allowed..... What judges think of that? Can they disqualify a dog?
Food is quite OK in the showring in Sweden. I dont know about other countries.
But definatly NOT OK when it comes to obedience for instance. In the obedience-ring you certainly get disqualified instantly.
you can see that in every country. most dogs do not enjoy shows but are easily motivated by food. group 2 dog owners are in the ring with balls or squeekies :-) most of the golden retrievers are fed all the time when stacked in front of the judge (i hate that, honestly said, as every dog can be tought to stand or to be stacked). all professional handlers use bait. so it is more common than you think!
the only thing that is forbidden - in FCI countries at least - is double handling. but you can see that also a lot, without any consequence...
I use food all the time for motivation when it comes to teaching my dogs anything. Not using food (or if a dog prefers toys etc) in a training session is making things more difficult than they need to be. And competing with any dog up at high levels of obedience is certainly difficult enough!
I expect to get paid when doing a job and feel the same way when it comes to dogs.
But as for using food in the showring, that varies from individual to individual. Some will become overmotivated and some will need the motivation food will give.
Double handling is when you have one person showing a dog in the ring and one person rushing about outside the ring, calling for the dogs attention by throwing balls, toys or by just rushing about and calling its name. Used most often (and often allowed and accepted) around working-dog-rings like german shephards etc.
When I am judging retrievers I have many problems checking the teeth because the dogs are so motivated by the food their handlers have that they will not even want to turn their head towards me. It is specially evident in young dogs.
With setters I think it is quite difficult to motivate them by using food as their ears seem to "pup up" and the expression is spoiled.
Any handler profi or not should know the temperament of his dog,and to use the motivation most suitable for the one in question.
Good handlers can admit a lot to the success of /on the first place good speciman of the breed most close to the sandard//,yes some dogs are more showy than the others,but there is no worse picture for me,when the dog is just hardly trained as the soldier.Natural behaviour with the rules of showing and the excellent contact between the dog and the handler is seen not so often.The ring is the stage and the handler who has a bit of the acting charm and the dog being showy leed to the perfect presentation,but of course wih the standard asked quality dog not to be FORGOTTEN!
There are dogs which can do anything the handler ask of them,but without the personal charm and pale expression is nothing;good judges will not appreciate it.
Yes it is the difference in showing specially labradors and setters as the natures of them are quite different,but there is not better and even more beautiful picture of the competing team as when the dog is looking into the eyes of his handler demonstrating his devotion and love!
Handling is not an easy task,but believe me judging as well.