Tabling: The discussion

I swear I am, like, the world’s WORST table trainer.

With only three handling classes under her belt, Whiskey is doing an awesome job with free-stacking.  She responds easily to body cues, and we’re gradually increasing the amount of time she’ll hold a stack.  She gaits beautifully and naturally, so there hasn’t been a whole lot I’ve had to do in that department.

But the accursed table!!  Whatever that special touch is, I don’t have it.  Other people can put a puppy on a table, place their feet, hold their heads up, and snap a lovely photo and/or make a lovely presentation for the judge.  I set a puppy on the table, and it’s swaying back on it’s haunches, arching up its back, and moving around like it has swallowed Mexican jumping beans.  [Did you know that those jump because there are worms inside, trying to get out?  Gross!] 

{Disclaimer:  my puppy does NOT have worms moving around inside, trying to get out.}

ANYway, it’s incredibly frustrating.  And I’m sure my frustration only feeds the problem and makes the puppy more nervous, which makes me even more frustrated… and on and on the cycle goes.  I have a similar problem with hard-stacking my dogs, always have.  They do much, much better if I free-stack them, so that’s what I’ve always done, but it would be really nice to have the option to hard-stack when you don’t have the time to maneuver them into optimal position with free-baiting.

I DID notice that, if I set Whiskey on the table and then basically cue her to freestack, she does a pretty good job.  The problem is that you have precious little time in the show ring, and I want to be able to present the proper silhouette to the judge.

Aargh!!  What can I do improve at this?


Posted on February 22, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I suffer from the same malady. Long time handlers have repeatedly told me that the only way to get good at hand stacking a dog, on the floor or table, is to practice, practice, practice. Many also suggest doing it in front of a mirror so you can see the show side. Seems there is no magic pill 😦

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