Participating in dog shows with your Chinese Foo is a great way to spend quality time with your dog while getting know other dog fanciers in a wonderful atmosphere. Unfortunately, Chinese Foos are not yet eligible for competitions sponsored by the American Kennel Club, the oldest kennel club in America, but fanciers of the breed hope that this will change one day. For now, they are welcome to participate in shows hosted by other organizations, including the American Rare Breed Association and the National Canine Association. Participating in exhibitions also help to get the breed wider known and this will hopefully help the breed become accepted in larger associations. If you're interested in participating in an exhibition with your Chinese Foo, here are a few tips to help get you started.
An important part of preparing for a competition is making sure that the Chinese Foo will be comfortable in an environment with lots of people and other dogs. Judges will be looking at not just how the dog conforms to the breed's standard, but also its temperament. Dogs in competition should be well behaved, be able to follow basic commands from their handler, and not shy away or be aggressive towards judges when they examine a dog during the competition. The best way to prepare a Chinese Foo for this kind of environment is to start obedience and socialization training very early in its life.
Learning the basic commands of sit, stay and come are an invaluable part of obedience training and can start when a dog is just a puppy. Experienced handlers will have no problem beginning this training very early, but for first time handlers or handlers that are new to Chinese Foos may wish to consider joining an obedience class for puppies, sometimes called Puppy Kindergarten. Not only will this help the handler and the dog learn the proper steps towards good behavior, but it will also help in the area of socialization.
Socialization is simply the act of getting the dog used to being around people and other dogs. Obedience classes offer an excellent way for dogs to learn how to behave around other handlers and their pets. Other ways to get your dog used to the presence of others are to take your Chinese Foo on errands with you, play in the park or just take a few walks around the neighborhood.
Grooming is obviously going to play an important part of preparing for competition. Because of the Chinese Foo's double coat, they are going to need at least weekly sessions of brushing, in order to keep the coat free of debris and prevent matting from occurring. According to the breed standard for Chinese Foos, they do not require any special grooming apart from having a nice, clean appearance. Some fanciers prefer to work with a professional groomer because bathing the thick coat can be a difficult chore, but it certainly can be done at home with a lot of patience. Starting the grooming process when the dog is just a puppy will help him get used to the idea and can become another way to spend quality time with his handler.