Conformation Handling Training Classes


Drop-In Conformation Handling Class

You and your dog will work on ring craft, practicing every skill you will need to present your dog (and yourself) to your best advantage in the breed ring.

You will work on gaiting, free stacking, hard stacking, and presenting your dog to the judges with the proper stance, expression, ear, head and tail carriage appropriate for your breed. You will perfect your table presentation if you have a table breed.We will work groups of dogs indoors as well as outside. Each dog/handler team will receive individual attention as well as being able to work in a group with other breeds.

The most important thing is that you and especially your dog have a good time in the breed ring, which will create a perfect picture for judges to see, giving you the slight edge needed to come home with that winning ribbon!

Conformation Handling – Level 1



The Conformation 1 Class will start from the beginning, teaching you to train the behaviors your dog will need to show confidently in the Conformation Ring. Using fun games like “stand in the hoop,” “paw target a mat,” and “show me,” you and your dog will have a great time as you learn specific breed ring behaviors. We’ll work on the show stack, free stacking, gaiting, expression (looking enthusiastically at the judge), and being handled on the floor (or table if you have a small dog) by a “stranger”.


  1. Read and understand your dog’s breed standard, and bring a copy of it to class.
  2. Find out exactly how your dog should “look” as they gait around the ring including tail carriage, ears, expression, etc. Have that information ready when you come to class.
  3. Bring a copy of an article about your breed from an AKC Gazette or other breed magazine or book.
  4. Please wear comfortable shoes and a jacket or skirt with pockets
  5. Your dog can come in a buckle/clasp collar and regular leash the first class, but we’ll ask you to look for the correct “tack” and start bringing it to class, i.e. a show collar and lead.
  6. Bring a lot of small soft treats as well as some large “chunks” of bait such as liver or Great Bait.

Conformation Handling – Level 2

In the Conformation Handling 2 we will be practicing the skills of handling your dogs in the breed ring. We will work indoors and out as climate permits. We will also help you with one of the more difficult parts of showing in breed: The Show Photo! This is an upbeat fun class, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and a jacket or skirt with a pocket for your bait.



Ivy with Blaze

Ivy Underdahl learned basic ring craft early on with her Swedish Vallhund pups, starting in the rare breed venues. Today, her Solborg Swedish Vallhund Kennel has produced 11 AKC Champions, several Grand Champions, and multiple BOB, BOS, and Award of Merits at the “Big Shows”, including National Specialties, Eukanuba and Westminster. In 2013 the Best of Breed and Best of Opposite at Westminster were Solborg pups. In addition, in July 2008, Ivy received the amazing gift of being asked to fly to Sweden to handle two Swedish Vallhunds in the breed ring at the World Dog Show 2008.


Class Cost:Level 1 and Level 2: $100 - four classes
Drop-In Class: $15 per session paid at class time. (Click on Link below for initial registration)
Class Location:All classes are held at Gentle Touch Pet Training's training center located at 1886 Deer Canyon Road, Arroyo Grande, CA.
Click for directions.
Vaccines:Dogs must be current on parvo, distemper (or have protective titers) and rabies shots.
Registration:Class size is limited to 8 dogs to ensure personal attention.  Full payment is necessary to reserve class space. 
Click on the preferred dates below to register.
Class Dates:
Drop-In Conformation
Handling Classes
12:45 - 1:30 PM
Instr: Ivy