by Dan Carlson
Being able to show teeth / gums / flews and opening the mouth is applicable for day to day living. This is also very important for veterinarian care and showing purposes in a ring. This process can be started at an early age with puppies and utilized for life.
Calm, repetitive training with positive verbal and physical reinforcement will lead to success. It is the exhibitor’s responsibility to present the teeth for the judge’s visual examination. Judges may give extra time for puppies, if time constraints allow.
Judges appreciate a well clear presentation, which actually goes quicker with less stress for the dog, Handler and the Judge. In the Sieger ring, it is NOT the Judge’s job or responsibility to physically open or expose the teeth and jaws.
This falls to the Handler. So having been prepared with understanding is great for all. This allows for a positive experience, and not failure, which can give an early exit from the ring. Sitting or standing of the dog for teeth presentation is commonly the Handler’s choice. The whole objective is the Judge’s review and positive outcome.
Remember to try to NOT block the Judge’s view with your head, body, hands, or fingers. Not always easy, but a finger or hand blocking may raise concern of a missing, crooked or double tooth. The Judge will tell you what they’d like to see, and expand, if they have not seen it to their satisfaction. Daily teeth presentation practice with Puppies, Youth and Novice dogs will lead to a much quicker and positive presentation like a seasoned veteran.
This video depicts a younger, excited dog wanting to play and have fun. Therefore, it’s a more difficult presentation, but worthy to see and understand by having these hurdles, rather than the seasoned dog that is aspired to.
Having your passive hand under the collar and jaw allows a medium of control, and no loss or escape of the dog.
Keeping the leash out of the way is paramount, so it is not slapping the dog in the face or head, and not impeding the visual examination.
Using the thumb and index finger to gently lift up the upper front gums, and using the thumb of your collar hand to gently pull down the lower front gum, allows for viewing the front canines, incisors and also the bite.
Lifting the upper and lower lips aside allows for a full look at the side teeth, plus gum pigmentation and in the back for inside of the flews.
The most common and difficult teeth to present are the lower P1’s – which are small and directly behind the lower canine. Try and work positively on this regularly, as the side lips and tongue commonly impede the view. The Judge wants to see the P1’s.
Practice opening the jaws widely, for the visual of the teeth placement, and rooftop and rear throat pigment.
Practice with positive reinforcement, which is the key to success.
Happy Training and much success in the portion of teeth presentation.