Teaching your dog to be handled should start from day one. Show dogs are examined and touched by people they are unfamiliar with. Use positive reinforcement when unfamiliar people and dogs are around, and handle your dog’s face, head, ears, tail, feet, mouth, and body regularly.
Discipline is a huge part of being a show dog. Your puppy should start learning basic commands as soon as you bring them home. Stand, sit, lay down, come, wait, stay, and leave it are all essential. Teaching your puppy to be comfortable in a crate is also something that should start right away. Once your dog is on track for potty training, you can teach them to potty on the command which will help when you start taking them to shows.
The phrase “gentle restraint” is often used in conversations about training show dogs. At a young age, a gentle restraint should be introduced to get your puppy used to it. Use something similar to what they will experience in the ring. Handle them while using the restraint, and use positive reinforcement to help them learn to enjoy it. You should also get them used to movement and exercise in the ring.