Before you head out to enter your Shih Tzu in a dog show event, it is suggested to begin with some matches.
A match is equivalent to a practice for an official event.
Many other Shih Tzu owners will be there as well; this is an opportunity for both your and your dog to gain experience. Matches are set up very similar to ranked dog shows; therefore you will gain a clear understanding of how everything is put together and what to expect. One does not wish for the element of surprise when first entering into a ranked dog show!
This venue is fantastic for practice; as you won't have any pressure for your Shih Tzu to earn any credits toward championship. This is your time to have simply have fun and become familiar with what happens.
The benefits of these practice runs are great. Your dog will use this environment to become accustomed to the ring and you will be able to determine if he or she is properly trained. Once in a ranked dog show, an untrained or unprepared dog can lead to a negative reputation.
Preparation is the key element here and for this reason it is recommended to enter as many of these practice venues as you feel is needed to be 100% ready.