compiled by Cheryl May, copyright 1998 (may be used without permission as long as copyright notice remains intact.)
Do stay relaxed so you don't upset your dog.
Do read the rules of the organization in which you are competing.
Do know when you can give a command and a signal, and when you need to choose just one or the other.
Do watch the ring pattern so you know what is coming.
Do check in early and let the ring steward know if you have any conflicts.
Do remember to BREATHE.
Do bring the dog into the ring (past the ring gate) on lead.
Do be at the ging gate on time for group stays (and don't give stewards a heart attack trying to find you; show your face and get in line when the stewards are lining folks up at the ring gate)
Do be prepared for a possible run-off at the end of the whole class, even if you don't think you did spectacularly. (Remember, there can be run-offs for 4th place too, or for breed prizes, or best Jr Handler, or H.S. dog with a field title, etc. within the class. And besides, the 6 teams that totally captivated everybody with their breathtaking individual exercises might have somehow all NQ'd on the stays.)
If you're going for your 3rd leg, *DO be prepared to stick around for a "new CD" photo, especially if this is your Novice A dog. You'll WANT that photo 5, 10, 20 years from now, even if the thought doesn't particularly excite you today!
Don't anticipate the judge's commands, just be aware of the general places for halts, pace changes and turns.
Don't leave the ring without placing dog back on lead.
Don't let the dog jump into your arms before leaving the ring.