The first rule in handling: always keep your dog on its left side.
Handling is dominated by the left. Your number, which is provided with a rubber band on your left arm, will be checked by the ring manager, who stands to the left of the entrance to the exterior ring and regulates the order and the distance between the participants. The ring itself is in the shape of a square marked with thin white ropes looped through copper posts staked in the grass. When it is your turn to enter the ring, you must hold the leash in your left hand and the dog on your left. They go around the ring counterclockwise and gently turn to the left at each corner. Once you’ve completed a lap, stop and put your dog up. Make sure it is stacked well and on alert.
Each dog is examined individually by the judge. When it is your turn, lead your dog to the center of the ring where the judge kneels on his left knee. The judge will consider how well your dog meets breed standards: examine the bite, span the chest, compare leg flexibility, and run your hand through the fur to create Mohawk-like ridges in the fur along the spine. After the judge finishes your dog’s physical exam, he / she will often run your dog back and forth in a straight line or maybe in a triangle or maybe even a figure eight.
Once the judge has seen each dog, each handler-dog pair takes another round, after which the judge aligns the dogs in the order in which they were placed. The first place goes on the far left, the sixth place goes on the far right. If there is a tie there will be a walk-off.