How to keep your show pig from running

You want to be sure you take every step possible to ensure you make a great impression when showing your pig. That means many things, from having the right tools and supplies to grooming your show pig properly, knowing when to start training, practicing driving him as often as you can, having the right registration and health forms—and of course, being patient.

But when it comes to showing your pig, you need to know more than anything else how to ensure he obeys your commands and walks properly.  Above all, you need to keep your pig from running. If your pig runs, it’s a clear sign to judges that his training has been inadequate. But how do you keep him from running?  Are there tips and tricks you can use to get the best results?

It all comes down to having the right Pig Whip and using it correctly

If you show your pig, you know that you need to have the right pig whip, and you know that you need to use it show him in the best possible light.  Fortunately, there are some common-sense steps you can take to use your whip in a way that will ensure he follows your commands and doesn’t run, including the following:

Make sure to hold your whip properly

This might seem like a minor point.  However, the way you hold your whip can mean the difference between a pig who does what you ask him to do and one who starts to run. 

It’s important in the first place that you hold your whip with a firm grip.  You should always hold the whip with your thumb and index finger extended. This will give you much better control over the whip (and over your show pig).  Above all, never hold the whip loosely in your hand, the way you might hold a pencil (with the whip between the index and middle fingers). 

Use the “Go Button” to walk your pig at an even pace

The best way to ensure your pig walks when you want him to—and walks at a steady, even pace, it to tap him gently on what’s referred to as the “go button.”  But where precisely is the go button?

The go button is on your pig’s side about midway between his shoulder and his flank.  You should never tap your pig on his head or on his rear end. Knowing where and how to tap your pig will ensure that he walks the way you want him to.  Finally, you can’t wait until the day you show your pig to get this right—you should begin training him well in advance of the show and practice as much as you can so he understands your expectations and responds to all your commands.

Tap your pig on the side of his face to turn him

During the show, you’ll be expected to demonstrate that you can turn your pig the way the judges ask you to.  The best way to turn your pig is to gently tap the side of his face. If you want him to turn left, tap the right side of his face.  If you want him to turn right, gently tap the left side of his face.

Use the whip on your pig’s chin to keep his head up

Judges want your pig to keep his head up at all times—if he doesn’t, it will create a bad impression.  There’s an easy way to do this. Tap your pig on the jaw—when you do, he’ll raise his head. How much you need to do this depends on your pig—you’ll learn during your practice sessions how, and how often, you need to use your whip to make sure your pig goes through his entire showing with his head held high.

Be patient with your show pig

Scientific studies show that pigs are remarkably intelligent, in fact, more intelligent than dogs.  That means it’s relatively easy to get your pig to learn and to obey your commands.  That said, it’s important that you be patient with your pig. He’s trying to do what you want him to, but especially at the beginning stage of your training, he’ll need some time to understand what you want him to do—so be patient.  As with dogs, the best rule of thumb is never to scold or punish him for bad behavior, but rather to reward him for good behavior by petting him and giving him his favorite treats.

Making sure your show pig doesn’t run

To ensure your pig walks the way you want him to, turns on command, keeps his head high—and doesn’t run—you need lots of practice and lots of patience (that’s especially true if you need to train a stubborn show pig).  You also need a whip which will simplify training and ensure the best results when you show your pig. To learn more about the ways our quality whips, crops, and stock show supplies can help you make a great impression when you show your pig, contact us today.


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