MAKE UNFAMILIAR LOCATIONS FAMILIAR!
Since each “show” is a new location for your dog, make sure to train in new places on a regular basis. Even if you train at the show location, the atmosphere becomes different with new dogs, the extra noise, and the added emotional “high” that goes along with shows.
A new environment adds an additional element to any skill or exercise and actually creates a new experience for your dog. Train in new places so often that arriving and training at new locations becomes common and easy for your dog.
Commit to training in new locations at least a couple times each week. The more often you train in new location the more comfortable both you and your dog will be. Decrease your dog’s “warm up” time at the new location by beginning a training session immediately upon arriving at any given location. He should be taught to give you maximum effort and his full attention when you request it and respond to your commands and cues at the drop of a hat!
When you start going to new locations or go to a very distractive location like a soccer game, start training with easy exercises such as having your dog perform tricks or games he loves. Over time and as he gets more comfortable being at new locations, begin to add simple skills to the tricks and games. Make interacting with and watching you fun and exciting. As always, keep your training sessions short and motivating.
Over time and with patience, your dog will become a great performer in any new location!!!