A show quality puppy, from a reputable breeder, should have already commenced his (or her) training when you purchase him, at about 8 weeks of age.. Initial training is to get him used to being on the table, he should have been introduced to standing on a non slippery table.
Whilst he is on the table gently open his mouth slightly and look at his teeth, then run your hands down his body to his tail. Short but frequent training periods, to get him used to being handled, work best and build the dog's confidence. With patience you will get him used to standing still long enough for a judge to examine him.
It is essential your puppy is socialised with other dogs and gets used to other people, Make use of friends and relatives that come to the house, and introduce them to your new trainee. Stand your puppy on the table and get them to look in his mouth and run their hands gently over his back.
The Stance ('Stacking' a Whippet)
The front legs should be well placed under the body, straight and parallel with the feet facing forward. The hind legs should be placed so the stifles are sufficiently bent and the hocks perpendicular, parallel and well separated. If the front and back legs are correct the topline should be correct. Over stretching will cause the dogs topline to fall away. Under stretching will make the dog look short or roached backed. The dogs head should be held high and facing forward.
The puppy should be introduced to the lead slowly, it should not be a battle but plenty of patience and encouragement may be needed.
By the time your puppy has had all his vaccinations he should be used to standing for short periods of time and walking short distances on the lead. Take him for walks in busy places to get used to noise and new surroundings, always praise and and reassure the puppy whilst introducing him to new things.
In a show dog confidence is everything, a nervous dog will not show to his best.
Preparing For the Show-Ring
Now comes the serious training. Many 'canine societies' have match night and/or training sessions held once a month, this is a good place to begin your puppy's real training.
If you are new to the show scene it is here you can see how the 'experts' do it. Advice and help will be readily available, all you need do is ask and someone will be more than willing to help. Do not expect too much the first time as the excitement may be a little too much for your puppy, but he will soon get used to the surroundings and what is expected of him. With plenty of practice by the age of six months he should be ready to enter the show ring.
Be calm and remember that whatever nervousness you are feeling will pass down the lead to your dog.
Try and remain relaxed but still in control even if things don't go quite according to plan.
Remember this is a hobby and is 'supposed' to be enjoyable for you and your dog.