MAKE UNFAMILIAR LOCATIONS FAMILIAR!
Since a “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 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, decrease your dog’s “warm up” time 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!
Start easy with having your dog perform tricks or games he loves. Over time and as he gets more comfortable being in new locations, begin to add simple skills to the tricks and games. Make interacting with and watching you fun and exciting. As always, keep sessions short and motivating.
Over time and with patience, your dog will become a great performer in any new location!!!