Training Instructions

Setting up:

Only use ShowStackers™ on a level, firm surface.
Ideal surfaces include:

  • Sturdy table with a towel / table cloth covering (small breeds)
  • Solid floor (concrete / tile / wood / lino) on a towel, or hard short pile carpet (large breeds)

Do not use ShowStackers™ on:

  • Deep pile carpets or carpets with soft underlay
  • Grass
  • loose dirt & sand
  • gravel


ShowStackers™ are used with positive training methods, (praise or food reinforcement) and should at all times be a fun exercise for both you and your show dog! Ten minutes a day with your dog on the ShowStackers™, and you’ll be well and truly on the way to gaining the winning edge on your competitors.

  • Loosen the black hand tighten nuts a couple on turns on each pedestal so they can slide with just a little resistance (you don’t have to completely undo them)
  • Stand your dog alongside the stacker then slide the stacker legs to the same distance apart as your dog’s front and hind legs.
  • Ensure that the two front stacker legs and the two back stacker legs are equal distances from the centre, so the ShowStackers™ is properly balanced.
  • While lightly using the flat of your hand to hold down each pedestal, tighten the black hand tighten nuts. This will lock each pedestal in place.
  • Place your dog’s front feet on the stacker first. Once the dog is comfortable place the hind legs on the rear stacker legs. Keep control of the dog by holding its head facing towards the front.
  • For large breeds, stay beside the dog, holding the head in position and stroking the tail into position, using verbal commands such as “stand”.
  • For smaller breeds, stay beside him until he is relaxed, then slowly move to the front of the dog using words such as “stand” or “stay”.
  • Stand directly in front of the dog and tempt him with bait, keeping your hand directly in front of him and getting him to ‘come up’ into the stack position.
  • Once your dog stands comfortably and is confident on the ShowStackers™, have someone approach him and touch him so he can get use to it. Get the person to slowly approach from the front (as would a judge) and pause their hand briefly in front of the dog’s nose so the dog can smell the hand, check the dogs mouth, then rub their hands down the dog’s sides, down each leg, down the tail, then go back up to pet the dog’s head.
  • If possible, practice stacking and baiting in front of a mirror so you can see your dog from the judge’s perspective.
  • Take your ShowStackers™ to the shows – it’s an ideal environment to continue the confidence training, ring side. Remain totally focused on your dog during these training sessions.
  • When you have the dog on the ShowStackers™ on the ground, keeping the lead on, walk around the dog, telling him to stand and praising him for staying still.
  • We encourage the positive method of click and treat rewards in conjunction with the ShowStackers™ training. A clicker accurately identifies correct behaviour. Because the clicker is faster than verbal praise, it is more precise. In the time it takes to say “good boy” the dog may perform the desired behaviour and then move to an unwanted response, before the praise has time to register.
  • Just five or ten minutes twice a day is all you’ll need!

Miniature Puppy Training

Additional small ShowStackers™ information:

When training baby miniatures / toys, it is necessary to bring all pedestals as close together as possible

In order to facilitate this, the hinged base frame tube arms will need to be set into an approximate 90 degree cross position as per photos

Minimum size:

When the pedestal bases are in contact as in this image, the smallest possible footprint for the Showstacker has been achieved.
It is also possible to remove some or all of the pedestals from the hinged base frame, and set these up independently if so desired. The pedestals on their own are surprisingly stable for tiny babies, even without attachment to the base frame.