The Four Legged Liver Looker

We came across the phrase, Four Legged Liver Looker,  in an encyclopedia on dog terms, and once we finished chuckling, we read the definition: Slang. This is a show dog term used to describe a dog that stacks and stands still, all the time focusing on the liver bait.

We who show dogs learn early on that “bait” is used to get the dog’s attention, reward him or her for desired behavior, and occupy them as they wait for their individual examination. The anecdotes (and advice) surrounding bait could fill a book. We learned, for instance, never to try new bait on a dog show circuit. Our fully corded Puli special loved the venison we got from a hunting friend, but the liver was so rich that gastric issues followed for days after, and so did the amount of time we spent in a bathtub, if you catch our drift.

We also learned (at someone else’s expense) what not to wear in a show ring,  Years ago, we were ringside spectators at group judging. In a group as large as this one was, it’s not unusual for handlers at the end of the group to carry on conversations with friends on the other side of the ring fence as they wait their turn. One handler was exhibiting a dog tall enough to be eye level with her skirt pocket, and as she chatted, she baited her dog with treats from that pocket.  The more engrossed she got in the conversation, the less she noticed the intensity with which her dog was eyeballing that pocket. If she paused from distributing the treats, the dog nudged her pocket to remind her that he was waiting, and the process would begin again. We suppose that she had gotten so used to feeling the dog nudging her that she didn’t notice that he had inserted his entire muzzle in the pocket. When it came time to move out, she picked up good speed, but the dog stayed behind, still grazing on the treats in the pocket of a skirt with an elastic waistband. We watched in amazement as she got a full yard away from the dog before she noticed the draft wafting down her hip, her skirt pocket still in the dog’s mouth. A good natured soul, she was able to laugh it off. The rest of us went home to review our dog show clothes.

Do you have any experiences to share involving bait?

Image from DepositPhotos

3 thoughts on “The Four Legged Liver Looker”

  1. Standing at ringside, my bitch was snuggling up to a pro handler who was scratching her ears while we chatted. What neither he nor I realized is that her nose was inside his suit jacket chewing on the bait in his pockets. She ate the pocket AND the lining quietly and it wasn’t until he reached in to give her a good bye treat that either of us realized what she had done!! I paid for the repair and am now VERY careful about where my dogs noses are!!!

    • Betsy, you paint a vivid picture of this happening (which got us chuckling for a good long time).

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