Friday, March 26, 2010

Scentwork for Show Dogs: Why

Recently I received yet another alert that suspected animal-rights advocates had been coming to dog shows and letting the dogs out of their crates. Apparently some people believe that the dogs should have the right to run loose, eat dangerous stuff off the ground, and get hit by cars instead of being shown. Alternately, they just might believe that drinking spilled antifreeze or getting hit by a car is somehow a better fate than being shown and perhaps one day reproducing. I'm delighted that this warning is circulating to the conformation/obedience world, but there's more that we could be doing than just plain "Look out!"

There are several things you can teach your dog to keep him safer at a show. One is to only come out of his crate for a specific (and unusual) command. Another would be a similar password system -- he can come out only if you have touched the sleeve of the person reaching in for him. A third, if your dog tends to fly out of his crate as though fired from a gun and then look around to see if there's any reason he shouldn't have, is to train him to come find his handler. Since that's more up my alley in the training department, my next three posts will be offering three stages of training for show dogs who would like to do some scentwork and have some aptitude for it, but who will not be seeking tracking titles.

I dream of a world where a person longer on enthusiasm than sense can go along a row of crates opening each and look back to discover that most of the dogs are sitting and looking at them funny while one or two have gone off to tattle on them.

No comments:

Post a Comment