Tninking of competing?
While general training is terribly important for your dog, it can be fun to take your pet into the world of competitive obedience. Although watching the top handlers competing at Crufts is somewhat daunting, the Kennel Club have introduced classes that are specifically designed to encourage pet owners like us to start in obedience competitions.
The most basic entry level class in competitions is called “introductory” and in this class the dog is rarely off the lead. Next is the special pre-beginners class where again most of the work is on the lead. The only requirement to enter special pre-beginners is to have obtained the Good Citizens Bronze award. The first class where you are expected to work your dog off the lead for a significant amount of time is pre-beginners.
A small group of us at Warllingham have started to compete from the very bottom over the past few years. Despite some mishaps (or amusing incidents – depending on whether you were watching or handling!), we have managed to win rosettes every season and several of us managed to qualify for Discover Dogs. Our treasurer Allison even got through to the finals at Crufts.
There is a website called Obedience UK which has a list of all the obedience shows. Apart from our own show, the other local one with a friendly atmosphere is St Edwards Dog Club show on June 30th. There is a very encouraging atmosphere there and if the weather is nice, we all have a lovely outing supporting each other.
I know lots of you lend a hand at our show – but do talk to your trainer about competing – it really is quite fun.