Friday, July 20, 2012

Canine Partners

I really enjoy the company of dogs. There's something special about facing life's adventures with your dog beside you. I understand how rewarding it is to compete with your dog in events such as obedience, rally, agility, tracking or any of the the other venues. When we take the time and effort required to train our dogs, we become a team and working together is a reward all by itself.
My Porties are all registered in the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. We've done conformation with both Samba and Fudge, but none of us really enjoyed it. Then Fudge and I tried Rally which is a form of obedience. We both did enjoy that and I hope to compete with some of the others.

Prior to 2010 only purebred dogs were allowed to compete in AKC events, but in January of that year the rules changed. To encourage more dog owners to train and work with their dogs, the AKC opened  their performance events to mixed breeds. Now everyone can play.

Mixed breeds compete in the same events as purebred dogs and can earn the same titles. First though, your dog must be registered in the AKC Canine Partners program. Because Sebastian is learning quickly and shows promise of being a good Rally dog, I enrolled him last night.

One of the things required on the enrollment form is his name as it will appear on any awards he might earn. I gave this some thought and came up with Legacy's Dom Sebastian Desejado. It means Legacy's Sir Sebastian the Desired. I did some Googling and found that in the 1500s Portugal was ruled by King Sebastian the Desired. It seemed like a perfect fit.

I have a love/hate relationship with the AKC. I think their love of money sometimes overcomes their concern for the welfare of dogs, but they have some things in their favor. There are dog events of some sort almost everywhere and they're easy to enter. There's a big variety so that everyone can find something to do with their best friend. I'm not young and agile enough for agility, but Rally is done at our own pace. If you have a young pup there's now a program for you.
Once you complete the puppy class you can display this sticker showing that you care enough to give your pups a good start by teaching him or her basic manners. Did you know that most dogs turned into shelters are there because no one ever took the time to teach them some basic manners? Now whose fault is that? Shouldn't the lazy owners be the ones locked up, not the pups?

For those of you who don't want to compete, but would like to do some valuable work with your dog, consider therapy. You and your canine partner could make a world of difference to someone in a nursing home or hospital. Rob and Lucy used to visit a local nursing home together and faces would light up when Lucy entered the building. Those in wheelchairs would come into the hall to greet her and others would call out from their beds asking Rob to bring her in. Lucy loved it.

As of January this year the AKC has decided to make the Canine Good Citizen a title. If your dog has already earned one, he or she id entitled to use it as part of their name. Many dogs take the CGC test as part of their obedience class.

Now everyone can find a program that fits their lifestyle and enjoy it as part of a human/canine team. I have to admit that walking out or the ring with a ribbon feels pretty good. It means we've formed a close bond and have worked together to achieve some positive results.

Even Fudge thinks it's pretty neat to get all those ribbons and toys. Not only that but it's customary to reward a new title with a burger. That's something worth working for.
You can find all the information you need about the Canine Partner Program on the AKC website here.


Matilda the Boxer said...

Momma and I did some Rally, and it was SO much fun! I'm really good at it. I also have my CGC, so that means I get to use it as part of my name? Very cool!

SissySees said...

LOVE Sebastian's "full" name, Sue. I think you know that while my girls are registered with the UKC, Lady Gretchen Greer prefers her "stage name" to her registered name (HW's Lady Gretchen the Crup).

And thank you for that post. Gg wants her CGC, and maybe her therapy dog. Maybe I can accept the AKC again...

Marjie said...

Ah, Fudge. You're such a champ! I hope you'll let Mom teach Sebastian to perform as well; he deserves a chance to try.

Jo's World said...

Sebastian has a very cool full name. When you told me you thought he was Aussie Shepherd I looked them up and it seems they are hot for agility . . .are you?

I have to look up Rally and see what that is. Does this mean if Stella goes after her CGC, does that mean she gets to join the AKC?


The Family that is Frying in the Heats!

the teacher's pets said...

I like Sebastian's name too! Sounds like a champion's name to me! Loved seeing all of those ribbons too! What a lot of hard work and dedication you've put into your dogs! You deserve an award too! Hee-hee!

Molly the Airedale said...

What an awesome post and we love your new fancy name, Sebastian!

Love ya lots,
Mitch and Molly

Sally Ann and Andy said...

I liked reading your post. Mommy and I do "earthdog" together. Mommy had to get ILP or Pal #, and oh boy it was hard. I am a pure bread welsh girl, but getting an ILP was required to do earth dog. It meant having to have the welsh terrier rescue come by and verify that I am a welsh girl, have copies of all my Atlanta Humane society records, pictures of me from the side and front, etc. It was a lot, but know I am a member of the AKC. I have an Earth dog title, and I love going to ratting events. It was worth it, but Mommy seemed a bit bothered. I happy now. I went from a rescue dog to a dog who does doggie AKC sports.
Sally Ann

Nicki said...

I love his name! I agree about the whole AKC thing-but they by far have the most events to choose from, and saving time and money by traveling less counts for a lot!