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Old 06-17-2007, 06:31 PM   #5
agilityk9trainer
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Great post, Katz, and oh so true. And, if anyone hasn't read Applesmom's link yet, you must. I have read it before, and my eyes tear up every time I read it.

Kaos, in my area of the country, there are a FEW dogs at trials who don't want to be there. They usually don't stay in the show system long as their people learn the dogs aren't into it. These dogs always wash out. Usually you're looking at owners who are trying to learn how to communicate with their dogs the joy of performing. Sometimes these owners find the key, and the dogs learn to love it. Othertimes, the dogs wash out. I don't see the dogs you mention stick around long. And there's nothing wrong with trying.

Most performance dogs love their work...and I mean LOVE their work. And titles are a testiment to the love the people had for their dog. These dogs aren't dogs tied up in back yards where people throw them food twice a day. These are among the most loved dogs in our society.

Look below at my dog Laika's titles. She only has one title and one certification. The reason is she didn't like showing. We gave it a shot, and the stresses of her abusive past caused her to be too stressed in the show environment. If you had been at some of the shows (only about 10 total) we attended, you would have thought, "Look at that woman forcing that dog to do this. It's obvious the dog is stressing. This is what's wrong with dog shows and titles." What you wouldn't see is the wonderful training times we had together. She loves to train at home. She's awesome in class and in the backyard, and she loves agility. So we gave showing a good shot, but she just couldn't cope. After her Novice Jumpers with Weaves title, I retired her. You wouldn't have seen any of that, so your judgement would have been false.

Something I've learned after years of showing, you really can't know what's going on with the dog and handler when watching a dog perform. Judging from the sidelines is often not only futile, but in error.l

Gere;s a link to Laika's story that I posted earlier as well.

http://www.dogforum.org/showthread.php?t=8719
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