Training Collar Guide: Pick the training collar that best suits your pet

Are All Dog Competitions Breed Specific

collin walker asked:

Do you have to have a Border Collie to run agility? A Jack Russell Terrier for flyball? An Australian Shepherd to compete in disc dog? Is Schutzhund only for German Shepherds? How about dock dogs? Is it just for Labrador Retrievers? Do I need an American Pit Bull Terrier if I want to do weight pull events?

Nope. Do those breeds have an edge in a particular sport? Sure. Most of those sports were originally conceived to showcase the talents of a particular breed or, as in the case

of Schutzhund, herding and tracking trials and lure coursing, to help determine the worthiness of a dog to be bred or hone a dog’s working ability, but they’ve become sports, games for anyone whose dog is sound, physically able and mentally ready to participate and have fun, whether you’ve got a Papillon who loves to fly through an agility course or an American Pit Bull Terrier with a passion for finding things with his nose. Most dog sports now have sponsoring organizations that welcome any breed as well as dogs who just might be any breed!

Agility may be the most popular dog sport in the United States. It’s just fun to watch dogs navigate the course. Some are serious and workmanlike — until they’re finished and then their enthusiasm bursts its bounds. There’s nothing quite as funny as watching a 60 pound Australian Shepherd leap into his owner’s arms at the end of an exhaustive agility run . . . well, exhaustive for the handler! The indomitable spirit of a tiny Chihuahua as she finds the one spot on the teeter board that she can overbalance enough to make it dip to let her run back down to the ground and shuttle through the weave poles is at once amusing and uplifting.

Flyball, catchball and earthdog are all sports traditionally for Jack Russell Terriers, with the occasional Rat Terrier in the mix, but if you watch, you’ll see Shelties, Papillons, and an assortment of Terriers playing flyball and catchball right in there with the JRTS, even the odd Long Haired Whippet can be found chasing after a flyball.

If you keep your eyes open, you’ll see the American Pit Bull Terrier participating in nearly every sport open to dogs, or at least where the sporting association will allow them to join. Traditionally, this little workhorse has been an all purpose breed, doing everything from babysitting to herding to tracking and hunting the formidable wild boar. They have been used as search and rescue dogs and contraband detection dogs (although they aren’t very good as patrol dogs since they tend to be overly friendly and would be more likely to engage a suspect in a game of tug than to run him down and hold him), and they are continuing their history of versatility in the world of sport dogs.

Weight pull events will showcase a huge variety of breeds, and you’ll often see rare breeds that don’t come out to play anywhere else. I’ve personally been at weight pulls with Presa Canarios, American Bullies, Boebels, Hairless Terriers and of course, my own Fila, along with Rottweilers, Malamutes, Rat Terriers, Chihuahuas (yes, really), Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Australian Shepherds, and of course, the breed associated most closely with the sport, the APBT . . . a true melting pot of athletes.

The great thing about dog sports is that our dogs participate because they’re having fun and want to make us happy. It’s good for them, mentally and physically. The dogs don’t get caught up in the drama of collecting points or ribbons. Some of them seem to get a kick out of winning, but that’s not nearly as important to them as the excited “Good Dog!” they hear after a completed run. We’re the only ones who get bent out of shape over outcomes and placements.

So you see, you don’t always have to have a Border Collie for agility. But yes, if you want to participate in the Wiener Dog Races it’s pretty certain that you have to have a



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