COMPETITIONS, ACTIVITIES, & SPORTS

Getting involved in an activity with your dog is a great way to enjoy each other’s company. Teamwork, training, and trust are the hallmarks of the many opportunities available for you to engage in with your dog. Some dog activities are purely recreational in nature, while others are competitive. There is a large variety that you can choose from. Some activities require a modest time commitment for building those three T’s, while others require great dedication by not only the handler but also the dog. Here are a few samples of activities, with accompanying Internet links, for you to pursue further information on a sport or service that might appeal to you and your Scottie. Be sure and check your local area for activities that may fit your needs.

Canine Good Citizen


The CGC is an activity in which your dog learns basic obedience commands and behaviors that help the dog demonstrate good manners in public places. There is a ten-step test to earn the title, Canine Good Citizen. The CGC also is a prerequisite for many therapy dog certification programs, search and rescue dog services, and acceptance in public places like dog parks and public buildings. Some home insurance companies offer discounts to homes in which the dog has completed the CGC program. For more information: 

http://www.akc.org/dog-owners/training/canine-good-citizen/

Agility

Agility offers an obstacle course where your dog will swish through tunnels, fly over jumps, scale teeter-totters, and wind their way through weave poles. It's fun for dogs and even more fun for owners and spectators. This is a sport in which the dog and the handler build teamwork, while the dog develops concentration, agility, and athleticism. The handler guides the dog through the course, as it negotiates a series of obstacles such as A-frames, tunnels, jumps, teeter-totters, and weave poles. You can do it just for fun or compete for titles. For more information: http://www.akc.org/events/agility/

Rally

Dogs and handlers make their way through a course of 10 to 20 stations at their normal pace demonstrating basic obedience skills. This sport can be a fun activity to reinforce obedience commands, or you and your dog can prepare for competition. In a Rally course, which is designed by the judge, each station has a sign indicating a different obedience exercise. Handlers can cue their dogs, by speaking or using hand signals; the handler can also give the dog prompts by clapping their hands or patting their leg. Teamwork between the handler and the dog is very evident in this fast-growing sport. For More information: 

http://www.akc.org/events/rally/

Conformation

 

The most well-known of all dog sports is the Dog Show. The official name for the dog show is Conformation, and its purpose it to evaluate future breeding stock. Conformation refers to the dog’s overall appearance and structure, which in turn is a strong indicator of the ability to produce healthy, purebred puppies. One way to become familiar with conformation is to attend a local dog show.  Washington State Scottish Terrier Club  holds its Specialty Show (focused on one breed) in conjunction with the The All Terrier Club of Western Washington show during the month of January each year. The show is usually held at the Washington State Fair Events Center. Not only can you observe Scottish Terriers that conform to high standards of appearance and structure, but also you can observe examples of obedience trials. You may get an opportunity to meet and talk to breeders, owners, and handlers of Scottish Terriers
To get started in this sport, it’s best if a novice can find a mentor. It might be the breeder from whom the purebred puppy was purchased. There are also local classes in most cities that teach how to show a dog. It is also possible to hire a professional handler to show your dog.   Dogs in a competition are being shown to a judge to vie for points towards earning their Championship”. To earn a Championship of Record designation requires a commitment of time, travel, money, and determination. Each time a dog is shown, it is competing for points towards its Championship. It takes 15 points, including wins of 3,4, or 5 points awarded by at least three different judges to earn this prestigious title. The points awarded at each show are dependent on the number of dogs of that breed entered in the show. The greater the number of dogs the larger the number of points the dog may win, up to the maximum 5 points. Male and female dogs complete separately; only the best male, known as the Winners Dog and the best female, known as Winners Bitch will receive championship points. After the hard-earned points of Champion of Record, a dog may complete for five levels of Grand Champion status. Earning these titles demonstrates that the dog is a most worthy representative of the breed. For more information:

To get started in this sport, it’s best if a novice can find a mentor. It might be the breeder from whom the purebred puppy was purchased. There are also local classes in most cities that teach how to show a dog. It is also possible to hire a professional handler to show your dog. 


Dogs in a competition are being shown to a judge to vie for points towards earning the designation -” Champion”. To earn a Champion of Record designation requires a commitment of time, travel, money, and determination. Each time a dog is shown, it is competing for points towards its Champion designation. It takes 15 points, including wins of 3,4, or 5 points awarded by at least three different judges to earn this prestigious title. The points awarded at each show are dependent on the number of dogs of that breed entered in the show. The greater the number of dogs the larger the number of points the dog may win, up to the maximum 5 points. Male and female dogs complete separately; only the best male, known as the Winners Dog and the best female, known as Winners Bitch will receive championship points. After the hard-earned designation of Champion of Record, a dog may complete for five levels of Grand Champion status. Earning these titles demonstrates that the dog is a most worthy representative of the breed. For more information: http://www.akc.org/events/conformation-dog-shows/

Earth Dog

Earthdog events are non-competitive, but they do offer a series of tests for the dog. Here’s an opportunity to offer owners a chance to demonstrate the dog’s natural aptitude for hunting and working behaviors. Scottish Terriers are a natural for this activity. Programs for Earthdog work the dog through a series of steps that allow the dog to show the ability to seek and locate quarry underground. (Rats are kept caged and are not harmed in this activity). The dog then works through a series of tests to demonstrate seeking quarry, locating and working it underground. For more information: 

http://www.akc.org/events/earth-dog/getting-started/

Barn Hunt

Barn Hunt is a quickly growing safe, and fun dog sport spreading across the U.S. Barn Hunt is similar to Earthdog and is based on the traditional roles of breeds in ridding farms, barns, crop storage areas, and homes of destructive vermin. Barn Hunt is open to any dog who wishes to participate and can fit through an 18" wide by “hay- bale-height” tall tunnel. Barn Hunt has titles, levels of increasing difficulty, and championships. Barn Hunt is an independent sport, but both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and United Kennel Club (UKC) recognize titles that are awarded in the sport. For more information: http://www.barnhunt.com/index.html

Nose Work

A new sport called nose work uses the superior capabilities of the canine nose and accommodates almost every type of dog. In canine nose work dogs learn how to search for a specific odor or odors and find the source. Dogs start by searching for their favorite food or toy reward hidden in a variety of environments, increasing the challenges and adding new search skills as the dog progresses. It can be done competitively or just as an enjoyable activity. The sport of nose work provides a venue for dogs and handlers to test their scent detection skills in real-world settings with a location unknown to the handler. Timed searches representing each of the four elements of competition: container, interior, exterior, and vehicle are part of the sport. For more information visit the National Association of Canine Scent Work website at http://www.nacsw.net/. For local workshops and finding a class or instructor visit the K9 Nose Work website at http://www.k9nosework.com/home


Therapy Dog

 

Teamwork and training for the handler and the dog will earn the dog the title of AKC Therapy Dog. Testing, and registration are required for dogs participating in this program. Therapy dogs go with their owners to volunteer in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes to name just a few settings. They can assist a child learning to read, visit with a nursing home senior, or bring comfort to someone in the hospital. These dogs are not service dogs, but they are aids in helping children and adults have a better quality of life. For more information:
http://www.akc.org/dog-owners/training/akc-therapy-dog-program/