Dog Obedience with a What? Obedience and Agility with a Non-Traditional Dog: Gail Budde
Dog Obedience and Agility rings are filled with Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Corgis, Parson Russell Terriers, Labs and Golden Retrievers. But what about Clumber Spaniels, Pugs, Bulldogs, Norwegian Elkhounds and Great Danes?
Dog Obedience with a Non-Traditional Dog - Gail Budde
Gail Budde trained the first Clumber Spaniel to get a Utility Dog leg, "Breaker". Breakaway N or M, CDX, RE, MJP, MXP, TDI, CGCA, TT, NFP continued to compete in agility until the age of 10, and obedience until 11 years.
Body Structures and Abilities
Clumber Spaniels are long and low, heavy-bodied, intelligent hunting dogs. Great Danes and giant breeds don't turn on a dime. Pugs and Bulldogs are not know for nimble leaps in the air.
Just because a breed has a different body structure doesn't mean that they can't succeed in obedience or agility. They may not prance at your side with head cranked up or dance through the weave poles, but each breed can do the job with their own style.
Consider Structure, Don't Compare
First, don't compare and try to do what other breeds do. Your dog is unique in it's structure.
Long and Low
Long and low breeds have straight sit challenges. Consider the geometry involved.
Fast is Relative
Clumber Spaniels are not fast out of the gate, and teaching a fast recall can be a challenge. Think change of speed vs greyhound speed and reward quick or energetic starts.
Rewards in Dog Obedience
Not every dog will chase a ball for hours or drill repetitive exercises.
Consider what makes your dog happy:
- Chase a ball 2 times?
- Hide and Seek?
- Chasing you?
Be creative and be ready to constantly vary the rewards.
Training the Non-Traditional Temperament
Remember...linebackers, gymnasts and sprinters do not move the same. They condition and perfect the body structure given to them.
Breeds have temperament traits as well. Golden Retrievers are "want-to-do" dogs, and Clumber Spaniels are intelligent thinkers that require a meaningful reward for them.
Tailor your training to your breed, your dog. Again, don't compare.
Are short, single exercise sessions best? One, done then fun? Or a series of 5 different exercises in a row?
About Gail Budde
Gail Budde trains Clumber Spaniels and Golden Retrievers. All of her Clumber Spaniels are Therapy Dogs or in the process of becoming one. Gail competes and enjoys most dog venues, including barn hunt.
"Breaker" - Breakaway N or M, CDX, RE, MJP,MXP, TDI, CGCA, TT, NFP
"Gin" - Kel Pye's Half Pint of Gin, UD, CGC
"Woody" - Cross Creek's Mr. Chips v Klpy CDX, NJP, TDI, CGC