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.

dog obedience

Breaker

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?
  • Tug?
  • Hide and Seek?
  • Food?
  • Squeakers?
  • Chasing you?

Be creative and be ready to constantly vary the rewards.

Training the Non-Traditional Temperament

Have confidence in yourself and your dog.  Be prepared for the two of you, as a team, to create your own unique style.dog obedience

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