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Rottweiler and fun

Published on Sunday, January 3, 2010 by admin

The Rottweiler and Fun

Fun at Home
Teaching your dog to accompany you when you bike, to fetch, or carry the newspaper; swimming with your dog; becoming your walking companion; and playing hide and seek are among activities you and your dog can enjoy at home. Teach your dog some tricks-they are great icebreakers, give the dog a sense of accomplishment, and charm the wary. Activities are great bonding exercises offering you and your Rottweiler hours of entertainment.

Fun on the Go
Camping, hiking, swimming, and skiijoring are fun ways you and our dog can enjoy the outdoors together. Many parks and campgrounds allow dogs on lead. Remember to keep your Rottweiler under control at all times and clean up after your dog. Below are stories from several owners of rescued Rotties spend time with their dogs:

The Competitive Edge
There are many activities in which you and your dog can compete and earn titles.

· Canine Good Citizen – Started in 1989, CGC is a certification program sponsored by the American Kennel Club that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in their community. The Canine Good Citizen Program (www.akc.org/love/cgc/index.cfm) is a two-part program stressing responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the CGC test receive a certificate from the AKC. As of January 1, 1999, they are automatically recorded in the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Archive.

· Obedience – Dog and handler must complete a series of exercises both on and off lead. Each exercise is worth a set number of points. Judges may take deductions for mishandling or dog faults. Under three different judges, dog and handler must receive a score of 170 points or more (perfect score is 200) and earn at least 50 percent of each exercise’s points to earn a leg. The first title the American Kennel Club grants is the CD (companion dog), followed by CDX (companion dog excellent), and UD (utility dog). There are also obedience titles beyond these. Your local kennel club can help you get started in obedience and many of the sports described in this section, and the AKC’s site (www.akc.org) provides booklets detailing regulations of different activities and lists events and how to register for them.

· Agility – Agility is an increasingly popular dog sport in which dog and handler complete a course containing different obstacles in a set amount of time. Off leash, the dog must negotiate the obstacles without faulting (refusing, missing a contact, or going over time). Obstacles include different jumps, an A-frame, a dog walk, seesaw, pause table, open and closed tunnels, and weave poles. The AKC is among the groups holding agility trials.

· Flyball – Flyball is a fast, exciting sport for handlers, spectators, and dogs alike. A Flyball team consists of four dogs, their handlers, a box loader, two alternate dogs and handlers, and a pail of tennis balls. The goal is to be the first team over a set of four jumps, with the dog stepping on a pedal that tosses a tennis ball into the air. After catching ball, the dog returns to his or her handler who remains behind the start/finish line.

Two teams compete against each other in a timed race. If a dog misses a jump, drops a ball, or is aided in some way, the dog must re-run that race. The next dog may not cross the starting line until the preceding dog has crossed the finish line. There may be as many as 50 teams competing in a tournament with the fastest racing times being between 18.4 to 32.0 seconds. Teams are assigned to one of three divisions, according to their speed. Winners are declared in each of the three divisions. Flyball is a unique sport because it’s open to all dogs, with purebreds and mixed breeds competing on equal footing. The only prerequisite is that you and your dog love to play ball.

A set of lights indicates the start of the race. Judges and linesmen ensure all rules are enforced. Teams are timed, earning points towards their titles. The North American Flyball Association keeps track of all points and issues certificates.

· Herding – Despite no breeding toward maintaining the Rottweiler’s herding skills–once so prized by the Romans–many Rottweilers display talent for herding. Instinct tests sanctioned by the American Herding Breed Association and put on by local clubs give you an opportunity to see if your Rottie has the instinct to herd. Once your dog earns his or her Herding Instinct Certificate (HIC) and is trained in herding, the AKC sponsors trials where your dog can compete for titles.

· Tracking – Tracking is a sport in which a dog demonstrates ability to recognize and follow a human scent. In AKC tracking, as the dog moves from earning a TD (tracking dog), to a TDX (tracking dog excellent) and Variable Surface Tracking (VST), the level of difficulty increases–tracks become longer, are aged longer, the dog must find more articles, and the terrain becomes increasingly difficult. How the dog indicates articles is unimportant, just as long as the dog “tells” his or her handler an article has been found. The dog can nose articles, stop and look back at the handler, sit or down at the article, or retrieve it. The handler tells the judge at the beginning of the trial how the dog indicates article, and the indications must be the same for each article.

There are two ways in which a dog may follow scent, and different certifying agencies require different methods. In the sport of Schutzhund, the dog must find each individual footprint, keep his or her nose deep in the ground, and follow the track exactly and methodically. In AKC tracking, the dog is allowed to use air scent where the nose does not have to be to the ground, and the dog may veer off the track to some degree.

Tracking uses a dog’s natural abilities to follow scent and is a wonderful way to bond with your dog. It tests the dog’s endurance both mentally and physically. Unlike advanced obedience, agility, flyball, and other physically grueling sports, dogs with mild joint problems can safely and enjoyably compete.

· Carting and Weight Pulling – Carting is an activity our breed was historically bred to accomplish. Once “the poor man’s horse,” draft dogs were bred the world over to help move produce and supplies when horses either wouldn’t serve the purpose or the farmer couldn’t afford to maintain a horse. The typical draft dog has a calm, steady nature and a strong heart and build. Draft dogs are devoted to their owners. Today, training Rottweilers for carting and draft work or competition showcases their historical use and ensures the breed retains its calm nature, strong body and heart, and willingness to work with a handler. Carting demonstrates Rotties are true to their heritage, that form follows function, and that the Rottie is more than a dog with a pretty face.

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