|Dog Training is a Great Sport
By Tasha Reams
My name is Tasha Reams, I am 14 years old, and I think that there is no better sport than dog training. I started doing AKC Obedience and Rally trials in June, 2006, and had my dog’s first CD title by November, 2006. Just recently my English Springer Spaniel, Mya, earned her CDX title. So far Mya has earned 4 titles, her CD, RN, CDX and RA. My other English Springer, Wyatt, has 3 titles now, his RN, CD, RA. It always gets more difficult but also more fun. The Open A class is fun to train for and fun to do in the ring. Your dog gets to learn the dumb bell, retrieving, drop on recall, jumping the high jump and the broad jump. The most difficult part was teaching Mya to bring the dumb bell back over the high jump because she always wanted to go around. It’s also very different in Open class training not to be able to guide your dog by the collar between exercises. That was probably the hardest thing for me to learn because I kept finding myself reaching down to put her into position, which you can’t do in Open. I train my dog once a week, making sure to keep it fun for her and always giving lots of praise. Too much training is not a good thing, she gets bored and burned out. The hardest thing to learn for the dogs is the dumb bell. I was taught it’s important not to skip steps in teaching the dumb bell/retrieving. If you skip steps, the dog just doesn’t get it as quick. Once your dog understands what it is to do, they have lots of fun. Mya still gets very excited when I pull out the dumb bell. Our next step is up to utility training. Mya is very excited working with new things like the gloves and articles. Keeping training new and fun for both of us just makes u want to learn it quicker. There are so many things to do in AKC, from agility to tracking and obedience. It makes you want to do all of them, and a big challenge to see how many we can do.