Today was a great day; Larkin earned her BH. For the people that are not in the sport dog world there is a sport called Shutzhund. From what I know it was created to test the worthiness of German shepherds in Germany. The test was used before breeding a German Shepherd to test their worthiness in several areas such as temperament, protection capabilities, etc. Back in February I rode a bicycle 12.4 miles with Larkin and to test her endurance. She passed but I almost did not. This test was created before there were x-rays to test their hips and elbows to make sure everything was perfect before breeding. There is an organization called Orthopedic Foundation for Animals www.ofa.org which is a nonprofit organization that keeps track of different types of genetics among other things. I’ll discuss this further in another post. Today we did a healing pattern that was 50% on -leash and 50% off-leash (see the diagram below). Not really sure if this dog sport stuff is for me but I am a big believer in testing her genetics to see if I want to carry on her legacy. She definitely has attributes that I think are worth passing on to future generations. Her search and rescue work is awesome and her other attributes are spot on as well. I also have submitted her x-rays to the OFA for consideration and we will see how those turnout. I will also post below the exact rules for the BH for anyone who would like to know. I am so very proud of Larkin for her focus and she is always so happy and willing to work. The best compliment of the day came from one of my coaches though. Jennifer Sutrick said, during the long down, that Larkin wasn’t phased by the other dogs at all; she just stared at me and batted her eyes at me. Jennifer said Larkin is in love with you. Jennifer is a great coach and I really appreciate all of her help.
Encounter with Bicyclists – The dog walks along a path with his dog handler and is overtaken by a bicyclist from behind, who rings a bell. After a good distance the cyclist turns to meet dog handler and dog. There will be another bell ring. The passing has to be done in such a way that the dog is between the dog handler and the bicyclist who is passing. The dog has to see the bicyclists.
Encounter with Cars – The dog handler walks past several cars with his dog. One of the vehicles is started. In another car, a door is shut. While the dog handler and the dog go on, a car stops next to them. The window is rolled down and the dog handler is asked for information. The dog has to sit or lie down by the dog handler’s instructions. The dog has to be quiet and neutral to the cars and all traffic noises.
Encounter with joggers or inline skaters – The dog handler walks along a quiet path with his dog. At least one jogger, or more, pass him without slowing down. After passing the handler and the dog, the jogger (s) will turn and pass again on the opposite side. The dog does not have be in correct (formal) heel position, but he must not bother (remain neutral) the passing joggers. It is permitted to have the handler place his dog in a sit or down position during the encounter. Instead of the joggers, one or two inline skaters can also pass and meet the dog instead.
Encounter with other dogs – In the case of passing or encountering another dog and his handler, the dog is to remain neutral. The handler may give and repeat the command “Fuss/Heel” or place the dog in a sit or down position.
Behavior of the tethered dog, which is left alone in the short term and behavior towards animals – At the order of the performance judge, the dog handler, with a dog, is sent walking along the sidewalk of a moderately busy street. After a short distance, the dog handler stops when commanded and attaches the leash to a fence, wall or something similar. The dog handler goes out of sight into a store or a house. The dog may be standing, sitting or lying. During the absence of the dog handler, a passer-by (pedestrian) passes the dog with another dog at a lateral distance of about five paces away from the test dog. The dog is left alone and has to be quiet and calm (neutral) during the absence of the handler. The dog used as the neutral dog (no dog aggressive dogs are to be used) will pass by the other dog/s left tied out at least one time (judges decision). A dog showing aggression (strong pulling on the leash, continuous barking, hackles, barring teeth) will be disqualified (DQ) for behavioral / temperament faults.