ACTIVITIES WITH YOUR LAKELAND TERRIER
The official term for dog shows is conformation — as in, the act of conforming or producing conformity. While a dog show may look like a beauty pageant, it’s not. Dogs are not being compared to each other; they’re being measured by how closely they conform to the standard of their particular breed. Why? Because the closer a dog’s appearance is to the breed’s standard, the better that dog’s ability will be to produce puppies that meet the standard. It’s also the reason why mixed breeds and spayed or neutered purebreds are ineligible to compete in conformation.
As one of the most popular AKC events, conformation events range from large all-breed shows, with over 3,000 dogs entered, to small local specialty club shows that feature only one breed.
Agility is one of the fastest-growing dog sports in the country—and for good reason. It’s incredible exercise for both you and your dog, and it forges an even deeper relationship between you. Plus, it’s exhilarating to watch as your dog nimbly and quickly crawls through tunnels, weaves around poles, and leaps through tires!
Obedience training may just be the best gift you can give yourself, your family, and your pet. It teaches your dog appropriate social behavior with both people and animals; helps correct annoying behaviors like jumping, digging, barking, and chewing; and keeps your dog entertained and happy. A win-win all around!
AKC Rally® is all about teamwork. You and your dog navigate a course together, side-by-side, at your own brisk pace. You move him through a course with signs where he performs different exercises. The courses are designed by the Rally judge (10-20 signs per course, depending on the class level) that include various turns and commands such as sit, down, stay, etc.
Unlimited communication from the handler to the dog is to be encouraged and not penalized. While touching isn’t allowed, you can use verbal commands, clap your hands, pat your legs and use hand signals to praise and encourage your dog.
Scoring in Rally is less rigorous than in other competitions like traditional obedience or agility. You begin with a perfect score of 100, with points deducted along with way. If you retain a score of at least 70 points, you will qualify toward earning a title. As you qualify the required number of times, you will move onto the next level.
AKC tracking events are the competition form of canine search and rescue. These Tracking events provide experience for dogs and their handlers to meet some needs for tracking and finding lost humans or other animals, as well as, demonstrating the extremely high level of scent capability that dogs possess.
We’ve all seen movies with dogs following the trail of an escapee through swamps. The AKC’s Tracking Tests allow dogs to demonstrate their natural ability to recognize and follow human scent. This vigorous outdoor activity is great for canine athletes. Unlike Agility and Obedience events that require a dog to qualify three times, a dog only needs to complete one track successfully to earn each title.
If you have a Lakeland Terrier, you’ve undoubtedly already discovered their penchant to dig, stick their face underground, and emerge with something in his mouth, be it a mouse, a squirrel or some other creature. After you stop screaming in fright, your first instinct might be to reprimand him for catching that poor animal but really, you should reward him! He’s simply doing what these dogs were bred to do: To hunt underground, and that’s what Earthdog tests assess.
Earthdog tests gauge how good a hunter your dog really is. They’re non-competitive and each dog is judged on his own abilities for seeking and locating rodents underground. But fear not, rodent lovers: In these tests, rats are safely caged and not harmed!
Therapy Dog is an AKC program which recognizes the necessary therapy work performed by dogs through accepted organizations based on the number of visits. Therapy work involves volunteers who schedule visits to various facilities and locations such a nursing homes, classrooms, libraries, assisted living centers, hospices, funeral homes, schools, shelters even courtrooms.
Whether they’re working with a child who is learning to read, visiting a patient in a hospital or a senior in assisted living, therapy dogs and their owners work together as a team to improve the lives of other people. A dog can provide a valuable sense of reassurance, joy, or calmness to people experiencing stressful, lonely or depressing situations or general times in their life.
*The above information is provided by the American Kennel Club.