by Laurie Sipe Did you know that there are many places and things that you can do with your Siberian, other than just being a couch potato? And more than just hiking through the woods on a leash, or carrying a backpack. There are several organizations that have programs where you can earn titles with your dogs. The main organization, the one most people are familiar with, is the American Kennel Club, also known as AKC. I know many of you are all ready wondering, what if we don’t have papers? Some of us who are lucky adopt dogs with papers. But for those of us who don’t have that special feature……don’t worry, we can get what the AKC calls an ILP. That would be Indefinite Listing Privilege, more like a tracking number. Once issued, you can use this number to compete in any AKC performance event. There are so many, like agility, obedience, rally obedience, the CGC program and tracking. In the following pages, I will explain how to obtain your ILP, the different events offered by AKC, the different titles and the different Organizations that can also offer your dog competition.
“U-AG II North Dakota’s Brushfire CGC CD RN NA NAJ OA”
To obtain your ILP, you need to download a copy of the ILP registration form. This form is located under forms on the American Kennel Club website, www.akc.org. The form has four pages total, several of which are directions to guide you in your quest for your ILP number. You will need to also have two color photos, closeup of the dog. One straight on head shot from the front, and one from the side view. Try to stack the dog naturally as you would see in the conformation ring. That’s all that is required, your application, two pictures and your check, and you will be ready to compete! This will open many doors.
FIRE GETTING READY TO START
Once you have obtained your ILP number and if you are ready you can enter any performance events open to Siberian Huskies, and those would be Obedience, Rally Obedience, Agility, and Tracking. The first step towards competing in Obedience or Rally would be to take the Canine Good Citizenship test. This is a test of basic obedience, and you will be awarded the title CGC and a nice certificate awarded by the AKC. The test is 10 short parts of basic commands and evaluating the dog in certain environments. It’s done all on leash and supervised. You will need to have control of your dog at all times. You and your dog need to work as a team, thus the key to competing in obedience. You can find more information about the CGC test on the AKC website as well. There are several kennel clubs in the area that give the tests year round. Please see the last page for website address for additional information. Entering the realm of the performance world is a whole new exciting experience for you and your dog. You will become a team, and the most important part is having fun! Your bond with your dog will increase and you will be amazed what you can do. But always remember its team work! Most of the errors made, are made on the owners part, not the dogs. The dog is always right! Now making the decision on what you would like to do with your companion is the hard part. I highly recommend starting off with your basic obedience. Most of you already know the down, sit, stay, come. If you can conquer the leash and heeling and if your dog has good manners and behaves around other dogs, I suggest taking your CGC test. This will evaluate your doing on how far along he is in training. The most common mistake is for the owner to be in a rush to compete. Yes it’s exciting, but you don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment. Rally obedience would be the next step after the CGC test. Rally is all on leash at the novice level. And for those of you who do not know what rally is, it’s a course set up in an obedience ring that has signs with exercises that you follow in order. Most of the exercises are your normal sit, stay, heel, lots of turning, and calling the dog. With the very basic commands you possible could qualify and earn your Novice rally title, which would mean a RN behind the dogs registered name. There are several higher levels that the dogs can compete in, however they are off leash. Doesn’t mean you can’t do them, I would just try indoors until I knew fore sure that my dog was paying full attention to me. In order to earn your degree you must qualify at least 3 times, earning a score of 70 or higher.
“SEE, WE CAN STAY”
If you feel you want to do formal obedience, than you can try for your Companion Dog title. This is basic obedience again, but with a little bit more structure. There will be two heeling patterns around the ring, a recall, a stand for exam, and the stays. Three quarters of this class is done off leash. All dogs are capable of earning their CD. It may take a tad longer but with patience you can and will succeed! There are also higher levels for those who wish to compete further. Open and Utility classes are done completely off leash. I would suggest training with a Kennel Club or a dog training school, in order to compete at these levels. The basic novice class is exercises that you can train at home. To earn the CD you would also need to earn at least 3 qualifying score of 170 or higher
There are two more fields of Performance events that AKC offers to its exhibitors, Tracking and Agility. The Siberian loves to track naturally, the nose at times tend to have this breed in a world of trouble! So make good use and train the dog to track. Tracking is also something you can train in your home and Local Park. In order to compete in tracking you have to get pass a pre-test, and be certified to compete. All tracking is done on a leash! Thus a great way to earn another title, and you only have to qualify once. The tracking test is pass or fail! If you are more daring, and want to have some fun, try agility. Agility is the sport where a complete obstacle course is set up in a ring. You will see jumps, tunnels, tables, teeters, weave poles and lots of other equipment. You must complete the course in the proper order without any mishaps. You also must maintain a clean run under the standard course time set by the judge. A lot of Siberians compete in agility, so have faith! There are many local clubs teaching agility in the area. I suggest you take a few hours and watch an agility trial in action, it’s more than what you see on tv! You can watch and see how the handler and dogs truly make a team. To find out when and were the local agility trials are you can look up Clean run, and search a database for local trial, or you can go the American kennel Clubs website and find the listing for current trials. I hope I have shed some light on the adventures and memories you can build with your Siberian! And truly you will build those special moments that will last a lifetime.
PET HARBOR’S NEXT CONTENDER!
HELPFUL LINKS AND WEBSITES TO GET YOU STARTED
The American Kennel Club www.akc.org
Clean Run (agility) www.cleanrun.com Info Dog www.infodog.com Siberian Husky Club of America www.shca.org Rally Obedience www.rallyobedience.com Different Registries that support Performance events:
American Kennel Club www.akc.org
United Kennel Club (UKC) www.ukcdogs.com North American Dog Agility Council www.nadac.com Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) www.apdt.com Places to Train or seek help:
Mattaponi Kennel Club www.mattaponikennelclub.com Warrenton Kennel Club www.warrentonkc.org Northern Neck Kennel Club www.northernneckkennelclub.com Greater Fredericksburg Kennel Club www.gfkc.homestead.com Greater Washington Siberian Husky Club www.gwshc.org Chesapeake Siberian Husky Club www.chesapeakesiberian.org The Middleburg Kennel Club www.middleburgkc.com Mt Vernon Dog Training Club www.mtvernondogtrainingclub.com Capitol Dog Training Club www.cdtc.org Dulles Gateway Dog Training Club www.dgotc.org Pup N Iron www.pupniron.com