Why Competition Counts

As anyone involved can tell you, dog training has gone through a lot of changes in the past two decades. While some these changes have been positive, many of them are not. A new emphasis on the owner "feeling good "has overshadowed the more important goal of the dog being reliable. One of the casualties of this new mindset is the concept of competition as a viable means of measuring the effectiveness of a training program. Although one can see happy and seemingly well-trained dogs in "fun" sports such as Agility, there is a trend among modern trainers to downplay and even castigate the more serious and impressive dog sports such as AKC/UKC Obedience trials and working dog tests such as Schutzhund or the Ring Sports. Some other trainers frown on all formal tests as being irrelevant and dismiss their more competition-minded peers as out of touch with the needs of pet owners. We find that this mindset is misleading but haven't seen much in the lit