COMPANION & PERFORMANCE SPORTS
Agility could probably be considered one of the more athletic events you can do as a team with your Scottie. It is also probably one of the most popular dog sports! It requires speed, skill, and coordination between the dog and handler. In an agility trial, your Scottie would demonstrate its agile nature and versatility by following cues from the handler (a.k.a. you) through a timed obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and other obstacles. The closest equivalent sport would be the equestrian jumping events.
The goal of agility is for you and your Scottie to navigate a numbered series of obstacles so that dog and handler run the course without any mistakes and in the shortest period of time. The handler generally is running along with the dog issuing verbal commands or hand signals to communicate which obstacle to do next. As you can imagine, agility is great for building a better relationship with your Scottie!
There are many classes and levels for agility. For more information on AKC agility, please visit: https://www.akc.org/sports/agility/
As a dog/handler team, your Scottie finds rats hidden in a maze of straw bales; you call the ‘find’. And yes, rats are always safe in aerated tubes, and never harmed.
Barn Hunt events include a pass/fail instinct class for novice teams, and more challenging classes using additional diversions and multiple locations.
Barn Hunt is an independent sport, but titles are recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Learn more: https://www.barnhunt.com/
The Scottish Terrier was bred to “go to ground” to hunt vermin such as mice, rats and badgers. Like other terrier breeds that hunt underground, the Scottie is categorized as an earthdog. Hunting prey this way requires to the dog to navigate through tunnels, often in total darkness, digging out the tunnel if it is too small, and following the prey via scent. In real life scenarios, often the human hunter would use a shovel to dig out the dog and the prey.
The Scottie’s structure was designed to help it be effective to hunt underground. Its short stature allows the Scottie to navigate small tunnels. Its large chest and firm keel allows the Scottie to both rest on its chest while digging and provide for good lung capacity. The large muzzle, large teeth, and strong neck facilitate dispatching quarry. The strong hind legs help the scottie to pull his quarry out of the tunnel. The Scottie tail is strong and well attached, so the human hunter can pull the Scottie out by the tail if needed. The Scottie’s very independent nature, assertiveness, and intelligence are critical for the dog to make decisions while hunting.
There are two venues you may test the gameness of your Scottie. The American Working Terrier Association (AWTA) was the first organized group to have awards for going to ground. The AWTA was founded in 1971 by Patricia Adams Lent to encourage and promote the breeding, hunting, and ownership of terriers of correct size, conformation, and character to perform as working terriers.
The AKC Earthdog tests also provide a yardstick to how good of a hunter your Scottie is. As performance events, they are non-competitive and each terrier is judged on its own abilities for searching and locating the quarry underground. More info about each venue, and locations of future tests, can be found via the websites below:
AKC Earthdog: https://www.akc.org/sports/earthdog/
Obedience has been around for about eight decades, so it is one of the AKC’s oldest sporting events. Competing in obedience events present an opportunity for the handler and dog to demonstrate their skill as working as a team. Depending on the level of competition, examples of exercises you and your Scottie would demonstrate include: walking on- and off-leash, retrieving and jumping, and demonstrating your Scottie’s ability to stay. Moreover, it “is essential that the obedience dog demonstrates willingness and enjoyment while it is working with the handler.”
Even if you decide not to compete in obedience trials, you should probably consider some kind of obedience training to make sure your scottie is well-behaved at home, in public places, and around other dogs.
To learn more about AKC Obedience, visit: https://www.akc.org/sports/obedience/
AKC Rally® began in 2005 as a complement to AKC obedience trials. Since then, it has grown into its own, stand-alone sport where participation by the greater dog community increases each year. It’s a perfect entry sport for those teams who are new to dog events, but who also want to teach basic obedience and develop a stronger bond with their dogs.
AKC Rally entails walking with your Scottie on a numbered course that has between 10 and 20 stations. Unlike traditional obedience events, the handlers can use multiple verbal commands and/or hand signals to encourage their dogs to complete the tasks designated at each station. This flexibility tends to lend itself to a more relaxed atmosphere and rapport between dog and handler. While some consider Rally to be an easier alternative to competition obedience, others would argue it provides a challenging way for teams to test your scottie’s talents and the teamwork skills between you.
To learn more about AKC Rally, visit: https://www.akc.org/sports/rally/
Scent Work is based on the work of professional detection dogs (such as drug dogs and service dogs), who detect a wide variety of scents and substances. In AKC Scent Work, your Scottie searches for cotton swabs scented with essential oils (Birch, Anise, Clove, and Cypress). The cotton swabs are hidden in a pre-determined search area. When he finds the scent, your Scottie will communicate the find to you; you call it out to the judge.
Your Scottie’s sense of smell is 100,000 times stronger than humans, making him well suited for Tracking.
This non competitive event has your Scottie follow a path to find articles placed along the way. It’s a perfect way for you and your dog to enjoy many hours together, outside in the fresh air, honing his natural abilities.
Before you take a Tracking Dog test, you’ll need to be certified by an AKC approved judge.
WHERE can you find more information about any of these events?