02 Nov KWDC Show
KWDC HALLOWEEN HAUNT
Working Dog Club ‘Halloween Haunt’ a Huge Success
The end of October is a busy time in the Wheat State. Harvest is winding down, the leaves are falling, the night comes earlier and there’s a slight nip in the air as the first frost approaches. For the Kansas Working Dog Club (KWDC) and the Bull Breed Coalition Registry (BBCR), though, the final weekend of October in northern Kansas means something even more exciting: the annual Kansas Working Dog Club Halloween Haunt.
Every year, KWDC members and their dogs gather to show off their skills and tricks. This year’s event was extra special, as it was also the very first BBCR Contender Division working dog event. All BBCR obedience and temperament titles were offered and all three performance judges were present to ensure that the event was a success. All members had the opportunity to ask questions about training and were able to witness some examples of the tasks that make up the BBCR performance dog events.
The day’s activities began with an informative talk by John Letcher, who outlined what to expect from the events and explained some of the “dos” and “don’ts” for completing BBRC Obedience (OBT), Instinctive Defense of Handler (IDHT), Aptitude (AT) and Individual Breed Defining (IBDT) tests. Participants were then able to decide which tests they wanted to attempt with their dogs. Each dog’s information was recorded and Contender pedigrees were submitted.
After the entire process was explained and registration was completed, the testing began. The first to test was Preston, a young man who was working with his German Shepherd, Luna. Preston and Luna successfully completed the BBCR Aptitude Test by completing a series of tasks that a dog/owner team would need to demonstrate good control, stable temperament and strong basic obedience. The most basic form of the test allows the evaluators to determine if it is safe and fair for the team to move forward toward completion of other titles the BBCR offers.
After Preston and Luna, the Aptitude Test was completed by a variety of breeds, including Shortybulls, French bulldogs, Mastiffs, American bulldogs, German Shepherds, Staffy Bulls, Dobermans and even a Miniature Pincher. Handlers ranged from people with years of active experience to up-and-coming youngsters training their first dogs. However, regardless of age and experience, the group was extremely supportive of one another. All of the handlers received ample encouragement to continue striving to reach their goals.
The next test in the event was the OBT 123 testing. The Obedience Test series starts with upper level basic obedience and progresses to complete off-lead and distance obedience commands. Achieving Level 3 requires a tremendous amount of hard work, training and patience. People who pass this level have exhibited a high level of dedication to and understanding of their canine partners. At the end of the OBT series, several teams passed level one.
IDH testing was up next, and the BBCR was proud to be on hand to see its first group of IDH ACE teams. These teams passed all three levels of IDH testing, which is extremely difficult to do and will set the bar high for all future testers. Congratulations go out to Peggy Shaver and her female Malinois, Dee Dee, and Christy Colley and her Presa Canario, Kilo for attaining ACE status; your hard work and dedication is an inspiration!
The fourth event, the IBDT testing, drew a very high number of contestants. This test allows trained evaluators to direct a handler and their dogs through a series of tasks that could potentially be encountered in everyday situations. The BBCR is the first group of its kind to offer this level of testing under the direct assessment of professionals in the field. Each breed is judged according to the reaction and behavior that is normal to that dog’s breed. Watching the differences in how each breed of dog reacts to different scenarios is quite fascinating.
The event didn’t focus solely on testing. In keeping with the Halloween holiday, there was also a very entertaining costume contest. There were dogs dressed as pigs, chickens, a race car driver, a witch, Superman and the crowd favorite—a hippy with her bedazzled love pups. Dogs bobbed for tennis balls and played all sorts of other games, and treat bags were handed out to all the canines that played.
There was also the annual “WOW” award, which is given out to the dog or person that makes everybody present stop and say, “WOW!” This year, it was awarded to a Boerboel owner who was launched into the air when her pony-sized dog bowled her over!
The game that drew the most attention this year was the Rocket Recall, a 50-yard sprint race that is clocked by a police officer with a radar gun. Owners use balls, whistles, treats or whatever else it takes to get the dog ready to run his or her fastest. The highest speed clocked was over 20 miles per hour!
The 2011 Kansas Working Dog Club event will certainly be remembered fondly. For any trainers who may have missed out on the event this year, be sure to mark off the final weekend of October 2012, and start training with your dog today!
For more information about BBCR Contender events, conformation shows or registration, visit www.bbcr.info.