Why are fun and titles in our dog activities important to us? I’m sure many people wonder why we are always taking classes and entering events, so I thought I would give you our thoughts.
Do you remember why you got your dog in the first place? Hopefully you got a dog for companionship and for fun! Never lose sight of the fun thing! If you and your dog don’t have fun, there is something wrong.
Dogs don’t need to be involved in sports to have fun. Katie never did dog sports, but she had a lot of fun doing lots of activities like walking, running, traveling, and hanging out with her sisters and Mom. Fun always makes a dog and their human happy. Fun doesn’t need to be complicated and can be as simple as a belly rub or it can be a long term process involving dog sports you train for.
Sometimes fun involves dogs playing together without the human being involved. Humans often have their fun watching dogs play. Dogs love to learn, so taking classes, learning dog sports can be a fun time for you and your dog, and it will help you bond even more.
If you are having fun, why do you need a title? Answer: you don’t. You can do dog activities and sports for a lifetime and never compete and that is perfectly fine. My mom likes the competition thing, so we have tons of fun learning and training, and the title is just another layer of fun. We love how excited and proud Mom gets when we title in something.
One thing to watch out for is to make sure fun and titles are working together. If you and your dog are not having fun, like Mom, Bailie and me with Barn Hunt, then it’s time to quit. Find something else that is fun to do.
If you are competing first and foremost, have fun. If you are having fun, the title will come. There is nothing worse than seeing those few people who want the title at all costs, and there is no fun involved. Competition is a chance to be with your dog doing what you love to do together. Title or no title, it is all about spending that time together, trying to achieve your common goal.
For us, a title is more than just bringing home a ribbon and the title. Titles are something that will be there forever, long after the dog and human are gone. A title says that the dog and their human worked together hard enough to achieve a common goal. No one can take away a title. The above photo was Mom and I with our first ever nose work title. We were both so proud!
Being a rare breed, titles are even more special as we are often the first ones of our breed to achieve a title in a sport. Years down the road when someone looks up NACSW nose work titles by breed, they will see my name as the first one of my breed to achieve the title, Bailie as the second dog, perhaps Madison will be the third.
Whether you do activities with your dog for fun and titles, or just for fun, remember, fun is what makes it all worthwhile! Are you having fun with your dog?