Since the APBT is a very atheltic and intelligent dog. It needs activities to keep him healthy and entertained. They love to please their owner, so once you start an activity keep it going!! Some things you and your pitty can do together, is weight pull, conformation, obediance, agility, and schutzhund.
It all began in England, not so very long ago. Fashioned after horse Show Jumping, Agility made its debut as a demonstration in the UK at Crufts in 1978. Today, Agility is one of the fastest growing dog sports. It is a sport that finds dog and handler teams leaving the agility course celebrating, whether they have qualified in their run or not. It is also very popular among spectators, the action is fast and it is always entertaining whether the dog does as the handler asks or not. It's fun for everyone!
Agility courses are made up of obstacles the dog must perform correctly. The judge predetermines the pattern that each obstacle must be taken and the handler directs the dog, off leash, through this obstacle course. They may cheer, clap, and call the dog through each obstacle as it best serves them. There are jumps of various make, climbing obstacles, weave poles, tunnels, and a pause table. Each course is timed and the dog that finishes with the fewest course faults and the fastest time wins. This rule varies according to the sanctioning organization of the trial you are attending.
Jumps can include winged or wingless hurdles, and a panel or wall jump. The spread jumps; include the double bar, triple bar, and broad jump. A suspended tire jump can also be found among the jumps on the course. There are other specialized jumps, such as the water jump, brush jump, and wishing well, which can also be seen on an agility course depending upon the class and the sanctioning organization.
The climbing obstacles are also known as contact obstacles. Usually made of wood, they include the Dog walk, A-Frame, and Teeter. The dogs negotiate each obstacle by climbing over them and they must touch the yellow paint known as the contact zone at the ends of each board. This is a built in safety feature for the dogs. They are not allowed to jump off the top of the A-Frame which can be 6'3" tall at the apex. The teeter, or seesaw, is a moveable contact board. Most Chihuahuas travel up the board directly into the contact zone and then ride it down to the ground.
Weave Poles are a series of upright poles that the dog weaves in and out, between them all. Dogs must enter with the first pole at their left shoulder and then proceed down the line of poles until there are no more. The number of poles can vary. This obstacle usually takes the longest to train well.
Two types of tunnels can be found on an Agility course. Pipe, or rigid tunnels can be formed to make various shapes that the dogs run through. The Chute, or collapsed tunnel is made up of two parts. The entry portion is made of a rigid barrel on which a chute of material is attached. The overall length of the chute tunnel is 12' to 15'. Dogs enter the barrel and burrow their way through the chute material to emerge on the other side. This is a crowd favorite when the little dogs go through. Tunnels are also considered a favorite obstacle by most dogs.
The Pause Table is a place to stop and take a break from the action. The top is a 3' x 3' square, that sits on a stand that it is adjusted to the various jump heights. Most Chihuahuas will see an 8" or 12" table, depending upon which organization has sanctioned the Agility Trial. The mount, and dogs pause on this table for a count of 5 seconds before proceeding on to the next obstacle. Not all dogs take kindly to this break in the action.
Various organizations have sprung up in the United States which sanction Agility trials. Each has it's own set of regulations which determines what a qualifying run on each agility course means for the dog and handler team. Depending upon the organization, there are 4 to 5 jump heights for the various sizes of dogs. The shoulder height of the dog determines which jump height it should enter.
The successful completion of Agility courses under the regulations of the sanctioning body results in Agility titles for the owner. The dogs receive much praise, toys or goodies, for their achievements. They are always loved.
Overview of the UKC Obedience Exercises Novice U-CD
Description of Exercises in each ring
Honor (Long Down in opposite ring
corner while other dog doing
Heel on Leash) 35 pts
Heel on Leash and Figure 8 35
Stand for Exam 30
Heel off Leash 35
Recall over Jump 35
Long Sit (1 min) 30
Honoring (out of sight) 30 pts
Heel Off Leash and Figure 8 40
Drop on Recall 30
Retrieve on Flat 20
Retrieve over High Jump 30
Broad Jump 20
Long Sit (3 min out of sight) 30
On the Heel Off Leash the steward walks the same pattern
as the handler/dog team. Also after the dog drops on the
Drop on Recall the steward walks from the handler's side
past the dog to the other side of the ring.
Signaling and Heeling 30
Scent Discrimination (metal) 30
Directed 'Marked' Retrieve
(from handlers side) 20
Directed 'Signal' Retrieve
(sent from handler, then
(one with and one without
Directed Jumping 40
Jump heights: min 8 inches - max 24 inches. The height is set at even 2 inch increments. A dog 17 1/2 inches jumps 16 inch high. A dog must jump twice its shoulder height for the Broad Jump in one inch increments.
Requirements for titles
In the conformation ring, (the 'breed' ring), there are several different levels of competition. First, there are the dogs that are not Champions of record. These dogs compete at what's called the 'class' level, and are working toward their Champion title. They may enter the Puppy class, Novice, American Bred, Bred By Exhibitor, or the Open class. Males and females compete separately at this level. The size of the entry has a lot to do with whether all of these classes will actually have an entry at a given show. If there are only 2 dogs entered, obviously not every class will have an entry. However, each class is always available to the exhibitor to enter their dog in.
In each class there are 4 placements awarded. The first place animal from each class goes on to what is called the 'Winners' class. We still have the males and females separate here. Males are called 'dogs' and females are called 'bitches'. The dogs and bitches are still separated in the winners classes. All of these first place individuals compete as a class, and the winner is called the Winners Dog or the Winners Bitch. A Reserve Winners Dog and Bitch are also selected. The two Winners are the only dogs to earn points toward a Championship.
The number of points earned is dependent on how many were entered in all of the classes. There may be many dogs entered, and the points awarded might be 5, which is the highest number of points that can be earned at one show. There may only be a few and worth only 1 or 2 points, or none at all. A win of 3,4 or 5 points is termed a 'major' win. A dog must win at 2 majors and collect a total of 15 points to earn a Championship. The 'point schedule' of how many entries are required to make up 1,2,3,4,and 5 points, varies in different regions of the country and in different years. Check the AKC pages for the current point schedule in your area.
At the next level of competition, the Winners Dog and the Winners Bitch and any Champions that are entered compete in intersex competition for: Best of Breed (BOB), Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed (BOS), and Best of Winners (BOW). Only the Winners Dog and Bitch can earn the Best of Winners award, but any of the individuals in the Best of Breed Class may win the BOB or BOS. Under some circumstances, extra points may be earned by one of the 'Winners' by going BOW, BOS, or BOB.
The individual that goes Best Of Breed is then eligible to show in the Group. For many of the Specials dogs (Champions being 'campaigned'), this is where the competition really begins.There are 7 Groups at a dog show; Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding. Each BOB from the individual breeds which make up the Group competes for Group I, II, III, and IV. The dogs winning Group I in each of the 7 Groups then compete for Best in Show. In this manner, the Best In Show dog has defeated every other dog entered.
Beyond competing to finish championships, dogs compete to gain points toward informal national ratings at the Best of Breed level and at the Group and Best in Show level. These ratings have nothing to do with the AKC. They are compiled by dog publications or breed clubs and only convey prestige to the top dogs in the country.
WHAT IS SCHUTZHUND?
Schutzhund is a German word meaning "protection dog." It refers to a sport that focuses on developing and evaluating those traits in dogs that make them more useful and happier companions to their owners.
Schutzhund work concentrates on three parts. Many familiar with the obedience work of the American Kennel Club's affiliates will recognize the first two parts, tracking and obedience. The Schutzhund standards for the third part, protection work, are similar to those for dogs in police work.
While dogs of other breeds are also admitted to Schutzhund trials, this breed evaluation test was developed specifically for the German Shepherd Dog. Schutzhund is intended to demonstrate the dog's intelligence and utility. As a working trial, Schutzhund measures the dog's mental stability, endurance, structural efficiencies, ability to scent, willingness to work, courage, and trainability.
This working dog sport offers an opportunity for dog owners to train their dog and compete with each other for recognition of both the handler's ability to train and the dog's ability to perform as required. It is a sport enjoyed by persons of varied professions, who join together in a camaraderie born of their common interest in working with their dogs. Persons of all ages and conditions of life--even those with significant disabilities--enjoy Schutzhund as a sport. Often, it is a family sport.
THE THREE PARTS OF A SCHUTZHUND TRIAL:
The tracking phase includes a temperament test by the overseeing judge to assure the dog's mental soundness. When approached closely on a loose leash, the dog should not act shyly or aggressively. The track is laid earlier by a person walking normally on a natural surface such as dirt or grass. The track includes a number of turns and a number of small, man-made objects left by this person on the track itself. At the end of a 30-foot leash, the handler follows the dog which is expected to scent the track and indicate the location of the objects, usually by lying down with it between its front paws. The tracking phase is intended to test the dog's trainability and ability to scent, as well as its mental and physical endurance.
The obedience phase includes a series of heeling exercises, some of which are closely in and around a group of people. During the heeling, there is a gun shot test to assure that the dog does not openly react to such sharp noises. There is also a series of field exercises in which the dog is commanded to sit, lie down, and stand while the handler continues to move. From these various positions, the dog is recalled to the handler. With dumbbells of various weights, the dog is required to retrieve on a flat surface, over a one-meter hurdle, and over a six-foot slanted wall. The dog is also asked to run in a straight direction from its handler on command and lie down on a second command.
Finally, each dog is expected to stay in a lying down position away from its handler, despite distractions, at the other end of the obedience field, while another dog completes the above exercises. All of the obedience exercises are tests of the dog's temperament, structural efficiencies, and, very importantly, its willingness to serve man or woman.
The protection phase tests the dog's courage, physical strength, and agility. The handler's control of the dog is absolutely essential. The exercises include a search of hiding places, finding a hidden person (acting as a human decoy), and guarding that decoy while the handler approaches. The dog is expected to pursue the decoy when an escape is attempted and to hold the grip firmly. The decoy is searched and transported to the judge with the handler and dog walking behind and later at the decoy's right side. When the decoy attempts to attack the handler, the dog is expected to stop the attack with a firm grip and no hesitation.
The final test of courage occurs when the decoy is asked to come out of a hiding place by the dog's handler from the opposite end of the trial field. The dog is sent after the decoy when he attempts to run away. Just when the dog is about to catch the decoy, the judge signals the decoy to turn about and run directly at the dog, threatening the dog with a stick. All bites during the protection phase are expected to be firmly placed on the padded sleeve and stopped on command and/or when the decoy discontinues the fight. The protection tests are intended to assure that the dog is neither a coward nor a criminal menace.
Enjoyment and/or competition. You get to do things with your dog; it is good exercise for your dog; you have an excuse to travel; you get to meet a lot of interesting people. And, you can earn achievement awards; sometimes there are prizes (maybe 40# dog food); and you compete against all dogs in your weigh class in your region. At the end of the season, there is a pull-off where the top dogs of each weight class compete across regions.
During the season, member dogs (owned by a member and handled by a member) earn points. First in their weight at an event gets 5 points, plus one for each dog beat. second gets 3, plus one for each dog beat. third gets 1, plus one for each dog beat. All remaining dogs that made at least one successful pull get 1 for each dog beat; and last place gets ½ point. Dogs not making a successful pull get no points, but they are counted as dogs beat. Provisional dogs (not owned by a member and pulled by a member) earn no point, but contribute points. However, they do hold a lineup position and are eligible for any prizes at the pull.
During the season, your top five scores are added to get your final score. However, if you go out of your region for pulls, only two of those are allowed in your top five.
All breeds (even mixed) may compete. Most common are the huskies, rottweilers and pit bulls; but we have cockers and mastiffs. Smaller dogs tend to pull a bigger percentage of their weight than the bigger dogs. Pit Bulls (and other terriers) do very well. They get into it and don't know when to quit. On the other hand; the northern breeds are often too independent and stubborn and will elect not to pull long before their capability.
Are you safe around all these dogs? Are the dogs in danger? We have a few very strict rules:
Any dog fights and all participants are disqualified and asked to leave; regardless of whose fault. This is not taken lightly and participants keep their dogs under control at all times.
Any abuse toward your dog will disqualify you, and you are asked to leave.
Any situations deemed dangerous for the dog will be corrected (a tangle) or the dog will be disqualified.
You cannot coerce your dog to pull. It is up to his willingness and just between you and him. No food (other than water) may be awarded during his class - not even between turns. You may only coax with voice and gestures, no implements. No double handling with a plant in the audience.