It is not easy taking a test. Ask any student. But these teams worked hard to prepare and showcase the stability, consistency and true nature of their dogs.
Over twenty elements were tested, both skill and aptitude. The test takes almost an hour and involves meeting several new people and meeting one new dog. The dog is handled by many people, crowded, bumped, distracted by sound and sight, and always expected to be happy, friendly, calm and steady.
The handlers are tested on their ability to guide and manage their dog while interacting with a variety of people and situations, and making their animal and everyone they meet feel comfortable and confident.
No jumping, barking, growling, licking, searching to run out the door, trying to avoid eye contact or appearing uncomfortable.
The dog and handler need to be cool, calm and collected while always engaging with new people, remembering their handling skills and giving their dog confidence to enjoy the experience.
Sophie only wanted to wiggle into position so she could look right up into your eyes. She smiled throughout the test. A small dog, she was carried through most of the test. But did all of her obedience elements on the floor, like the big dogs.
She loved being brushed and this was the highlight of the test for her. She stretched her little body all the way out so no spot was missed.
Ziggy of course could not be carried, but he carried all of us with his huge heart. Ziggy aced his obedience and took the aptitude to another level. That dog just loved being with all the “strangers” helping out with the test and only wanted to put his head on their laps and look deep into their eyes.
We look at handler skills over animal skills and Ziggy’s handler was so strong. This team truly was a team, moving together as one unit, enjoying every element and chance to show off this beautiful animal.
So let’s congratulate them all and we look forward to their making a difference to the lives of many in Las Vegas.
To learn more about Delta Society Pet Partners and how you can explore becoming a team with your dog, visit http://www.lovedogadventures.com/about-us/join-our-team/