Features August 2017 Issue

Fulfill Your Dog's Ancestral Calling with Job-Specific Activities

To keep her Dalmatians fit and well-behaved, dog trainer (and author of this article) Laurie C. Williams trains them for activities that make the best use of the Dalmatian’s usually abundant energy, such as competitive obedience, rally, agility, tricks, and even coach-dog training. Williams is shown here with her Dalmatian, William, in the process of earning his coach-dog certification.

Fulfill Your Dog's Ancestral Calling with Job-Specific Activities

Dogs often inherit more than their parents’ looks; they may also receive the instinct and desire to do the work of their forebears – and it might behoove you to let them!

Sports and activities that involve thinking and problem solving, such as tracking, scent work, competitive obedience and rally obedience, are great to try with many of the working breeds. Of course, many of the working breeds are used in the specific activities for which they were developed, such as water rescue (Newfoundlands, Portuguese Water Dogs), drafting and carting (Saint Bernards, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Leonbergers), and sled pulling (Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes).

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