Obedience :Agility : Rally O : Trick Dog: Lure coursing
Poodles are very versatile, they excel at all forms of dog sports. Training for any of the listed sports is an organised activity conducted through a large number of local clubs all over Queensland. A full list of these clubs can be found by visiting the Dogs Queensland website www.cccq.org.au
There are different levels of Obedience, Agility, Rally O, Trick Dog and Lure Coursing Training and a dog and his/her handler can graduate from one to the other. At any Trial you can compete in classes for each level. As an example these are the Obedience levels:
Community Companion dog (Trial award C.C.D) - involving basic heel on lead, stand, recall and sit/stay, down/stay exercises.
Novice (Trial Award C.D) - free heeling, more complex recall and retrieve and longer stays.
Open (Trial Award C.D.X) - more complex recall, retrieve, stay, jump and handler out of sight exercises.
Utility (Trial Award) U.D) - this involves finding lost articles, scent discrimination, signal exercises and a range of other complex exercises.
Utility Dog Excellent (Trial Award U.D.X) - this involves more complex extensions of the U.D. exercises.
Trick dog FUN for ALL
Miniature poodles were used as circus performance dogs in their early history and truffle hunting in Europe, mostly in Germany and France. Of course they were shown in Conformation but those poodles were kept in pristine show coats.
My first miniature poodle was initially acquired to replace my aging Agility dog, this didn’t quite work out as she had a short stint in the conformation ring, gaining her Champion title in 15 months, continued to enjoy showing and doing obedience, then took some maternity leave, resumed her show career but wasn’t very interested to compete against her daughter.
Then we heard that a new ANKC approved event was to become sanctioned as a sport!
Trick dog was born in 2019 through much dedication and fine tuning of Coral Pethers and Gay Westmore who were also involved in the Dances with Dogs competitive scene and saw the need for a fun event to encourage owners to bring their dogs of all breeds out to have fun and earn titles.
So off we went to many of the preliminary days of trick trials to establish interest and set rules, and various levels etc. Steep learning curve to go from strict conformation rules to actually having fun, learning tricks and teaching techniques.
Out first competition in February 2020 was nerve racking doing our first triple header starter events, complete 6 tricks from a list of 14, each trick having foundation work for the higher levels, times to complete and set distances and focus were part of the test. Most at that event were all like myself first time in this new discipline. The final test on the day we finally got ourselves together and Miss Mei Li was awarded her first challenge for Trick Dog Starter award.
Due to the rest of 2020 being put on hold with COVID our return to competition had to wait until February 2021, with a further Challenge certificate being gained. The long dry spell gave us lots of practice time to consolidate her tricks. Then on the 20th March 2021 we entered the double trick trial at the Logan Obedience club after a week of torrential rain, the day was fine although extremely hot and humid. Finally we gained her third certificate for her title.
Champion Bienaime Lil Divine Diva is the first miniature poodle in show coat and with her title to have gained her Trick Dog Starter title (Tk.S) will now be shown on all her paperwork going forward. We have moved up to the next level of Novice and this is 8 tricks out of 20 and five challenge certificates to pass, with the degree of difficulty increasing. Mei Li is coming into her tenth year and is revelling in the training and the tricks. Below are two photo’s showing her doing her step up and hold for 5 secs and her bow and hold for 2 secs.
Full details of this fun sport are on the ANKC website, competitions are held regularly in several states and a workbook and USB detailing criteria is available from the QLD Dances with Dogs club, there is a Facebook page as well.