I often get emails from puppy inquires asking for “just a pet” when in reality … the job of every dog is to be a well-loved family member first and foremost – which includes any competition pups/dogs. While the below highlights Obedience titles, it can apply to Hunt Test and Field Titles, Conformation (Show) titles, Rally, Agility, Tracking, etc. and provides valuable insight as part of the “why” of competition ….
What is an Obedience TItle, Really?
by Sandra Mowry, Contributor to Front & Finish®
Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to higher titles, a title is a tribute to the dog that bears it, a way of honoring the dog, an ultimate memory. It will remain in record and in memory for as long as anything in this world can remain. Few humans will do as well or better in that regard.
And though the dog itself doesn’t know or care that its achievement have been noted, a title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count.
A title says your dog was intelligent and adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog LOVED YOU enough to do the things that pleased you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed.
And a title says that you LOVED YOUR DOG, that you love to spend time with it because it was a good dog, that you believed in it enough to give it yet another chance when it failed, and that in the end, your faith was justified.
A title proves that your dog inspired you to that special relationship enjoyed by so few, that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with this title was greatly love, and loved greatly in return.
And when that dear short life is over, the title remains as a memory of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of praise in one small set of initials after a name.
An obedience title (or any working title) is nothing, less love and respect given and received and permanently recorded.