Chinese Foos are inherently clever dogs that are devoted to their handlers and tend to learn new tasks rather quickly. While they are known as excellent guard dogs, their natural talents seem to make them excellent candidates for competitions like Obedience and Agility trials. Both of these activities are excellent ways to spend quality time with your Chinese Foo while working towards a common goal. In this article, we'll take a look at both Obedience and Agility trials and how you can get involved.
Obedience trials are a sport in which the dog and handler must perform a series of tasks together in front of a judge. The dog must perform the tasks off leash and without the aid of toys or food. Over the years, these tasks have evolved to be highly stylized, so that a dog that excels in Obedience doesn't necessarily behave perfectly at home! Dogs that compete in Obedience trials are usually grouped together by size and then by three levels, which usually consist of Novice, Open (intermediate) and Utility (advanced).
To give an example of the tasks included in an Obedience Trial, we'll look at a few of the tasks required at the Novice level for UKC competitions, which include an Honor exercise, in which the dog must lay down and stay down while the handler goes out of the dog's sight; Heel on Leash and Figure Eight, in which the handler will walk in a predetermined pattern with the dog following in heel position; Recall Over High Jump, in which the dog must come to the handler when called and negotiate an obstacle that blocks its path; and the Long Sit Exercise, in which the dog must respond to its handler's command of Sit and Stay while in a group of dogs.
Agility is another sport in which dogs must work together with their handlers to complete a series of tasks, but at a much faster pace. Agility courses are actually obstacle courses, and the handler has the responsibility to plot a course through the obstacles in a way that is both safe and as quick as possible. Like in Obedience, dogs that compete in Agility are separated by size and experience. Some of the obstacles included in the Agility course can include a Teeter Totter, tunnels, dog walks, and hurdles such as fences, bars or water.
Unfortunately, Chinese Foos are still not eligible to compete in events sponsored by the American Kennel Club, but they are welcome to compete in other associations, such as the United Kennel Club, which offers Limited Privilege registration for breeds that are not eligible for full registration. If you're interested in learning more about these events, be sure to visit a competition in your area or contact your local kennel clubs.