Dog Sports for Your Dog – Part 2

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Dog Sports For Your Dog (Part 2)

Back to Part One.

Do you enjoy watching Purina’s Incredible Dog Challenge?

Have you seen the big diving dogs?

The name of the sport where the Labrador Retrievers go leaping into the pool is actually called Dock Jumping. You don’t have to have a Labrador Retriever to compete. Any water-loving dog can take the leap.

This ‘big splash’ is lots of fun for dogs that love the water. Don’t feel bad if your dog can’t leap 20 feet after a training dummy. It’s all for fun and small dogs can splash, too.

There are a number of local and regional clubs for the sport but there doesn’t seem to be a national governing body at this time.

If your dog loves to play Frisbee there is a sport for catching the flying disc. Disc Dog is fun and exciting for both dogs and spectators. Dogs have the fun of chasing and catching the disc and on-lookers can oooh and aaah over the spectacular catches. Mixed breeds and purebreds can both play.

There are competitive trials for Disc Dogs.

They can span everything from accuracy and distance to freestyle and team trials. Several organisations hold tournaments in the United Kingdom.

Earthdog trials are a lot of fun for Terrier breeds and other dogs that love to go to ground. If you have a breed that was originally bred to hunt rats or other vermin then he probably loves to dig and hunt in the earth. If he’s born to rat then you may want to check out Earthdog events for him.

Earthdog events usually use tunnels that have been dug underground and which are supported by wooden sides. They have exits dug at the ends so the dog can be brought out when he finishes the course. The tunnels are laid with the scent of the dog’s natural prey (such as a rat) and the dog is turned loose to go in the tunnel and navigate his way around. (The prey is not in any danger during the test.)

If your dog has natural earthdog instincts he will probably find these tests very fulfilling since they let him do what he was originally bred to do. AKC Earthdog trials offer titles for purebred dogs just as other AKC events do.

If you have a dog of a herding breed, such as a Border Collie or a Sheltie, then you may want to try them out in herding competitions. Herding dogs often have a natural instinct to herd and round up sheep, ducks, chickens, or anything else they can move around. If you’ve noticed this tendency in your dog then your dog may enjoy a herding trial.

There are events ranging from basic instinct tests to advanced herding work. Events are offered by the Kennel Club and by several breed organisations which seek to preserve herding instincts in working herding dogs.

Many people in the United Kingdom enjoy hunting with their dogs and the dogs enjoy it, too. Sporting dogs have been bred for at least 1000 years to hunt birds, while sighthounds such as Greyhounds have been used to hunt rabbits, small game and, in some cases, wolves, for over 4000 years.

Scenthounds like Bloodhounds and their smaller cousins Foxhounds and Beagles have been used to hunt rabbits and small game for hundreds of years. The Bloodhound goes back to the time of the Roman Empire. With so much inborn instinct dogs like Pointers, Setters, Greyhounds and Beagles love to have a chance to do what they were bred to do.

If you have any interest in hunting you may wish to give your dog a chance to see what the real thing is like. The Kennel Club and other field organizations offer various events for hunting dogs. The KC has hunt tests which test a dog instinct.

The British Sighthound Field Association also offers similar events and titles for lure coursing. TheBritish Sighthound Field Association also offers events and titles. Lure coursing simulates hunting conditions for the sighthound breeds, usually by using a plastic lure on a fishing line for the dogs to chase. Coursing in field events is more like actual hunting since the dogs are allowed to chase real prey.

Do Dogs Have Feelings?

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Do Dogs Have Feelings?

People have been wondering if dogs have emotions for thousands of years. Philosophers have debated the subject, lining up on different sides. Most of us who have dogs agree that dogs have feelings.

Aristotle believed that animals were without reason but believed that they did have ‘sensations’ — they could feel if you cut them or hurt them. But as far as having human-type emotions? No. Likewise Plato and St. Augustine believed that animals did not have human-type emotions. You should be aware that in classical times what we call the emotions today were not very highly thought of. Passions were considered suspect in people. To give in to one’s emotions was a bad thing. Therefore, for a person to display emotions was undesirable. Being emotional was a bad thing. It certainly wasn’t something that philosophers would want humans to have in common with animals. Animals were held in generally low esteem. They were beasts.

In classical times the dog was considered noble, loyal and faithful but he was still a dog — an animal. There was not the least effort to endow him with human qualities such as emotions. Instead, dogs were admired for their achievements as dogs: how well they guarded the house; how well they hunted; how well they tended flocks of sheep, etc.

The utmost praise for a dog among classical writers comes from, perhaps, Homer, who describes Odysseus’s old dog Argus who would not die for 20 years until he saw his master safely return home. He was the only one who recognised Odysseus, an old man and in disguise, when he finally returned from the Trojan War. The old dog saw his master, let out a whimper, wagged his tail and died on the spot. He was considered a great dog.

The philosopher Descartes denied that animals had feelings, but then he was hard-pressed to prove that he himself existed. John Locke argued that animals do have feelings. Rousseau argued that animals are sentient beings, so therefore would have feelings. Bentham seemed to argue that animals can suffer, so they must have feelings. Schopenhauer believed that animals had feelings.

Do our dogs have feelings? Dogs have not changed from Aristotle or Homer’s time yet our ideas about emotions and feelings have. Today we honour feelings more and we look to find them in our dogs. We are pleased when we believe we see evidence that our dogs love us. Perhaps we encourage our dogs to show more emotions. We may raise dogs to be more affectionate with us. Dogs today seem to show happiness, sadness, affection and many other feelings that humans have. A mother seems to care for her pups in the same way that human mothers care for their children.

But are they the same feelings that people feel? We may have no way of knowing if they are the same feelings. They are the dog version of these feelings. We don’t know if a dog’s feelings are as complex or as rich as a human’s feelings. We don’t know if their feelings are as intense, or more intense or less.

Do they have emotions? The answer seems to be a definite yes. But whether those feelings are the same as the feelings that a human has may be unknowable.

Let Hound Dog Photography help capture the feelings and emotions of your dog, whether its a Whippet or a Yorkshire Terrier. Come along to one of our location day sessions find out more here.

Kent

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Photoshoot Locations around Ashford in Kent:

Aldington • Appledore • Ashford • Bethersden • Biddenden • Bilsington • Bilting • Bonnington • Boughton Aluph • Boughton Lees • Brabourne • Brabourne Lees • Bromley Green • Brook • Challock • Charing • Cheeseman’s Green • Chilham • Chilmington Green • Crundale • Eastwell • EbonyEgertonFinberryGodinton • GodmershamGreat Chart Hamstreet • Hastingleigh • High HaldenHinxhillHothfieldKenardingtonKenningtonKingsnorthLeigh GreenLittle ChartMershamMolashNewendenNewtown • Olantigh •OrlestonePark FarmPluckleyPluckley ThorneReading StreetRolvendenRolvenden LayneRuckingeSt MichaelsSevingtonShadoxhurstShirkoakSingletonSmall HytheSmardenSmeethStanhopeStonebridge GreenStone in OxneyStubbs CrossSnaveTenterdenWarehorneWest Brabourne • WestwellWestwell LeaconWillesboroughWittershamWoodchurch Wye

Have Fun with your Dog

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All About Pugs

All About Pugs

The Pug, one of the top twenty most popular dog breeds in the United States, is an ancient breed of Chinese origin. They date back to at least 400 B.C. when they were prized by Chinese emperors of the Shang dynasty. At that time they were known as Lo-Chiang-Sze, “Lion Dog” or Foo (Fu) because of their resemblance to the Chinese guardian lions called Foo, which were considered guardian spirits. They share this term with the Pekinese which was also called the Foo Dog.

From these earliest times the Pug’s sole function was to live in luxury as a companion dog. Because of the breed’s popularity they spread to Tibet where they were kept by monks in monasteries, and then to Japan and later to Europe.

It wasn’t until the 16th and 17th centuries that Dutch merchants brought the first Pugs back to Holland. The little dogs quickly became the official dog of the ruling House of Orange which later came to rule in Great Britain.

History reports that in 1572 the Prince of Orange’s life was saved from an assassin because of the barking of his Pug. William of Orange, who became William III of England and his wife Queen Mary II of England took Pugs with them when they left the Netherlands for England in 1688.

Pugs became popular throughout Europe in the 17th century. They appeared in paintings by Goya and were dressed in clothing and rode with the coachman in Germany, Italy and elsewhere.

In France the Empress Josephine enjoyed the company of Pugs. She used her Pug, named Fortune, to carry secret messages in his collar to her husband Napoleon Bonaparte when she was temporarily imprisoned.

The English painter William Hogarth owned several Pugs and was devoted to them. He painted his self-portrait with his Pug named Trump in 1745.

Pugs were called Mopshond (to grumble in Dutch) in Holland and Carlin in France, but they picked up the name Pug in England. The name probably comes from their facial expression which resembles the marmoset monkeys that were popular pets in the early 18th century. The monkeys were also known as Pugs.

Pugs reached new heights of popularity with the dog lover Queen Victoria on the throne.

Queen Victoria bred Pugs herself Her involvement with the breed, and with dogs in general, helped found the Kennel Club in Britain in 1873. Queen Victoria preferred fawn and apricot Pugs while another early fancier, Lady Brassey, brought black Pugs back from China in 1886, making them highly sought after.

The Pug was brought to the United States in the 19th century and recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1885, making it one of the earliest breeds recognised by the AKC. The Pug enjoyed great popularity only to dwindle in numbers by the turn of the century. Dedicated breeders kept the breed alive and gradually interest in the breed returned.

The Pug Dog Club of America was founded in 1931. At the current time the Pug is enjoying a renewed growth in popularity.

Only one Pug has won Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show: Dhandys Favorite Woochuck in 1981. At the World Dog Show in 2004 the Best In Show winner was the Pug Double D Cinoblu’s Masterpiece.

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Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed, developed in the British county of Yorkshire to catch Rats in the clothing mills of Yorkshire and also for Rat baiting.

This breed has been nicknamed Yorkie and is a popular Companion Dog or Toy Dog breed.

For adult Yorkshire Terriers, importance is placed on coat colour, quality, and texture. The hair must be glossy, fine, straight, and silky. Traditionally the coat is grown out very long and is parted down the middle of the back, but “must never impede movement.”

Though small, the Yorkshire Terrier is active, very overprotective, curious, and loves attention. Mentally sound and emotionally secure ones should normally not show the soft submissive temperament seen in lap dogs. Because of this, it is advised that a Yorkie would not be suitable for a home with typical young children—they are Terriers after all. Instead, they make ideal companions for older families with many more reputable breeders routinely only homing to families with children older than about 8 years for the comfort of the dog, but more so for the benefit of the child.

Hound Dog Photography host a number of dog photoshoot location days each month across the South East, bring your Yorkshire Terrier or Welsh Terrier along for a dog photography session. Jamie Morgan also undertakes private commissions at locations across the UK and Internationally on request.

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Whippet

Whippet | Dog Photoshoot

Whippet

The Whippet is known by several names, the Whippet, the English Whippet and the Snap Dog. Whippets are a sighthound breed that have origins in England, where they descended from Greyhounds.

Whippets have the stature and size of a small greyhound.

The rejects of the greyhound family, Whippets were the dogs that were too small to hunt or race. They were returned to the peasants in the villages, but injured first, so the peasants could not break the forest law and hunt.

The peasant breeders allowed these dogs to breed and used them for hunting rats and catch rabbits.

Whippets have often been described as the poor mans racehorse, due to their speed and agility, being the fastest dog of their size. Speeds of Whippets can often reach 35mph.

Do you have a Whippet?

Hound Dog Photography host a number of photoshoot location days each month across the South East, bring your Whippet or Greyhound along for a dog photography session. Jamie Morgan also undertakes private commissions at locations across the UK and Internationally on request.

 

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Welsh Terrier

Welsh Terrier | Dog Photography

Welsh Terrier

The Welsh Terrier is known to be one of the oldest breeds in the United Kingdom. With origins from Wales, this breed of Welsh Terrier has a contagious love of life and energy. This dog is full of energy and intelligence and is a fantastic terrier breed, their characteristics have been honed, so they are a fantastic solo hunter.

Originally bred for hunting of Foxes, Badgers and Rodents, this lively breed is now on the endangered dogs list with the Kennel Club as fewer and fewer Welsh Terriers are bred each year. Welsh Terriers are mainly bred now as show dogs and rarely found working.

The Welsh Terrier is on Hound Dog Photographys’ Most Wanted List. If you own a Welsh Terrier get in contact with us, to claim your reward!

Hound Dog Photography host a number of photoshoot location days each month across the South East, bring your Welsh Terrier along for a dog photography session. Jamie Morgan also undertakes private commissions at locations across the UK and Internationally on request.

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Greyhound

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Greyhound

Greyhounds are one of the oldest dog breeds, originally bred for coursing game and then in more recent decades, for greyhound racing.

After retirement from greyhound racing many dogs are adopted and taken into family homes as pets. This gentle and placid create is often found comfortably situated on a bed or a sofa, a million miles from the ferocious hunter that they were bred to be.

It is a gentle and intelligent breed whose combination of long, powerful legs, deep chest, flexible spine and slim build allows it to reach average race speeds in excess of 40 mph.

Greyhounds are quiet, gentle, and loyal to owners. They are very loving creatures, and they enjoy the company of their humans and other dogs. Whether a Greyhound enjoys the company of other small animals or cats depends on the individual dog’s personality. Greyhounds will typically chase small animals; those lacking a high ‘prey drive’ will be able to coexist happily with toy dog breeds and/or cats.

Greyhounds live most happily in quiet environments. A close relative of the greyhound is the Whippet.

Do you have a beautiful greyhound?

Hound Dog Photography host a number of photoshoot location days each month across the South East, bring your Whippet or Greyhound along for a dog photography session. Jamie Morgan also undertakes private commissions at locations across the UK and Internationally on request.

Dog Sports for Your Dog

Dog Sports For Your Dog (Part 1)

Some dogs enjoy being couch potatoes and love bugs more than anything in the world. But, there are other dogs that seem to have a calling in life. They can have hidden talents, or not so hidden talents.

Does your dog get a kick out of playing frisbee?

Does he live for diving and retrieving things in the water?

Is he great at jumping over objects or catching a ball on the fly?

Or maybe your dog can dance like Fred Astaire?

There are numerous sports and activities for dogs with special talents or simply for dogs and their owners who enjoying doing things together.

Agility is the fastest growing dog sport in Europe and North America with thousands of dogs and owners competing each year. The sport calls for the dog, with on-course supervision by the handler, to complete an obstacle course.

The dog agility course is usually comprised of such obstacles as a teeter-totter, weave poles, jumps, a tunnel, and other objects.

The dog with the fastest time wins.

Penalties in handling the objects add time faults to the score. Agility is a fast-paced, exciting sport that continues to grow in popularity.

There are several organisations that offer agility competitions from the The Kennel Club to The Agility Club , in which mixed breed dogs are welcome to compete.

Flyball is another very popular sport for dogs and their owners. Flyball pits relay teams of dogs racing against each other.

The dog streaks down a short course over small hurdles toward a box, touches the box and makes a ball pop out, grabs the ball and then races back toward his teammates so the next dog can set out on the course. Fastest team wins.

The sport is fast, exciting and lots of fun for all of the dogs and team members.

In Great Britain the sport is overseen by the British Flyball Association. There are flyball teams found virtually everywhere these days or it’s easy enough to start your own group with some friends.

Canine Freestyle is what many of us call dog dancing.

It is basically a choreographed performance of dog and owner with music. Itís also known as heelwork to music and this is how the training is often done for this sport. If you can teach your dog to heel and follow basic commands then you can teach him the moves required to dance to music.

Canine Freestyle is often presented as a demonstration but the World Canine Freestyle Organization also holds events for judging so dogs can receive titles. The Musical Dog Sports Association holds workshops and demonstrations, as does the Canine Freestyle Federation. Canine Freestyle can be a beautiful event to watch as the dog and human move together in choreographed steps to carefully chosen music.

Schutzhund is German for ‘protection dog’ and it refers to the training which develops and evaluates the canine traits that are important for that work.

There are three parts to Schutzhund: obedience work, tracking and protection work such as that used by police dogs.

Schutzhund as a sport demonstrates a dogís intelligence and utility. Schutzhund was originally developed to test German Shepherds but it is now applied to other breeds which seek to do the same kind of protection work. Many people enjoy training their own dog in Schutzhund. It allows them to improve their own training abilities and to bond more closely with their dog.

Schutzhund is mentally and physically challenging for both dog and owner. It also provides owners with the chance to form friendships with other people training in Schutzhund. A list of Schutzhund clubs is available here.