Besides being great pets and house dogs, Cardigans love to participate in a variety of activities including, but not limited to: conformation showing, obedience, herding, tracking, and agility.
Much more than just a beauty show, competition in conformation can best demonstrate progress that has been made in breeding for type and quality, soundness and endurance. Dogs are judged on their adherence to the standard of excellence developed for the breed. A good show dog is one that demonstrates many of the virtues called for in the breed standard. A *showy* attitude is also helpful. A beautiful Cardigan, standing squarely and alertly, wagging its tail and enjoying itself is the picture of the perfect dog!
Dog shows are a very popular sport in the United States with more than 2,000 events yearly. Any purebred dog over 6 months of age who has not be altered is eligible for competition. Check out the AKC’s Conformation Dog Shows.
Training your dog leads to many wonderful advantages. It builds the bond between human and animal, giving both a more satisfying relationship. It helps make your dog a better canine citizen and provides for his safety and well-being. Cardigans can be obedience stars! They have an apptitude for learning and their natural desire to please their owners makes them ideal for all stages of obedience competition.
According to the AKC’s description: “Obedience Trials test a dog’s ability to perform a prescribed set of exercises on which it is scored. In each exercise, you must score more than 50% of the possible points (ranging from 20 to 40) and get a total score of at least 170 out of a possible 200. Each time your dog gets that magic 170 qualifying score, he’s gotten a “leg” towards his title. Three legs and your dog has become an Obedience Titled dog! There are 3 levels at which your dog can earn a title and each is more difficult than the one before it. You may see levels divided into “A” and “B” at a trial; “A” classes are for beginners whose dogs have never received a title while “B” classes are for more experienced handlers.”
According to the AKC’s description, “The purpose of the competitive herding trial program is to preserve and develop the herding skills inherent in the herding breeds and to demonstrate that they can perform the useful functions for which they were originally bred. Although herding trials are artificial simulations of pastoral or farm situations, they are standardized tests to measure and develop the characteristics of the herding breeds.” Visit the AKC herding event page.
According to the AKC’s description, “The purpose of a Tracking Test is to demonstrate the dog’s ability to recognize and follow human scent, a skill that is useful in the service of mankind. Tracking, by nature, is a vigorous, noncompetitive outdoor sport. Tracking Tests demonstrate the willingness and enjoyment of the dog in its work, and should always represent the best in sportsmanship and camaraderie by the people involved.” The AKC has a page devoted to tracking..
Curious about Dog Agility? Cardigans can run with the best of them. According to the AKC’s description, “The purpose of AKC agility trials is to afford owners the opportunity to demonstrate a dog’s willingness to work with its handler under a variety of conditions. Agility results in a better rounded, conditioned dog, provides good basic training for search and rescue dogs and demonstrates good training and citizenship.” Visit the AKC Agility page.