ShowSight Presents The Miniature American Shepherd

BARN HUNT Dogs and rats... just imagine! In Barn Hunt, dogs locate rats (safely enclosed in aerated tubes) hidden in a straw/hay bale maze. Events are timed with 3 di ff erent dog height divisions. Teams receive titles, placements and championships. During a hunt, the handler must iden- tify the rat to the judge based on the dog’s indication. In addition to finding the hid- den rats, the dog must perform a climb and a tunnel within the straw bale maze. Th e events can be held indoors or outdoors, in a barn-like setting or on any piece of level ground that can be enclosed securely by gating or fencing. Th ere are Miniature American Shep- herd teams across the country earning titles through Barn Hunt LLC. Th ese titles are now also recognized by AKC and UKC. Watch for an event in your area and go have fun watching these little dogs perform. CONFORMATION Th e Miniature American Shepherd makes an impressive Show Dog. Th e breed standard is clear. Finding a balanced, well- put-together dog or bitch that is close to the Miniature American Breed Standard to exhibit in the conformation ring is an obvious, but very important task. How- ever, turning that beautifully built, super moving Mini into a brilliant show dog takes care and work. A show prospect must be exposed to many new people and show experiences in the formative months prior to show age. Th e special trust they have with their owners must be expanded to all humans, especially those who may handle or exam- ine them. Sure, it takes time for the young dog to mature, to develop balance with all those parts growing at di ff erent rates and to grow a nice adult coat, but the comfort

268 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2014

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