Showsight Presents The Lhasa Apso

A TITLE AT BOTH ENDS

By Bobbie Wood Anbara Lhasa Apsos

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here is a saying that a balanced dog has a title at both ends. Th is is true for many people who fi nish a Champion and then say, “What am

nothing but big dogs and my heart sank. But we keep going and I was thrilled to be learning a new way to train a dog. Th e methods have changed to positive rein- forcement of behaviors and soon Aleck was doing some exercises really well. So I asked my instructor if she thought Aleck would be ready to compete at our next National Specialty. Always an optimist, she said, “Of course he will and he will do very nice- ly”. So we trained and trained but by this time I knew a great deal more about the Lhasa temperament and how they think. Lhasas like to think everything they do is their idea, and as a trainer you must fi nd ways to convince them that it is more fun to do it your way. Th ey won’t repeat things over and over. Th eir thought is “I did it last week why do I have to do it again?” But Aleck did do it my way most of the time and he accomplished so much in his short career. He was High in Trial twice at the National Specialty making him the only Lhasa in the history of the breed to win both Best in Show and High in Trial at a National. He got his CDX when he was 10 ½ and was 3 legs short of his Rally RAE title when he died. He also had titles in other venues and had acquired over 20 titles in his lifetime. Th ere are many choices for competition in performance with your dogs. Th ere is Agility, Obedience, Rally, Nosework, and Th erapy work. I think anyone who has ever owned a Lhasa knows how empathetic they are when you are feeling low or just not having a good day. Some of them make wonderful therapy dogs. Th e AKC is now giving a Th erapy Dog title for dogs that have accumulated 50 hours of therapy work and many Lhasas are holders of this title. Becky Hughes is a Lhasa Breeder who has been very successful in breeding and training champions and obedience titled dogs and holds an ALAC Register of Merit in Conformation, Obedience and Rally. She was told “you cannot do

I going to do now?” Well there are many possibilities. Deciding which sport you would like and, most importantly, what your dog would like, could take some experimentation especially if you are com- mitted to training a Tibetan breed. In the early 70s, I trained my fi rst Lhasa Apso, Bo-Jangles, to compete in AKC obedience. He was not a conforma- tion dog, but he was from the fi rst litter I had ever bred and I wanted him to be a part of Lhasa history. We trained with the Poodle Club of Greater New York and there were days when I thought we would never make it as the Poodles learned so quickly and my Lhasa was only going to learn at his speed. Methods of training were a bit harsh and we were taught to do leash pops, ear pinches and rough correc- tions if the need arose. At that point I had no idea about training and really knew nothing about the Lhasa Apso. I think Bo-Jangles got his CD just to please me because he had no joy in his performances but we were devoted to each other. At this point, I had my fi rst show dog and had bred her and my interest turned to conformation. Fast-forward 40 years, many Champions later, 2 knee replace- ments, serious spinal surgery and I am now older…much older. I was retired and I had one dog, Aleck, who won the Best in Show at the National Specialty in 2001 and we were just sitting at home looking at each other. I got to thinking; since I really can’t handle in the show ring anymore maybe Obedience is the way to go. Th ere was a very good obedience school in my area, so I signed up for some classes. Aleck and I walked in and we were sur- rounded by Goldens, Labradors, Pitbulls,

obedience with Apsos, especially if you want to do conformation too”. Well she proved them wrong with her bitch, Ch. OB-One’s Ky-Ann Pepper, UD, RE, ROM who was one of her top produc- ers and a top Obedience competitor also. One of her other dogs “Chopper” Can/U CD Am/Can/Int Ch. OB-One’s Harley Davidson, CDX, RE, was the f irst and only Lhasa to win both High in Trials in Obedience and also receive a Select award in Conformation at the same National in 2001. She says, “Training for both the obe- dience ring and the conformation ring is not complicated and these dogs are really smart. You just have to make it fun and let them fi gure out there are rewards for doing things the right way.” Th e next venue that the AKC o ff ered titles in was Agility. Th is sport caught on Multi Group Winning, Multiple BISS, Multiple HIT National Specialty Winner 2001, National High In Trial 2006, 2008, Champion, ARCHEX Anbara Alasara Smart Aleck, CDX, RE, CD-HCH, CDX-H, RL1X3, RL2X2, RL3X, RLVX, VC (1998-2009) Owned and trained by Bobbie Wood

212 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2014

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