like wild fi re. And this sport was ready made for Lhasas Apsos, Tibetan Spaniels, and Tibetan Terriers. Th ese breeds all are similar in their training attitudes but they grow to love this sport. In 2011 there were 6 Lhasas that quali fi ed to go to Eukanuba Invitational in Florida and I had the plea- sure of watching these little dynamos strut their stu ff . Th ey had a ball fl ying around the course, ears and tail fl ying in the wind they created as they sped from jump to jump. Melissa Torgerson who owns and trains one of 2 MACH titled Lhasas writes: “Josie (GCHMACH3 Indian Hill MeLou’s Josie RA MXS MJC XF) and I started Agility competition in 2009. She has turned out to be an exceptional agility partner. Josie is currently competing at the highest levels in AKC Agility (Excellent B) and also com- peted in Rally earning her Rally Advanced title. Training Josie and my other Lhasa Apsos for Agility and Rally has been a learning experience. I have learned to be patient, not to rush the learning process, not to drill and limit repetitions and to just have fun with my dog. My dogs real- ly respond to positive motivation, really want to be right and any harsh or nega- tive corrections will worry them and ends up being counterproductive. I try to make training time fun and motivational, limit- ing it to 10-15 minutes and not to push for “just once more”. Josie has quali fi ed for the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 AKC Agility Invitational held in December of each year. Th e 2011 AKC Invitational in Orlando, FL was exceptional. Josie had matured, our partnership had solidi fi ed and she competed like a pro. She not only GCH MACH3 Indian Hill MeLou’s Josie RA MXS MJC XF. Josie is one of only two dogs in the USA with a Grand Champion title and a MACH6! Owned and trained by Melissa Torgorsen
Above: Ch. Kumi Kian Forget Me Not, CD, RAE (Emmy). The first and only Champion with an RAE title. Owned and trained by Bobbie Wood
ran four clean runs, she ended up in sixth place cumulatively, again earning a spot in the fi nals. Wow! Even more exciting we ended up in 3rd place missing 2nd by .58 of a second!! We sure didn’t need a plane to fl y home to Minnesota.” Saving the best for last, at least in my opinion, Rally is the newest competitive sport in which to title. Like Agility, you have a course to follow and the best part is that you can talk to your dog, praise your dog and I must say that Lhasas really do respond to all that praise. Marsha Susag is another breeder who enjoys both confor- mation and performance. She produces champions that compete in agility and rally and gain titles that are beyond the basic. Marsha writes: “ Th e Lhasa Apso is an exciting breed to work with, you must be smarter than the dog and think out- side the box with each and every one of them….at least in my experience. I have not had good success in the competi- tive obedience ring and I believe that is because I am not enjoying the training as much as I enjoy rally and agility. Because of my attitude, I would say that my train- ing methods are not as consistent as they need to be in order to get good obedience performances out of my dogs. Rally is fun for me because I can talk to my dogs. Th ose of you who know me, will get that statement! I talk to my dogs in the conformation ring and when we start training for the companion events, they are used to me giving them verbal encour- agement, letting them know that they are doing what I am asking them to do. Training has helped strengthen the bond and relationship between my dogs
and myself. I’m forever grateful for this opportunity to work with this fantastic, versatile breed.” BIO Bobbie Wood, pictured below with Aleck, of Anbara Lhasa Apsos, has been in the breed since 1968 when she received her first Lhasa. She is a member of the Ameri- can Lhasa Apso Club and has held many positions in the club including President. She holds ALAC Register of Merit status in Conformation, Obedience and Rally. She is an AKC approved judge for the Non- Sporting and the Toy Groups and in 2011 the AKC selected Bobbie as Breeder of the Year to represent the Non-Sporting Group at the Eukanuba/Invitational Show in Florida. In 2012, Bobbie was the recipient of ALAC’s Member of the Year award and AKC’s Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.
214 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2014
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