Renni training for Ring Sport She now has her Mondio Brevet title (October 2010). Visit Renni's Page for event photos.
My primary interest in Belgians is in enjoying the strong, willing-to-work, but happy and social dogs who can excel in whatever performance activity their person chooses.
I believe that individual dogs of all Belgian varieties will have different talents, but should be capable one or all of the activities described below:
Not EVERY dog can or should do all of these things, nor should every dog owner believe that they must. But the Belgian heritage is as an all around working dog, guardian dog and family dog. We shouldn't be turning them into Labradors or Goldens. Not every dog in every litter will excel at the same things. But we hope that many can excel as performance dogs and all will excel as companions.
Belgian puppies DO require socialization with many people, places and things, as they are very aware of their surroundings, and can be somewhat reactive.
Below describes the activities and dogs I've trained in the past 25 years.
HERDING - Back in Colorado, Raucous, Zola, Laughter and Cappy all trialed and titled in AKC and/or ASCA Herding, on sheep, goats, ducks and even Cattle (Laughter only, the sensible one.) Cappy now lives in Canada and the others are deceased. Groenendael Fletcher recently completed his AKC PreTrial Herding Tested title (PT) at the ripe old age of 13! Laekenois Whiskey, the sire of the September 2009 litter with Kaya, has both his Herding Tested (HT) and PT titles, and his training is continuing - he is a VERY talented and wise herding dog who earned his HT after about 5 lessons! We hope to continue competition in 2011.
TRACKING - Raucous and Target titled to TD and TDX respectively. Both were exceptional trackers and had I known more I believe Raucous could have done TDX work. Target was trained for his TDX by me and his co-owner. I entered his first test, and she entered the TDX test he passed! After several years of starting dogs but not competing, I believe have another exceptional tracker in Laekenois Cami, Whiskey's littermate.PROTECTION SPORTS - In the past, I dabbled in Schutzhund and French Ringsport with several of the dogs, but we never quite made it to the titling level. After a personal hiatus of several years, caused in part by moving to an area with no training, we are now happily back to an area with more options. Groenendael Renni recently (October 2010) completed her Mondio Brevet (HURRAY!) and two other youngsters are now in training - visit (a href="renni-page.html>Renni's page to see both pups, and photos from her competition!
OBEDIENCE - While all my dogs have done obedience, Ice and Fletcher (at left) were my first to get high scores at the advanced levels, and made me realize how delightful it is to work with an animated happy, bursting to please dog! Groenendael Fletcher UD, RE, PT is 13 and still going strong! He received High in Trial at the 1999 BSCA National Specialty. Malinois Ice UD, lived to 14-1/2 and is now deceased but earned many nice scores with me and loved obedience. Laekenois Cami is my current obedience star, but Kaya may give her a run for her money if I can buckle down and get serious with her!
AGILITY - As the rules and training methods have been better defined, I've gotten a lot more interested, and become a better agility handler! Ice and Zola both earned NA titles back in the early days of AKC agility but then got bogged down by old age and weave poles. Recently, I've returned to limited agility training and competition with Renni and Kaya. Baby Briquet is also in a puppy agility class.
MUSICAL FREESTYLE - I dabbled and doodled in Freestyle for several years with Fletcher until finally getting serious with Renni, who now has her WCFO Beginner Musical Freestyle (MF)title and her WCFO Novice MF title. Several of us in the Twin Cities area are organizing a Musical Freestyle group and hope to offer a competition sometime in 2011.
RALLY OBEDIENCE - I use Rally as a way to familiarize the dogs with performing in public and to assess their level of preparedness for regular obedience. Fletcher is the only one to have titled to Rally Excellent so far, although Kaya has one leg. Two others have Rally Advanced titles, and pretty much the entire lot have Rally Novice titles!
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