The Jamaica Kennel Club Dog show took place during the weekend, and I showed four dogs during the course of two days. My pomeranian bitch, White Mist’s Kissy won Best in Class and Best in Show. I’m extremely proud of her, to say the least.
The dog whom I’m particularly proud of, however, is my white German Shepherd bitch, El Zima’s Celestial Harmony, aka Athena. Yes, the same Athena who stopped working a few weeks back because she had an ear infection. She won the Novice Obedience class today, gaining “High in Trial” with 99 out of 100 points. She lost the single point for briefly lagging during the heel exercise.
Athena is the first white German Shepherd to ever win an obedience competition in Jamaica, and the first clicker-trained dog to ever win in Jamaica.
I am particularly proud of Athena because she has won a victory for her breed and for clicker training. There are still folks here who feel that the white shepherds are inferior, which of course goes back to what happend to the white shepherds during the 1930s. Also, I am the only dog trainer here who uses operant-based clicker training, and many of the old-school folks scuff at this purely positive method of training. Athena has never worn a choke collar, or even a pinch collar. She wore an ordinary nylon buckle flat collar in the ring.
Whenever I can, I promote positive dog training and positive pedagogical methods for teaching humans, but I have found that the best way to change thought is through actions, and that is why dog training and trialing are so important to me. Athena proved today that white German Shepherds are indeed smart, and clicker training is an effective way to train an animal.
I am a very proud doggy mom today…AND my two-legged pupils had victories of their own this week. Click here to read about their triumphs.