Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Dog sports, potential, and passing judgement

I recently came across a thread on Facebook that essentially bashed the sport of nosework for a few disturbing reasons.  One, they expressed concerns over the use of essential oils saying that they were damaging to the dog and only used to make it easier for the dog because the person could also smell them.  Clearly these people have no idea how the sport actually works.  Because if I could walk in a search area and find the odor, I probably would have not failed my last eight NW3s! Then there were people who decscribed doing nosework as a "waste" because we could be training the dogs for search and rescue or police work, etc.  Apparently they never even consider that not everyone has an interest in or lifestyle that allows for the commitment that these activities call for.  Meanwhile they are signing their dog up for trick classes or competing in agility with dogs that were bred to herd.  I'm sure there are plenty of farmers who think they are wasting the ability of these dogs.  In fact there are millions and millions of dogs out there living perfectly happy lives doing something other than what they were bred for.  And most are also not performing any function that directly serves the community or impacts society.  Quite frankly, most dogs are "just' pets and that's a totally worthy activity.  The bottom line is that as long as you and your dog are happy, that's all that matters.  If a person is so worried about a dog's potential being wasted they should go adopt one from a shelter and give it a life and chance to do something.  Those are the dogs whose potential is being wasted.  They are not even getting the chance to bring joy to someone's life.  

There is also of plenty of inter-venue bashing going in within sports.  Which one is more prestigious, harder, safer, etc.  Everyone has their own opinion but that doesn't make it ok to trash talk someone else's choice.  You have to choose what is best for you and your dog and realize that it won't be the same for everyone.  So if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. 

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