Gameness, Relationship, Control
GRC Dog Sports is a new breed of dog sport club. It seeks to celebrate and test not only the dog’s gameness, but the relationship with the handler, and the dog’s self control. Even though we are doing the high drive, adrenaline sports associated with the gamebred APBT, we are open to all breeds, and will place equal importance on the dogs control, and liveability. The sports we will offer competition in are:
Spring Pole Obedience
The Mill Race, Weight Pull, and wall climb are traditionally done without any control parameters. But, in this sport, the higher levels will have increasing impulse control requirements layered into the events. Such as stays while waiting for the release to start, or increasing the distance from the handler to test area of influence. Or, interrupting the game itself. This will require not just drive, but control to get the advanced titles.
The Spring Pole (a free hanging tug toy) Obedience is an entirely new concept. It allows folks access to the high level of training associated with the bite sports….. Without the biting of human shaped toys, or the need for expensive suits, and experienced decoys. You will be asked to control your dog from a distance. Asking for them to release the toy. Asking for various obedience commands. And, telling them when it’s OK to grab the toy again. This takes a traditionally crazy making tool like the Spring Pole, and re-purposes it to test the control of the dog, and the depth of the relationship in the face of a huge temptation.
Of course before we even get to the drive events….. All teams will do a “Social Responsibility” test. This is similar to getting a BH in IPO before going onto the regular competition. This will be broken into two portions. A Liberty portion. And an Obedience portion. The Liberty portion will include greeting three judges, a loose leash figure 8, and a liberty period on a long line. Unlike most obedience tests, you will LOSE points for focused control during the Liberty portion. We allow focused heeling as a management strategy to walk your dog past the distractions. And, clearly if your dog has an un-resolvable issue with a trigger, an incompatible command of focus is the responsible thing to do! But, the ultimate goal would be for a dog to be able to make good, relaxed, decisions in these situations without the need to be “under orders”. We want to encourage handlers to have dogs that can play hard, AND be actually liveable. The scoring reflects that. In the Obedience portion, it is done as a more traditional test of verbal command obedience. They will demonstrate a Middle Position (one of the most valuable emergency management positions). A Down Stay. And, a Recall. Here is where we WANT to see the focused control Obedience is associated with. There are 3 levels of SR Titles that teams can earn. But, a minimum of an SRS (Social Responsibility: Satisfactory) Title must be earned by every dog, BEFORE being allowed to move on to the drive events.
We encourage relationship centered, motivational training. Teams can lose points, or be fouled out for dogs showing avoidance. And, handlers can be disqualified at any point, at any event, or anywhere at the show at all, for any harsh or abusive treatment.
Yes we will train for obedience…. But also the lofty training goal of being able to trust the dog at liberty. This sport will encourage dog and handler teams to develop equal parts drive, control, and relationship.
GRC Dogsports FaceBook page has all of the rules and regulations, and is a great way to connect with the community of people in this new sport.