May 20, 2010

The Shih Tzu Belongs To The Toy Group

How did our different dog breeds come into existence? People created each breed by choosing dogs with the desired qualities and breeding them to each other. People designed some dogs to hunt, others to herd, some to guard and some for companions. Our Shih Tzu is in the companion group of dog breeds.

According to the American Kennel Club a breed is defined as: "A relatively homogeneous group of animals within a species developed and maintained by man."

Each registry divides breeds into groups. Each registry does this slightly different. The AKC uses the following seven groups, which most of are classified by the function and purpose for which the breed was developed:

• Sporting Group
• Working Group
• Herding Group
• Hound Group
• Terrier Group
• Toy Group (Our Shih Tzu belongs in this group)
• Non-sporting Group

The AKC has another group in which they lump together breeds that are in the process of being recognized. This group is called the "Miscellaneous Class." The breeds in the Miscellaneous Class can only be shown when the Miscellaneous Class is specifically included in a show.

In addition to the Shih Tzu, there are several other breeds that belong to the Toy Group as classified by the American Kennel Club, they are:

• Affenpinscher
• Brussels Griffon
• Cavalier King Charles
• Chihuahua
• Chinese Crested
• English Toy Spaniel
• Havanese
• Italian Greyhound
• Japanese Chin
• Maltese
• Manchester Terrier
• Miniatrue Pinscher
• Papillon
• Pekingese
• Pomeranian
• Poodle
• Pug
• Silky Terrier
• Toy Fox Terrier
• Yorkshire Terrier

Although the Toy Group of dog breeds were created specifically for companionship, many of them still retain instinct and characteristics of their ancestors, such as hunting or guarding abilities.

If you are interested in showing your Shih Tzu, he or she would be shown in the Toy Group. Although there are some unpleasant realities within the show dog arena we must remember this is true with all types of sports. Just because some people may accidentally turn over the boat while fishing and drown does not mean no one should ever go fishing or participate in fishing competitions. There will always be negatives and positives to everything in life a person pursues. Just keep in mind that dog showing is a sport, a very competitive sport, one in which you are suppose to have fun at and it is suppose to be rewarding for you and your Shih Tzu. Even if your Shih Tzu does not win, he has got to have a little more poise and elegance than before he ever stepped into the ring.

I have a beautiful Shih Tzu in which I adore as with many of my Shih Tzu I adore them, however, Ginger, continues to steal my heart mainly with her beauty. Her sister has been in the show ring. However, here on the farm with me, my Ginger, although beautiful enough to be in the show ring is my ole' farmhand girl, and I call her by nickname, no not "teacup Shih Tzu," no not Imperial Shih Tzu," I call her by nickname: "Roosterhead," because she has vibrant red hair. She loves me just the same even though I have not spent thousands of dollars on her to put her in the show ring; she is still my beautiful "Roosterhead Farm Girl." She and I really like life on the farm. And no, we are not a "puppy farm" either. I just call it my farmhouse. Afterall, like Ginger, she is mine, the house is mine, I can call it whatever I please. This is the U.S. and I have Freedom of Speech. Ginger has loved living with me from day one. She was out and about all over the place as soon as I got her out of the crate she was shipped to me in. Ginger is one of the queens here, and we have a very special relationship with each other.

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box.

Connie Limon

Filed under Pomeranian Dogs by Craig

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Comments on The Shih Tzu Belongs To The Toy Group »

May 20, 2010

♥shelter puppies rule♥ @ 8:09 am

I don't want to go back to the agility classes..what's your novice agility class like?
(please scroll down for the question if you don't want to read the long story)

I can't believe I wrote the subject line, because I have been nothing but excited about agility ever since I got these dogs over a year ago, and when I finally registered for this class, I couldn't believe how lucky I was.

Then I had the class. It's group novice agility. I know the instructor, she's a nice woman. But the class was a huge disappointment. First, her 4 year old son was all over (the class was held in her yard). He acted just like a typical 4 year old showing off and getting close to bed time. But he took a baseball bat and slammed it on the ground repetitively right next to me saying he's "bam bam" which I wouldnt have bothered me if my dogs weren't there in an unfamiliar environment. For a split second, my dog looked like he was going to take the bat from the child, but it wasn't in play, I know his body language, he was protecting me since the bat was coming just inches from hitting my face when he swung.

I immediately walked away, the dogs followed, they were fine.

But that happened right in the beginning and seemed to just set the mood. The child was all over, he didn't want us using the equipment, he kept getting in between the dogs and me.

The second problem with the class was the equipment, although the instructor is getting new ones. The only agility equipment she had was the ramp and tunnel. But she had hula hoops for us to use too. Well when it was my dogs turns to finally use the ramp, the other owner's dog jumped up and sat right on the ramp and wouldn't let my dog go up. And everyone thought it was funny and the dog was so smart and claiming the ramp. Well yeah, ok I'd have thought it was funny too if I didn't pay for this class and have to deal with a 4 year old for an hour. We never got to use the ramp, the other owners dogs are 2 shih tzus who are rescues and they rarely go outside. So they were fearful and most of the time was just spent on them. My dogs are 65 lbs and 25 lbs. It felt like we didn't belong.

The whole training I got for agility, was to throw a treat through the tunnel and say "through" which my dogs weren't getting anyway they kept going around the tunnel. It was a little too small anyway for my big dog, it kept bunching up on him when he did go in.

This is an inexpensive class. $300 for 7 weeks and my 2 dogs each get a turn. But I don't have money to throw around and waste, I'd have spent it on something useful.

I signed a contract. It says, this class is to get dogs to feel secure around agility equipment and not actually running the course yet. So maybe this is what I signed up for??

Oh and more disappointing, there were 2 yorkie/maltese puppies there. Guess how much the owner spent on each of them? $4,000. for a designer dog. What a joke it was for me to try to fight designer dogs. They might as well make breed standards for them so they can at least be bred with guidelines to make them healthy.

***************what was your beginner agility class like and would you go back if it was like mine?
thats good advice, thanks, I will definately not sign up for any class before seeing it first. this is the first time this particular instructor is teaching maybe that's why it's so bad and I should have realized.
lol no I was not concentrating on the $4,000 "morkies". I brought it up here because many of my buddies on YA know I'm against BYB/puppymills/designer dogs and i've seen them passionately try to fight them. That was just an add on for my "rant"

Erika @ 8:11 am

Well, you are nicer than me because I would have walked out on day one. But I don't sign up without visiting a class first either. If you went to more than one class - well, I don't think you can get your money back.

Next time, visit the class then sign up if you like what you see.
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Mollie SN @ 8:13 am

You signed a contract but you aren't getting what you signed up for? Tell the people who run it that you are not satisfied and demand a refund. If they refuse tell them you will consult a lawyer.

Honestly, if it were me I'd take the bat and beat that child and the parent.
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Lindsay B @ 8:15 am

Wow, you've been ripped off, royally. I went to an agility class and it was under $100.00 for 8 weeks.

Personally, I dropped out of the class because I find agility totally boring. I'm not going to pay money for someone to teach me how to make my dog follow a handful of food around.

If you want to continue in agility, call your local kennel club. Most likely they have a series of classes, and I'm sure that they'd be a lot less expensive and they'll have a reputable trainer.

You signed a contract, so most likely you are SOL.
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bXrlucy @ 8:17 am

You probably should have visited first to see what a class would be like, but I must say the woman sounds very unprofessional. Before our first agility class the trainer (a lovely old lady) told me we would have to have three lessons of obedience so that the dogs were used to the equipment and the area. She offered them for free in case your dog was not happy with being there. I paid £5 per lesson and there were 4 of us in the class. I'd see if you can get your money back and find a better place.
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WyrDachsie @ 8:19 am

First don't concern yourself with what other kinds of dogs other people have. How much one spent on a dog has no bearing on agility. As for other students dogs' blocking the equipment, well, that's wrong and you need to speak up to the instructor.

Anyway, in a beginner class or "Introduction to Agility" class, you and your dog should be learning everything on the flat (ground), the instructor should be teaching things like:
1. rear crosses
2. front crosses
3. dog running along side (both side of you)
4. distance work
5. tunnels
6. buja board (not see-saw yet)
7. walking thru the ladder
8. very low A-Frame
9. Very low Dog Walk

What is the instructors experiernce? Has she actually ever competed, how successful has she been? Has she competed at any National level. How many dogs of her own has she successfuly competed with?

If she's running a class, she should also have the proper equipment, it can be homemade, but it must be secure. There should be tunnelbags on the tunnels for them to stay in place.

If your not happy, please find another class/another instructor. The point of agility is for you and your dog to have fun learning something new.

Visit the CleanRun website or even the USDAA and NADAC websites to find a local club

Sit in on the beginner class before you sign up, check out the equipment, there should be actual equipment, in good condition, to train on, not just hula-hoops and tunnels.

You do have to expect a certain amount of "down" time when your in a class. During that "down" time, go to a corner and practice stays, sit's & downs, and your crosses.

As for the price $300.00 for both dogs, that actually is about the average price. I live in NYC and I train at 2 places, 1 in NJ and 1 in Staten Island. The one in NJ, I pay $170 for 1 dog, 1 hour - 8 weeks. The Staten Island training facility, I'm a member, so I get the classes for 1/2 price, but they are usually $160 for 1 hour 8 weeks.
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T J @ 8:21 am

I don't think I would have liked it either. I would sure ask if that first class set the tone for the full seven weeks.
However, I went so far as to ask that people not bring their dogs to the first class, that we would be using a "demo dog". Also, I always devoted one segment to adding distractions (be amazed what a Frisbee can do to a bunch of dogs on a down-stay). So perhaps you did get your moneys worth without knowing it.
One of the things you do seem to need to learn is that at a competitive event you ignore all the fuss about how much someone paid for their dogs and so on and concentrate on your own dog and it's needs. Take my word for it, the person bragging about how much they paid for their dog isn't going to learn a thing. Most of the time they just drop out.
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60 years of "playing" with my dogs

shari_king2002 @ 8:23 am

I would have also walked out of that class. $300 for 7 weeks is crazy and for her back yard set up, even crazier. Where I take and teach, it's $130 for 6 weeks. We have regulation Max 200 Equipment. There are no young kids interupting class. If someone was disrupting the class, they would nicely be asked to wait in the waiting room. It is typical to just get dogs used to equipment in the beg, and not run courses. But she sounds like she is a novice herself. I would have asked the other dogs to move to a safe distance away while another dog was working on equipment. I would certainly try and find another more reputable trainer in your area. I would also watch a class before signing anything. Check out and see if you can find a better club or trainer in your area. Good luck!
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