Tyler and Petra in the finals at the 2010 Eukanuba National Obedience Invitational.
Tyler was awarded 1st Runner Up!
2008 & 2009 National Obedience Champion
OTCH Count Tyler Show Me The Money UDX3
The National Obedience Invitational was held in Long
Beach, California. It is a grueling competition challenging the
competitors' mental and physical endurance. The first day of competition
each dog and handler team goes in the ring six times to perform
a combination of utility and open exercises. In addition, each dog
does one set of stays (3-minute out of sight sit stay and 5-minute
out of sight down stay). Only the top 32 dogs progress to the second
day of competition! On the second day, each round is a head to head
elimination round! Two teams compete against each other by performing
a combination of utility and open exercises … one team moves on,
the other team does not. Needless to say, there is no room for error!
The top 4 teams end up in the ring 5 times before lunch! The final
two teams need to perform a full round of Open and a full round
of Utility. Whew!! Exhausting!! Many of the dogs began to tire on
the second day.
As a result, they made errors which knocked them out
of the competition. Tyler, however, did not get tired. He was still
full of energy at the end of the second day. We all know that it
is difficult to be mentally sharp when we are physically exhausted.
That is why I incorporated physical conditioning into my training
program in preparation for the National Obedience Invitational.
Six months before the competition I introduced Tyler to the land
treadmill. I progressed him by slowly increasing the length of time
on the treadmill, speed and incline. Eventually Tyler was jogging
on the treadmill for 20 minutes, 3 times a week at a maximum incline.
Shortly before the competition I tapered his workouts down to 15
minutes on the treadmill twice a week. Once a week we went on a
30 minute off-leash hike. The hike was incorporated not only for
physical exercise, but also as a mental outlet … so he could just
"be a dog" (as my trainer, Linda Brennan, would say!) In addition,
I stretched him every week to make sure he was maintaining full
range of motion and for early detection of any strains, injuries,
Now that the Invitational is behind us, I fully intend
to continue with Tyler's conditioning. In order to minimize the
impact on his joints, I will now utilize the underwater treadmill
three times a week. I believe that conditioning is an important
part of a working dog's life. Not only does it keep the dog in peak
physical condition, it is a critical for preventing injuries.