The Sporting Westie Terrier
Because it is intelligent and energetic, a Westie terrier is well suited for a number of dog events. Some competitions it might participate in are geared toward the Westie's natural instinct to hunt down prey and pursue it into its den. There are other events, though, in which it can compete with dogs of all breeds.
Being bred for using its sense of smell in hunting, a Westhighland terrier dog will do well in tracking events. In these competitions, a tracklayer walks through a specified course, leaving behind small objects that belong to the Westie terrier's trainer. The track is aged, and then the Westie terrier must lead its trainer through the track to retrieve the objects. Advanced tracking goes through or over obstacles like streams, fences, and woods, so tracking is a sport that gives a work-out to both the Westies and its trainer.
Earthdog Tests are specifically designed for small terriers, like the West highland white terrier, as well as Dachshunds. These tests are designed to simulate the underground hunting that it was bred to perform. In the simplest test, the Quarry test, a man-made tunnel is constructed. It is about ten feet long, with one ninety-degree turn. The tunnel is scented, and has caged rats at the far end, which the terrier dog must find and 'work' - pawing and snarling at them - for at least sixty seconds. The rats are then removed before either animals are harmed. More advanced Earthdog Tests are longer, and include more turns, and false trails.
The westie dog is also known to compete in Agility events. In these exciting, fast-paced competitions, the Westie terrier is challenged to run through an obstacle course at high speed. There are seesaws to navigate, obstacles to jump, tunnels to traverse, and sets of poles for it to weave through. Because of the jump requirements, in Agility competitions the Westhighland terrier is pitted against dogs of similar size.
In the past, it has also done well in Obedience Trials. These competitions take the normal obedience training that anyone should give their pet, and raises it to a standard of perfection. The dog is expected to show superior performance at a series of commands that are executed in a show ring. Some of the tested commands are 'heel,' with and without a leash, 'sit' for a period of one minute, or 'down' for a period of three minutes. More advanced trials include retrieving articles and finding hidden objects that have the trainer's scent. The Westie terrier competes against dogs of all breeds in these competitions.
(Disclaimer: Any information contained in this site relating to various medical, health and fitness conditions of Westies or other animals and their treatments is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own veterinarian. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing the health of any animal. You should always consult and check with your own vet or veterinarian.)
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Jeff Cuckson firstname.lastname@example.org
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By Jeff Cuckson