A Little More About Katherine's Story
When we first started looking for a dog, my husband and I were typical pet owners: we were looking for a friendly family companion with whom we could share our time and affection. I grew up with all sorts of animals: cats, dogs, horses, birds, you name it. However, I had not had a dog since childhood, and my husband had never had one at all. We therefore carefully researched the different dog breeds, went to dog shows, spoke with various breeders, and slowly began to narrow down our choices. After looking at a number of dogs, (and after being approved by Katherine's breeder, Pat Pentland, who has a strong commitment to the welfare of her animals), we decided to bring Katherine, a 9 month old Chinese Crested Powderpuff, into our family.
Once we had made our choice and brought our new family member home, however, we discovered that despite her breeder’s socialization efforts, Katherine was just one of those fearful dogs that required more exposure to new people, objects, sights, and sounds. This is relatively common behavioural issue that can occur in any breed. (In comparison, Katherine's littermate, Bennett, who is now also a member of our family, is a very steady, laid-back dog who displays none of Katherine's excessive fearfulness.) Katherine could sometimes become very frightened and anxious, and we needed to work with her to help her become more calm and confident.
I researched our options, and one of the things we decided to try was training and trialing Katherine in Rally Obedience. Remarkably, as we progressed through the various Rally levels we could see Katherine's social skills and confidence visibly improving. Used in conjunction with some other approaches, Rally has helped enhance Katherine's quality of life, as well as mine. Along the way, Katherine has also succeeded in becoming one of the top Rally Obedience dogs in Canada. Katherine is now a remarkable (and unlikely) example of the value of Rally Obedience.
We have learned so much from this experience. Although Katherine is not classed as a "working dog", we have somehow learned to work together. In the process both of our lives have been immeasurably enriched.
Katherine's story is still not finished, and we look forward to continuing to make progress together.
In addition, we hope that our unlikely story of challenges and success helps other people realize that they, too, can do more than they believed was possible with their dogs.