First of Three Parts
The Scottish Terrier and Obedience – Part 1 - Consider Obedience
By Ray Rinaldi
The many breeds of dog existing today are the result of breeders’ efforts to combine function and form. In the past, function was all important. A dog that did not earn its keep was not kept. Our Scottish terriers were bred with short legs, punishing jaws, good noses, and double coats for their role in going to ground after prey. Personality also was bred for in regard to function. Independence, courage, tenacity was needed by dogs in the field. Today’s breeders still strive to maintain that functionality combined with elegance of form. It is the essence of our breed. It is what attracted us to them in the first place, and keeps us loving the breed through the years. We would not want them to be any other way.
For many of us today, however, the main function of our Scotty is not as hunter but as companion. We acquired our dogs to be company, entertainment, and diversion, something to care for and be cared by in return. We spend time with our dogs. We interact with them. Often, that interaction is more passive in nature than active. They sit by our sides while we go about our business. We watch them chew on their toys or bark at squirrels in the backyard. Some interactions are more active. We feed them. We brush them. We may take them for a nice run in the woods, or a walk on the leash in the park. It is very enjoyable for you and the dog certainly. You may not really be looking for anything more, but think about it, How connected are you? Your Scottie is intent on sniffing the ground (The best sniffs always seem to be just beyond the end of the leash.). His independent nature makes him pull you in the direction he deems to go in. You are connected by the leash, but sometimes he seems hardly aware that the drag at the other end is you. Have you ever thought about doing something that was a much more active, involved interaction with your dog? One where you actively engage him mentally and physically? One where he engages you mentally and physically? One where you do more than just co-exist but bond? One where you actually engage your dog as a partner, as a team member? One where you give your dog a purpose and function to perform for you and with you? Consider Obedience.