Today’s Best In Show Daily honors the canine athlete. Back in 1980, Ken Tatsch had just gotten his first dog. After competing in obedience, he was looking for something else fun to do and discovered agility. Little did he know his hobby would turn into a career. He’s spent 25 years promoting the sport and spreading the message of competition and canine-human camaraderie as the president of the United States Dog Agility Association. In the Down and Back, Pilar Kuhn reveals why show dogs are athletes too and suggests ways to keep them in tip-top form. …
Editor in Chief
USDAA President Never Planned a Career in Dogs
By Susan Chaney
Kenneth Tatsch can weave, jump through hoops and balance a teeter totter as well as even a top agility dog. He has to. It’s all part of his job as the president of the United States Dog Agility Association.
While dogs are dashing around agility courses all over the United States and in other countries, Tatsch is darting around the USDAA office in Dallas or sprinting overseas to offer his expertise and guidance.
That wasn’t his plan when he was studying music, business and accounting in college. Soon after graduating in 1980, he bought a house and got his first dog, a Shetland Sheepdog named Jennifer. more
Conditioning the Athlete
By Pilar Kuhn
Show dogs are athletes. They require that extra-special attention to keep them in tip-top form. Like any animal athlete, they’re bathed, groomed, fed well and exercised regularly. Good conditioning means a dog is better prepared for life on the circuit. I’d compare any day at a dog show to the three-day eventing competition that horses endure – just crammed into a single day. Dog show exhibitors strive every day for their dogs to win in the breed ring, group ring and, hopefully, the Best in Show ring.
Each of these ring experiences can be stressful for a green, or new, show dog. Unfamiliar sights, smells, environments and expectations have a direct impact on performance. Being in top physical condition provides our dogs with the physical stamina needed to overcome the mental fatigue. more