Recap – Pit Bulls on Parade!

(I’m realizing that I’m sorely remiss on updating the blog, so you’re getting two posts in one day… maybe more if I don’t get too busy with, um, actual work.)

Last Saturday our rescue held a fantastic event and fundraiser – Pit Bulls on Parade. We had a fantastic turnout, and even though it drizzled just a bit in the morning, the sun came out in the afternoon. One of our rescue members posted some great photos on Smilebox if you want to take a look.

For every pit bull or pit mix that passed the Canine Good Citizen test, we received $150 through a generous grant from Animal Farm Foundation. I’m not sure of the total number of dogs passed, but I do know the testing arena was full all day and we had 7 of our rescue alumni pass! Congrats, Ella, Zoe, Mia, Romeo, Piper, Layla and Emmie. I wanted to test Stewie but he still needs a little work on his leash pulling. Next year!

In addition to CGC testing, the event had demonstrations in disc dog, agility and shutzhund. For anyone who’s ever seen a shutzund demonstration, it’s truly incredible. While some might argue that having a pit bull  run at and bite someone’s arm is scary and not necessarily the image this breed needs, the control and focus these dogs maintain is just phenomenal. With a simple and calm command from the trainer the dog would go from tearing and biting at the padded burlap sleeve, to a perfect sit-stay. It was like they had just flipped a switch and the dog went from excited and intense to completely calm and relaxed. The way the trainer explained it, the dog wants to chew the sleeve, not attack the person. In real police dog work, the dog is never actually in a state of aggression – they’re just biting the arm where the sleeve would have been. It’s fun for the dog, but scary and painful for the bad guy who is not actually wearing a sleeve! After the demonstration was over, the dog got to chew and play with the sleeve on his own as a reward. Very cute.

The other thing that was really fun about the event was the weight pull demonstration. They even let other dogs try it out! Stewie was a natural, and pulled 120 lbs (twice his weight!) across the arena. Below are a few pictures. All in all, it was a really fun day!

First, the pro shows us how its done

First, the pro shows us how it's done

Now its Stewies turn to try - you can see just how focused he is on me here.

Now it's Stewie's turn to try - you can see just how focused he is on me here.

He did it! Good boy.

He did it! Good boy.

Here he is talking to me afterward. :)

Here he is talking to me afterward. 🙂

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