First Shih Tzu Ever Wins C-ATCH Agility Title

Posted by Raja on July 13th, 2010 — Posted in Agility, Health

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Meet Cain, a fiercely competitive athlete, therapy dog, Canine Good Citizen and occasional model.  Raja and I are really proud of Cain and other “Toy Group” dogs like him who are showing their athleticism, smarts and natural companionability while keeping their people as busy as possible. 

Cain is owned by Debora Wheeler, who specializes in showing and training Shih Tzu dogs.  (She and her father have rescued over 200 together and, for Debra, her career began when she fell in love with one small dog!)  What Cain’s title means is that he has competed in successive Canine Performance Events, earning an awesome number of points to become a Canine Agility Team Champion.  

Where does the “team” come in?  The “team” is the dog and human team, since the handler accompanies the dog through all the agility challenges giving verbal and non verbal signals to guide the dog through the maze of size appropriate physical challenges.  Cain also has competed in the division of Teacup Agility.  And this does not mean he’s diminutive or “cute”, but refers to the height at which he jumps.  (Of course, he’s cute too.) 

While canine agility is a competitive sport, at the entry level, most people encounter club classes and events where everyone is extremely supportive of everyone else.  The community encourages dog socialization and makes everyone very much aware of their own dog’s health and personality.  Since the best handlers are patient and kind, dogs benefit hugely from this interaction.  Cain’s success has propelled him to compete in American Kennel Club events only.  But he doesn’t let the pressure go to his head- or does he?  Look at the celebrity duds! 

Toy dogs (small dogs not bred for farm work or hunting) have excelled in recent years in agility because their natural affability and sturdy build make them temperamentally and physically inclined towards seeing agility as playful learning.  Raja wants to send a special happy bark to all Shih Tzu owners who got their dogs off the couch and into the ring for fun and fitness doing what dogs do best- running, jumping, and developing their bonds with their owners. 

Where will Cain go from here?  He’s so talented; we’re sure he’ll find something else to excel in.  Meanwhile, he has an adorable daughter who is following in her father’s pawprints. 

To find a CPE group in your area, just Google “Canine Performance Event “your town” “your state” or “Canine Agility” “your town” “your state”.  Canine agility is a little like golf… you are always competing against your own best score. (But it’s loads more fun than golf… just saying.) 

Many thanks to Debora Wheeler for sharing Cain’s achievements with us!  (Special thanks to agility competitors Carolyn Linsday and Lisa Schwellinger for teaching Raja and me the terms.)


Comment by Cy & CT

Cain & Deb a Big Congratulations to you :) You have accomplished a lot together and have put in a lot of hard work.

Raja & Helen,
Thank you for getting the word out that us small dogs are so much more than just lap dogs. We have so much fun with our mom doing agility we love going to trials and get very excited when we see mom getting our agility things ready to go. We hope more dogs will decide to give agility a try or even just get their moms & dads to take them out in the yard to play with them. Maybe they can find an agility event in their area and just come watch, we don’t mind people watching at all. We think Cain is awesome and give him 4 paws for all his accomplishments!

Cy, CT & Tasha

Posted on July 13, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Comment by Raja's brother

The little mountain dogs! shih tzus are the best!

Posted on July 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Comment by Sheryll & Critters.

Woof and way to go Cain! You are gorgeous, smart, athletic and adorable and more! I am so happy for your win and proud of you too. YEAH FOR SHIH TZUS!! And Pekingese too!

Posted on July 13, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Comment by Pat

Cain are one gorgeous pup..not to mention talented !It is so good to see the toy group get we are very talented and agile .We are in your cheering section ..kep up the good work and congratulations.

Posted on July 14, 2010 at 4:13 am

Comment by Puppies Tampa Bay

Congrats Cain! I hope my shih tzu Kiara follows your steps!

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Comment by Marsha

I wish someone could give me some advice about my dog. He is a 6 month old 10pd peekapoo. I got him at 7 weeks. I lost my other dog of 16 years which was also a peekapoo a year ago. I love lap dogs and thats what my other one was, and very layed back. My new pup, is so different. He likes the floor. I place him on my lap and he will stay for a min. then down on the floor. He plays with his toys all the time. But when he naps, he’s off by him self on the floor. I have picked him up when he is sleeping and placed him on the foot of my chair. That will work only for maybe a half hour, then he’s back on the floor. It has been very depressing for me, as this is not the kind of dog I wanted. I feel Like I am stuck with him now. This is the only home he knows. I know he loves me as he follows me around the house. He sleeps with me down by mt feet. I play with him and his toys. For a peekapoo he sure doesn’t seem like he likes the closness or me holding him. I have talk to many people, they tell me he’s just got to get pass this puppy stage. Well I have had dogs all my life and I remember how much they loved to be on my lap and held. Can you give me your advice on this. I feel sad that I picked him out of the 4 pups. Thanks for reading this and your time.My email add. is

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm

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