Monday, August 25, 2003

Tika Applying For Validation From AKC

There has been much debate from the beginning about whether Tika is pure Australian Shepherd. She's not a "conformation" Aussie--would win no blue ribbons for the ideal breed standard--a little bit too tall, coat a little too short, ears not quite bent enough, stuff like that. But she's sure in the range of the breed description, which you can read at http://www.akc.org/breeds/recbreeds/ausshep.cfm.

The photo there is of a big-coated conformation blue merle Aussie. Here's a photo of Tika, also a blue merle Aussie. For another comparison of Tika and verifiable aussies, see the March 30 archive.

Because she was a rescue, we have no way of proving her ancestry. But I'm going to go ahead and apply for an "ILP" (indefinite listing privilege) with AKC, which allows her to compete in AKC agility trials if I want to spend the money, which would ultimately allow her to be eligible to compete in the World Cup competition--if I want to throw away my entire life and find a way to drastically improve my handling ability and her skillset. The advantage that I have is that one of my instructors has been on the World Cup team for several years (rare! Only half a dozen dogs from the whole US of A each year!) so she knows the ropes AND if Tika can compete head-on with her dogs, then we're set.

I'd say, however, that there are 2 chances of that happening: slim and none. It's not really one of my goals (and there are so many handlers way better than me just in this area, even after my going-on-9-yrs experience!--it would be maybe too much of a stretch goal for me). My goal is to be able to take 1st place occasionally in USDAA Masters classes against competition like this. That'll be challenging enough.

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