The Non-Terrier Spar

It is the only non-terrier that can be asked to spar in a show ring. Can you name it?

Surprise! The only non-terrier that can be asked to spar in a show ring is the Chihuahua. Chis are alert, confident dogs with joie de vivre (or, in a nutshell, a terrier-like personality) and to determine this, judges may ask two exhibitors to spar their dogs.

Before anyone gets hot and bothered about this, you should understand that sparring does not mean fighting, or anything remotely like it. Sparring is nothing more than two dogs “facing off” to show confidence, sensible courage, self control, and an, “I double dog dare you” attitude. Done correctly, no dog ever enters the “safety zone” of the other dog, and rarely is there an incidence of uncontrollable aggression.

Page veterans know that we oppose “dumbing down” our posts. We believe in the native intelligence of our page fans to be able to grasp “inside baseball” knowledge about dog structure, breed specific information and insights into the world of the dog fancy; When we’re asked if it’s wise to continue the practice of sparring in view of the public’s attitudes towards our dogs and the dog fancy, especially when spectators may not understand what they’re seeing, our response is always the same. Education. A rising tide raises all boats; we prefer to enlighten and educate the public rather than dilute the sport and its traditions.

Chihuahua by Christi Teliman


5 thoughts on “The Non-Terrier Spar”

  1. We see fewer judges asking for sparring in the Airedale rings. It’s very disappointing. They look so magnificent when sparring and I think it is a mini-temperament test. You really want to see that controlled confidence.

    • Agreed, Linda, it’s a real shame that political correctness has pressured judges to minimize, if not dispense with altogether, the request to see sparring. The general public assumes the worst from the term while knowing virtually nothing about it. Pity.

  2. Pingback: Spar/No Spar?
  3. I’m surprised Miniature Pinschers are not asked to spar. It definitely seems in their character. At least in my little girl it does!! Lol

    • LOL, Trisha we think many breeds didn’t get the memo about not sparring!

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