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Do Dogs Really Need Initials After Their Name?

Why title a dog? by Sandra Mowery

“Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to a higher title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores, a title is a tribute to the dog that bears it, a way to honor the dog, an ultimate memorial. It will remain in record and in memory for as long as anything in this world can remain. Few humans will do as well or better in that regard.

And though the dog itself doesn’t know or care that its achievements have been noted, a title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count.

A title says your dog was intelligent and adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog loved you enough to do the things that please you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed.

And a title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with it because it was a good dog, that you believed in it enough to give it yet another chance when it failed, and that, in the end, your faith was justified.

A title proves that your dog inspired you to that special relationship enjoyed by so few; that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a title was greatly loved, and loved greatly in return.

And when that dear short life is over, the title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of pride in one small set of initials after the name.

A title earned is nothing less than love and respect, given and received, and permanently recorded.”

Have your dogs earned any titles? Feel free to brag and tell us about them in a comment.


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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


+ add your own
9:53PM PDT on Jul 27, 2015

I think either way is fine. Different strokes for different folks.

9:38PM PDT on Jul 27, 2015

Interesting article. thank you for caring and sharing.

8:23AM PDT on Jun 5, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

4:12PM PDT on Nov 2, 2013

seems to me that dogs have been bred to interact with human beings - many do enjoy working with their people

11:45PM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

Yes, I agree with many of the comments about these awards being much more about the owners' need for attention and behave as if their dogs' achievements are their own achievements. Many parents behave (or misbehave) in the same way when supporting their children in sport.

When did dog walking and running for the ball, games, etc go out of fashion?

8:49AM PDT on Oct 22, 2013

whatever works

8:23PM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

I have two working dogs, a Rottweiler and a Catahoula. They are happiest when they are doing the jobs they were bred for.

My Rottie has confirmation, carting, tracking, herding, rally obedience, obedience and agility titles. He looks forward to getting into the ring and participating. He also helps deliver the local newspaper 3 days a week.

My Catahoula has tracking, herding, baying, lure coursing and rally obedience titles as well.

When I ask them if they are ready to go to work, they head to the front door and wait impatiently as I pack up our gear. I love spending the day/weekend with them and have met many wonderful people and their dogs as well.

To me, the titles, ribbons and metals are just benefits of having fun with my dogs.

4:45PM PDT on Oct 20, 2013

The dogs do these sports to please the owners. The owners and the dogs spend time together, exercise together, hoefully there's mutual love and respect. There are owners who are so competitive that if the dog doesn't perform, there's punishment - usually out of sight of any others. This is what can give a bad rep to any sport, human or animal.

Congrats on the ribbon and it sounds as though you and yours have that mutual respect and love. Always a good thing. The ribbons and letters are nice, but incidental when the love is there.

4:17AM PDT on Oct 20, 2013

Thank you.

12:42AM PDT on Oct 18, 2013

Who needs titles and ribbons? My dog shows me love in so many ways of it's own choosing. Pfffffff. I'm perfectly happy with kisses! You can keep your titles and ribbons.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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