Thank you for your interest in C-WAGS. We have created a “Frequently Asked Questions” page to
help answer some questions you may have.
If your question isn't answered here or on our website,
please feel free to contact us at
Thank you, and have fun!
What is C-WAGS?
C-WAGS is the latest venue in competitive dog sports.
Short for Canine Work And Games, it is a dog & handler team sport that offers titles in both Obedience and Rally, and Games based on both.
Can anyone participate, or do they need experience?
People don't need dog show/trial experience. The handler should be familiar with the rules, and have trained their teammate (dog) for the exercises in the classes they enter (see rules and exercises on website). The dog (and handler ) should be friendly with other people and dogs.
Does my dog need to have “papers” to participate?
Dogs do not need any other “papers” than to be registered with C-WAGS. We welcome all types of dogs, including rescues and other mixed breeds. Of course, purebreds are also welcomed with open arms.
Can a handler or dog with disabilities compete? We welcome both handlers and dogs with disabilities.
How/why did you come up with the idea? How was C-WAGS born?
There are many hands contributing to the birth of C-WAGS. Russ Hornfisher planted the seed of actually creating the venue. Bonnie Hornfisher was invaluable in working out the details. Pam Shehan provided “out of the box” ideas. Ginger Alpine offered essential feedback and ideas. Support, ideas, and suggestions came from all of our judges. Shirley Ottmer put it all together and actually put the ball in motion. C-WAGS is really all about the dogs, and the humans that want to work with them. We all belong to this group.
What makes C-WAGS different from other venues? What is the same?
There are pieces of both the Obedience and Rally venues that are similar and those that are different.
● C-WAGS stresses team work between the handler and the dog – they are the team. ● We want our trials to be viewed as a friendly, fun place for people to come and enjoy the day with other people and their dogs. ● We are different from “traditional” Obedience in that the handler may interact more naturally with their teammate (dog). ● Handlers may give reinforcement to their dog at the end of the exercises. ● Handlers may talk to their dog during the performance. ● We have some fun, new exercises in both the Obedience and Rally venue. ● The order of the exercises will vary. ● Teams may compete in multiple levels/classes at the same time. ● Team may begin in Obedience levels 1-3. Team may begin in any class of Rally.
An exhibitor will find some of the same exercises as in “traditional” Obedience and Rally. We feel that our venue compliments the others extremely well. Even though some of the exercises are slightly different, the training should not cause any issues for a dog competing in other venues.
What is the difference between “Obedience” and “Rally”?
Obedience: the judge directs the team through the exercises.
Rally: the judge designs a course path with exercises – which will almost always be different – signs will be placed where the exercise is to be performed. The handler has to know what the exercises are by looking at the signs.
Why is C-WAGS the “future” of dog sports?
● C-WAGS appeals to a wide variety of people. Both the newbie or the seasoned veteran are all equally welcome, and can find their place here.
● Those in training for “traditional” venues can reinforce in the ring. This will help them sharpen their skills for the
other venues. Because it is similar, it makes great practice. Because it is slightly different, it keeps it interesting and fun.
● People who just want to go out and have fun with their dog can be successful in a less stressful environment.
● The only limits in this venue are set by the individual. A team can go as far as they want, or just go out and have
fun! There is something for everyone here.
● It is based on positive reinforcement. Teams should have fun while competing.
● The human/dog team concept is a great way to bond with your dog.
● The positive, fun atmosphere make this a less stressful, enjoyable sport.
● This venue incorporates work and fun in one venue. Work should be fun to our dogs. Fun should be meaningful and be able to be enjoyed by both the human and dog. This gives us the opportunity to not only judge how our dogs listen, but how we work together, and we get to have fun doing it!
What are some examples of games?
Grab Bag games are a set of timed challenges. The judge will pick 3 challenges for the class. For example:
A. Can you send your dog out 15' around 2 different items?
B. Can your dog perform 4 basic commands with you sitting in a chair and using verbal cues only?
C. can your dog go pick up items, bring them back, and put them in a container?
And there are more...
Why are “Work” and “Games” BOTH important?
To a dog, a trick is no different than a sit. Each is just a foreign behavior to the dog, initially. When people train “tricks”, the seem to be more relaxed. They don't see it as important. Both parts of the team actually learn a lot about each other by teaching tricks. Play is an important part of training, as well as the relationship between handler and dog. Games are just a variation of that.