If you haven’t started training for the 2012 NASHDA World Shed Dog Championship yet, there’s still time to get your pooch into competing form. A qualifying event for next year’s world championship will take place on July 23 at Deer Fest in Oshkosh, Wisc.

If you’re interested in learning how to teach your dog to find and deliver shed antlers, Tom Dokken, a nationally recognized dog trainer and founder of the organization and event, will conduct seminars that will teach you how to train a shed dog.

This year’s inaugural championship was an invitational event that saw huntiing show hosts Lee and Tiffany Lakosky’s dog Tank take both the Amateur and Junior divisions (he was handled by Lee). Josh Miller of Hudson, Wis., won the Open Division with his chocolate Labrador, Easton (pictured).

The Junior Division is limited to dogs two years of age and younger, while the Amateur Division is open only to non-professional dog trainers. Both amateurs and pros can compete in the Open Division.

The scoring of the events is a two-part formula the takes into account the number of sheds found during a preset time limit.

Shed hunting is not only a fun activity, but it gives the deer hunter something to do during the spring season. It also gives you an idea of the caliber of animals frequenting your hunting spots.

Having a dog trained to find shed antlers greatly increases the amount of ground you can thoroughly cover.