Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Agility Jun?

I've never really been interested in agility. Well, that's not exactly true. I got Lok to be an agility dog, but gave up on that idea fairly quickly when I got him home and realized he was not a likely candidate. We did do part of one agility class. He hated it and spent the whole time trying to leave. This particular class forced the dogs onto the contact obstacles at full height by week 3 and had us "sequencing" obstacles in about the same time. I knew it wasn't right. Lok knew it wasn't right. The one sequence he ever enjoyed involved jumps and tunnels and was a straight line from the back of the room towards the door. He ran that sequence like his life depended on it and just kept running straight!! We never went back. Disc was much cooler anyway, and Lok loved it. So I gave up on the idea of agility.

Until now. It started with an irrational desire to watch Elo run through a tunnel. I know, ridiculous, but he is just so damn cute and I felt a tunnel would just intensify the cute. (I was right about that, BTW. He ran through a tunnel last summer and it was A-Dorable.) Next, just out of the blue I had this lingering thought that I should teach Jun 2x2 weaves. I don't know where it came from, but it just wouldn't leave. So last night I started, and now all I want to do is finish her weave poles! She did great! She was running out ahead with enthusiasm (which is a BIG DEAL for Ms. Velcro). It took a bit for her to figure out criteria--first she tried to go around the set, then she thought maybe just running by them was it--but she didn't get discouraged when I didn't throw the toy, and she tried again and got it right! And now I just want the ground to thaw so I can pound some sticks in the ground and work on this at home (since it turned out to be not the greatest activity for reactive dog class, which is where we started).


  1. Yay!!! Agility has changed a ton in just the past few years. Although i'm still surprised you were doing sequencing and contact obstacles since it couldn't have been that long ago!

    You know, NADAC is just rolling out a video based competition program for those with reactive dogs who couldn't otherwise compete or for those who live where there's not NADAC...

  2. I was just working with a really bad instructor. She also forbade me to bring a clicker to class.

    I have mixed feelings about video competition. I'm not in it for titles, and I feel like video titles just don't carry nearly the weight.

  3. I know what you mean. Titles are worthless to the dog but they do provide validation for the people! I wouldn't consider myself one that cares a ton about titles and placements, but shooting for a title (more so in obedience for me) makes me actually train my dogs and the trials force me to evaluate our progress objectively.

    I would agree with you that obedience or rally trials by video don't carry much weight with me as doing it in busy environment is half the battle. But agility trials have less to do with the environment and more to do with the dog skills, for most dogs. I wouldn't carry it quite the same weight since you don't have that added adrenaline rush which often makes trials harder, or for some dogs the added stress, but it still has validity to me. The main downside to it as that you could technically practice it over and over again until you get that perfect attempt which is obviously not feasible in a real trial.