I have just recently decided to get out some of my dog agility equipment and start training my little Shih Tzu, Turk! I had started him in agility a couple years ago and life got in the way and now I am back!
If you don't know much about the sport, it is an amazingly fun sport for the dog and the owner both. It keeps you both active and it is especially good for dogs with high energy! The sport began in the late 1970's and it has been contagious across the country and even the world!
It is a very competitive sport and was designed to test the training skills and handling skills of the person training his dog. If you aren't familiar it is also a timed obstacle course, so the pace is very past. It is an extrememly fun spectator sport as well.
I highly recommend this sport to any dog lover who has a desire to show their dog and their dog has a high energy level. Dogs who love to run seem to adore this sport. You can see the passion and excitement in their faces as they run through the weave poles, jump through the tires and hurdle the jumps! It’s fun to be had by all!
My little Shih Tzu, Turk just absolutely goes bonkers over this. He loves jumping and will do anything to please me and be rewarded with a treat! Turkey hot dogs are the treat of choice for my little guy! That's him in the picture above. I think he is in shock that I got the equipment out. It's been too long!
There is much involved in this sport that the spectator doesn’t realize. It is a bit of a ballet for the dog handler as much practice is involved due to the hundreds of different patterns and set ups of the courses. The handler must learn how to properly cue their dog and know from which side of the obstacle to be on, at any given point, engaging them to cross in front of and behind the dog as he in running at full tilt! It can be quite the dance routine!
The handler must learn the speed of the dog and the timing and know when to cross, when to hold and when to cue them to take the next obstacle, as the whole event is timed and the clock ticks on no matter what!
From the very first time I took Turk to Burlington, North Carolina to the Dogtown Training Academy I knew we were both hooked! His passion was a great as mine and it would be hard to deprive him of something that he loves so much a minute more!
Our teacher at the academby, May Isenhour-Long is abosolutely wonderful at training both the dog and the handler to learn agility and get show ready. We look forward to seeing her again soon as well!
We haven’t shown yet in agility as we were spending time in the obedience ring a couple years but we are ready now to venture out into the agility world! We both have the need for speed!
If you are considering doing agility with your dog, I highly recommend obedience training first as your dog will be off leash in the agility ring so you need to have a very obedient dog that will stay, and wait and sit on command, and also be loose by your side. The obedience training is just great so that you have a well rounded relationship with your dog and he or she understands all your verbal commands.
Obedience is a fun way to start showing your dog to begin with as it gets you familiar with being in the ring and familiarizes your dog with being around crowds of people as well as a lot of other dogs. Dogs actually do like to please their owners and they are happier when they are well trained because their owner is happier.
Perhaps you have had an interest in showing your dog and haven’t had the resources to do so. While it’s not an expensive sport it does involve show fees and training and some travel, and of course there are the Breed classes which can take you to new levels of showing costs.
Maybe you are like me and your dogs are your kids and you would love to be home with them more. Connect with me at secrettofreedom.net for information and a free video on how I create money from home and spending more time at home with my dogs. I like to think of it as Plan B.
Life is full of surprises and when the surprises come they aren’t always what we bargained for. I can’t tell you how many heartbreaking stories I have heard of people losing their farms and their farm animals as well as their dogs due to a divorce or some tragedy.
Being prepared so that should the unthinkable happen, is the best advice I can give to anyone from my personal experience. Connect with me at secrettofreedom.net and learn how you can create money from home and have your little nest egg just in case the unthinkable happens to you.
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