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Your Dog's First Show

The four legged, tail wagging version

When you are walking the course, they say to look at it from the dog's perspective. If dogs could speak - or even write - here's what they might say about their first agility show. Ask your dog if they might like to take pen to paw or something.

 Poppy's First Agility Competition
from Poppy

My nameís Poppy, posh name Cool Dudette. Iím a miniature Yorkie, towering to 7Ē at the withers. My dopey people decided that, as they already have a Papillon, doing Agility that they would train me. Huh, what do they think I am? Some sort of circus act?

Anyway, I decided to go along with this silly idea and started training, but always making sure the people knew who was in charge. I picked up the idea pretty quickly - after all, we terriers are a pretty bright bunch. Quite soon I got to know what all the arm waving and shouting meant. It doesnít take a brain surgeon to realise that 'over' means jump over the stick, 'A-frame' means clamber up that dirty great ramp and so on. 

The folks got really smug, so I eased off a bit. I would stop for a breather, have a scratch and usually up on the A-frame or dogwalk, sit down and have a look around. After all, its not often I have the chance to see the world from above grass level.

Inevitably the time came then 'they' decided that I could enter a Competition. They condemned me to making my debut at the Just Minis Christmas Fun Show, in December 2003. I ask you, cold enough to freeze the proverbials off a metallic ape -  and Iím expected to prance around a course looking happy.

Luckily, I was entered in the Starters class, with the 12Ē jumps. I found myself carted off to the line, coat and collar whipped off without so much as a 'by your leave' and left shivering and naked on the cold, wet sand. Donít they realise that a girl has her dignity?

My lady told me to stay and traipsed off up the course. Then she turned round and called me. I got the hump at that, so I ignored her. She called again so I decided that I might as well get it over, so off I toddled, but after half a dozed jumps, I got bit of an itch so I sat down and had a scratch.  hat got her going, I can tell you, but I was chuffed to hear the onlookers laughing.

Anyway, when I was good and ready off I went again until I got to the top of the A-frame, where I stopped to get my breath back and wave to my fans. They really appreciated that and gave me a cheer.  From that vantage point I could see the end was close, only a couple more jumps and a tyre, so I scarpered down the A-frame and bolted for the end. My lady must have done quite well, Ďcos we got a clear round, and a time of 65 seconds (the course time was 40 seconds) so I was pretty pleased with myself.

Later that day I was made to give a repeat performance, this time in the Jumping, but did not like to show off so made a couple of detours and picked up some faults, you canít make it look too easy can you?  (07/03/04)

My first show
from Mister Bumble

My human mum took me to my first show about eight months after I had been learning to do agility. It was pouring with rain and there was a howling gale. My mum didn't run so much as slide. It was a big shock as I'd never even tried agility outdoors before.

Despite all this, I managed to get round the course just as Mum wanted me to until the last obstacle but two. It was a big yellow collapsible tunnel, and IT WAS MOVING! Just as I was about to enter it, there was a great gust of wind and it blew right up like a big balloon, making it really easy to dash through it!

'Whoosh,' I thought, as I ran through it, 'this makes it a real doddle! Then the wind dropped, and SPLATT! - a huge heap of sodden yellow PVC crashed on top of me and I was in a great wet terrifying darkness. I tell you, I was back out of there as quick as you can say woof. It took a lot of persuasion for my mum to get me back in there, but I was really brave, just for her sake! I've no idea why she looked so disappointed!  (07/03/04)

Sent by Jane on his behalf!

For more stories of first shows,
this time told from the handler's point of view,
see Your First Show