Tips for agility newbies...
number of people competing in the sport of agility has increased dramatically over the last few
years and consequently there are many more shows - small, medium, large and huge. And all can
be not just a little daunting if it is your first time competing. If you are a newcomer
to the sport, here are a few tips from Sally Rowe to help make your debut more successful.
When you first get
to the show, find your ring. You will have a set amount of time to 'walk' the course (walk
round it without your dog to find your way). Feel free to walk it a few times until you're
sure you know it.
You are not
allowed to carry anything in your hand during your run. Take your dogs collar and lead off
and leave them at the start line – there will be someone who puts it at the finish line for
for the timer/scrimer, the person in the ring looking at
an electronic timer or stopwatch, to tell you when you can go. Otherwise you will be
eliminated before your start.
If you make a
mistake on a course – carry on. Most Judges don't mind you finishing your round as long as
you don't spend too much time doing it.
Don't stop to pick
up a knocked pole. Shows have special people called 'Pole Pickers' to do this for you!
When you come out
of the ring remember to thank the judge, they have given up their spare time to be there.
Also remember to
thank your dog, even if your round did not go well. Still play with your dog to let him know
you still love him!
Don't have a curry the night before!
There's lots more
about competing at agility shows that you need to know including detailed information on the
different levels, classes, obstacles, marking, getting and filling in entry forms, what to take
to a show, forward preparation, and what to do on arrival etc. You'll find more invaluable tips
Your First Agility Show by Sally Rowe which is available from
Sally Rowe is currently living in
Hertfordshire with her two dogs, Lady a Swedish Vallhund and Sandy, a rescued crossbreed. Since
graduating from 'Applied Animal Behaviour and Training' at university, she has been working for
Wood Green Animal Shelters and is building up a business which trains animals for film and TV
work. Sally also runs evening puppy classes and when she finds a spare minute, teaches agility
for YKC activity weekends