Supporting agility dogs with specialist lifetime cover
Training is not something you 'do'
to the dog
encourages anyone and everyone who has a dog, no matter what breed, size or age, to get into
agility. It's been a real learning experience for her. She thinks there is nothing like
communicating with your dog on an agility course! What a rush! She's never felt so challenged.
Here are some things, in no particular order, she's learned since she took those first steps
is a game (really!)
is a wonderful way to communicate and deepen the relationship with your dog while
having tons of fun in the process
should not be a way to boost your ego by exploiting your dog.
- You don't need a border collie
to have fun and succeed in agility
- Which brings us to: You don't
have to win a single ribbon to have fun in agility
- There really is no right way to
Use whatever hand signal/body
movement/obstacle name that makes you happy
- Barking is okay!
- Just keep going, better a missed
obstacle than a dog who feels she's done something wrong.
is a team sport, which means 50/50, not 95/5.
- If your dog isn't having fun,
for god's sake, just stop! Tomorrow is another day.
trials are for people, not dogs
The dog should always have a choice
as to whether she wants to play .
- All the titles in the world
won't make up for a damaged relationship.
- Never force your dog over an
- Contacts should be fun.
- Contrary to popular belief, it's
not the dog's fault - it's yours for not training her properly.
- Don't ever think of
'consequences', only think of rewards.
- If your dog does not succeed,
STOP, and go back to something easier
please, don't compete when your dog isn't ready!
before the dog is ready makes for one very stressed, unhappy pooch.
Heather Christenson and her three mixed
breed dogs live in Forest Grove, Oregon (USA) and enjoy agility, flyball and hiking as well as
keeping the yard free of suspicious cats and squirrels at home.
She has worked previously as an adoption coordinator at the humane
society and as a veterinary assistant.