Saturday, June 22, 2013

Agility Training

Its summer in New Hampshire and that means we're going to agility classes with the dogs once a week. We go to Diane's, our wonderful Westie breeder. She has a large backyard and has a lot of agility equipment set up in the back field.

We are doing this just for fun, as something the dogs enjoy, and we enjoy doing with them. Diane is kind of encouraging some of us to try competing, but so far I'm hesitant. I'm not completely ruling it out, but I haven't decided yet one way or another.

Agility reminds me a little bit of what it was like to do a jumping course when I used to ride horses. Its different, for one thing its not as dangerous, and (sorry horses) the dogs are smarter, but its similar in that you have a series of obstacles that you and your animal partner need to go through. In agility competitions there's a time limit, too. Oh, and no, you don't send a horse through a tunnel or a chute!

But when I did competition with horses I used to get SO nervous! I don't want to do it with the dogs and be nervous. Its not good for them and its not good for me. So I'll only try a competition if I feel confident that I will be relaxed and view it as something to do just for fun.

So far we are mainly working on getting the dogs comfortable with the various obstacles. There are tunnels,




A dog walk,




An a-frame,




And, yes, jumps!





After looking at the videos I shot at the last lesson, I realized that Harper is really catching on. Cosmo has only done agility a few times, but he is starting to get it too! But with Harper I can say the name of the obstacle and point to it and off she goes!  I should be able to not have to be so close to her, and I should be able to not give her as many treats, but that's my problem, not hers. She is one smart little doggie, and she's fast too! I get so out of breath running a course with her, you'd never guess I am a runner!

So here is a little video I made from our class. It was the first time I tried using iMovie to actually add music and put some video clips together. Aren't they all just darling?


video



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