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think about this one - I'm curious


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Feb. 18th, 2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
Why do it do it now?
Or why did I start doing it?

I wonder just how many of us started this because some puppy trainer said something like "your dog is fast/smart/agile etc" you should do agility?

I think they say this to up sell you on the puppy agility class, but that's only my conspiracy theory :)

Ruben was smart. Not particularly keen, but smart and he learned things quicker than any dog I'd had or personally met. He loved him some treats. So we up-sold to the puppy agility class then went looking at clubs. About that time I had back surgery. And boy did I notice the difference in him when I didn't give him a job to do. Yeah, my sweet Ruben would do things like dig up flower bulbs in the yard to eat them, or chew up a shoe. So yeah, he need a hobby and I guess so did i.

This sport HOOKED me. I love to fish, hike, used to ski, etc. But nothing makes me WANT to get my ass out of bed on a cold January morning like agility. The things I do for it blow me away.

Maybe there's PCP in the PVC? Could be. You don't know....

Feb. 19th, 2012 12:23 am (UTC)
Do puppy trainers really do that? oooh... our puppy trainer was Stell's breeder, we (B and I) drove two hours up Albany way for his $10 classes with doodles and poodles and he didn't know anything about agility... just obedience and some tricks... Stella just started doing stuff on walks here in the city, balancing and jumping and she just seemed to like to do stuff and then my sister told us about agility. iTs her fault. I'd never heard of it before.

I kind of missed having a sport and this was something B and I could have fun with together... made for some fabulous teenage daughter/mother years...

why now? this is the question I am asking myself
Feb. 19th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
Ok, can you talk more about agility addiction... and mental health ; )
Feb. 18th, 2012 11:43 pm (UTC)
I got a puppy that needed more activity and obedience didn't do it for me. We started with a commercial puppy agility class and outgrew the environment. I joined the same club as Nosemovie. I had been running most days and had stopped because I changed work companies and lost my running partner - I needed something active and pilates (taught by a circus trapeze artist) wasn't doing it for me. So it's all about me - lol. Really though, I found a deeper relationship with my dogs - all of them were trained in and trialed in agility, even my 7yr old Cato (dobe) got trained and did some trials, and got some starter style titles - he would have done anything just to be working with me - even schutzhund.

So yeah, it's all about me being active and having something to do with my dogs that is active enough to satisfy my need to move and satisfying enough for my companions/friends - my canine partners.
Feb. 19th, 2012 12:27 am (UTC)
pilates from a circus trapeze artist---love that!

I'm asking because I am trying to figure out why I am doing it... for one of these Daisy Peel classes I am having to write down my agility goals for the next six months and I have never thought in terms of goals... plus since my kid is away at college this year, its changed what training and trialing is, because we used to do it together...
Feb. 19th, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
I would think that you goals should be in terms of what steps you want to have completed in your training versus what level of competition you have reached. i.e. good running contact on DW with specific criteria, or even work out what criteria you want and achieve whether it works for your dog or not. I suppose you need to know if you want to compete internationally, nationally, locally or sometimes like me. I think brisbeethewhite would be happy to be eternally training and not worry about the actual trialing since that means getting up on cold mornings when it is dark, etc. I am a lot in that camp too. My last trial in August - I left before the end and scratched the Jumpers run, and retired Enid from all competition ever again. So my goals are to get a teeter for Jill in the next 6 months (that's quite a challenge apparently) and start her on generalizing - meaning getting around to different barns and practice on their equipment. I have no goals for Enid & Yoda since both are retired and do not go to training classes. Also for Jill, I have a goal of starting her in fun matches so she can achieve her high level of excitement and still be biddable on course (she is one of nature's screamers when watching other dogs run). I will need to spend much time working thru her excitement - I do not want to turn it off, but maybe learn to amp it up and keep her focus. Focus will be key, plus generalizing equipment and the teeter.
Feb. 19th, 2012 01:12 am (UTC)
I think this is a good check-yourself question.

When I get to the root of it, I do agility because I have a *blast* doing agility. Like my friends who were in love with volleyball or lacrosse or swimming in high school, I am in love with the sport and the competition (and of course the added bonus: my great dogs).

I do equate it to my parents' passion for rowing. When they were in high school and college they found their sport and really committed to it... a lot of dedication/big goals, that kind of thing. But if they were to get down to the root of it too (and I have asked... mostly because it looks like some crazy form of self-torture to me), it's because they have/had a blast doing it.

That said, my dad still rows; my mom does not. But crew is still a part of her. I have a feeling, even after I am long done with agility, it will always have a special place in me.

So I do it because right now, at this moment in my life, I enjoy it very very much. It's my sport... it's my game. (and it's kick ass because it's my dog's game, too)
Feb. 19th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
I like the way you look at it as an "at this moment in my life" answer and use words like "blast" and "kick ass" to describe the spirit as well as underlying "dedication/big goals" and also that you think of it as a check-yourself question. Reasons probably do shift over time. For me they already have and I'm trying to figure out where I am in it, how serious do I want to get, how serious can one get with a labradoodle anyway...
Feb. 19th, 2012 03:02 am (UTC)
I do agility because I love the challenge of building and creating a team of two with my dog. I love that there's no end to this sport, I will never get to the bottom of it and there is nothing like the thrill of a good run with your partner. I love that I go out there and stand on the startline knowing that my dog is out there with me and it's just the two of us against the course. When we find the right path and were both in flow, working in tandem, there's not another feeling in the world like it.
Feb. 19th, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
"no end..." ok I know what you mean and for me sometimes thats daunting... you know, the more I learn, the more I see there's so much more that I don't know...

"there's not another feeling in the world like it" -those few moments for me when I am not thinking, ok I have to get to there, and then do this while she is doing that, or really two strides before, and keeping an eye on that, etc etc... but when you are just doing it, moving faster and more naturally than thought, and lo and behold, the dog is magically with you... like reading your mind, tho more likely your body... yup very cool
Feb. 19th, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)
I live 10 minutes from the Pomona Fairplex where every Memorial day weekend there is a four day AKC dog show. It was great to go see all the dogs. I used to go with my husband. After he died I went with friends. One year I went to watch the agility trial that is always connected with the trial and bumped into a woman I knew who was working the trial. Agility looked like something fun to do with Matilda. I asked her where she took classes. Six months later I began taking classes with Barbara Mah.
Feb. 19th, 2012 05:01 am (UTC)
its me on my blackberry unable to sign in but its me
So that's how you got started but what motivates you now?
Feb. 19th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
Although I'd heard of agility, I'd never actually seen agility. I knew, though, that it was something Emma needed to do because she was being a destructive little miss, and I wanted her to stop taking the dryer vent off the house. I couldn't find anyone who did agility until one day I saw some people training their dogs in a parking lot -- they were doing an advanced course with a pvc jump. I thought, agility!!! and joined up with them, their training club, lessons, the local AKC club, the whole nine yards.

I'd never not had a dog, but it was my first exposure to the dog world that wasn't only the pet world. I met lots of new people and learned lots of new things -- stuff like what we were doing was called rally, not agility.

Obviously, I eventually found the agility people in this new network of dog people. I also found out how easily Emma learns and how much fun it is to teach her new things. Emma is so happy, and that makes me happy. That's why I do agility.

Edited at 2012-02-19 04:50 am (UTC)
Feb. 19th, 2012 01:31 pm (UTC)
I still don't know what rally is.
Anyway, so its been being able to recognize a need in the dog, investigating, finding a talent, and in the meanwhile a whole new world has opened up for you that makes for a sense of wellbeing in all the rest of your life?
Feb. 19th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
Uh, yeah -- don't know about that sense of well-being part though. I mean there are still times when I feel like I'm about to throw up while we're waiting as next dog on the line, and I think, geez, why am I here????? Thankfully Emma seems oblivious to my need to upchuck -- she just wants to GO!!!!!
Feb. 19th, 2012 05:41 am (UTC)
I do agility now because it's fun to play with Matilda. She loves it. Even on our walks if I send her out around a tree, she loves it! It's a challenge. Sometimes it's frustrating, but it's good to work through those challenges. Mixing tricks into the training is a good thing, too. It helps keep the bond strong. Agility's a real high when things go well.
Feb. 19th, 2012 01:25 pm (UTC)
fess, you like them blue ribbons too!
Feb. 20th, 2012 02:18 am (UTC)
Sure, I like the Q's.
Feb. 19th, 2012 07:15 pm (UTC)
I remember when I first saw agility on Animal Planet. It was a USDAA Nationals and Nancy Gyes won. I knew at that moment that I wanted to give it a try. My childhood was spent with horses and turning my poor Springer Spaniel into a hunter/jumper (he had flying lead changes, collection/extension at all gaits, a counter-canter and way better jumping form than my horse ever did). There's something about animals that I've always LOVED and working with them in a team situation is my favorite. If agility went away tomorrow, I'd still have dogs and be doing silly pet tricks. After the horses, I was very into soccer, I love competition and I love team sports. Agility has been the perfect blend of my passions and also feeds my logic puzzle loving brain.
Feb. 19th, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
perfect blend of my passions---that sounds so right!
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