OK so today I feel like this:
Last night I had a testing time with my oldest dog Milo at agility training.
Milo’s problem is not the equipment itself, he often confidently does that without hesitation or error, Milo’s problem is his excitement!
He loves agility so much he sometimes gets himself so exited he looses all his focus at the start line! He is wanting to do the equipment so much that he will not want to wait so I can lead out into the correct position to start.
This makes it extremely difficult for me in a class situation as when it’s our turn we often spend a few moments messing about and in the end I end up doing a running start as I feel like we are taking up class time.
The reason I am mentioning this is because I want you all to know how important the foundation training is to set you up for a successful agility career and it’s not just a case of ‘oh we have done that let’s move on to some exciting stuff’ The foundation work needs to be regularly revisited so it’s easier for you later down the line.
I know exactly the mistakes I’ve made with Milo and it’s precisely that I didn’t revisit the foundation work often enough, as yes, like many I found it a bit boring when all I wanted to do is get onto the big equipment and get round a course! Boy am I paying for it now!
Milo I’m confident can compete, his ability is there, I see it in his training daily BUT it’s his excitement I need to subdue!! – just a little! Our problem is the start line, and you can’t do a course without starting it and that is where our problem is when competing!
Dogs aren’t robots, they will have good days and bad days like we do, however we need to set our dogs up to succeed and that in agility is by sometimes taking a step back and revisiting the basics.
On our pre-agility course we thoroughly cover all the basic foundation work which gives you as the handler the tools to carry this training on throughout your agility career. So if your currently training in agility or just thinking about it then please don’t slack on the basics! I know it can seem boring but believe me it is all a massive learning curve for your dogs and they like us sometimes forget things. If they haven’t done any agility before they don’t even know they have back legs, as silly as that sounds, their back legs just naturally follow the front ones.
The pre agility teaches them the balance and conditioning work needed to get the dogs used to using the muscles correctly. We also cover a range of relationship building and focus work along with lots of other exciting things!
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