Competition Ritual

What’s your competition ritual?  A friend of mine goes for starbucks before every competition, and makes sure she packs her dogs special udder tugs.  How do you prepare for a competition, beyond the countless hours of training and hundreds of dog treats?  Share your story for a chance to win a Competition Record Book to keep track of your successes! The record book holds all your dogs’ important information (shots records, emergency numbers, etc.) as well as pages for runs, trials and titles! Plus there are sheets for Agility Club information and agility friends. It’s in a three ring binder for easier access, and has all the major venues inside (AKC, USDAA, NADAC, UKC, and CPE).

How to enter this contest:

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Congratulations to the winner #7, Jean!


15 Comments on “Competition Ritual

  1. First, I potty my dog at least a half-hour before her run. I don’t want to be worrying about getting it done at the last minute. She stays in her crate until 4-5 dogs before her run – if I get her out too early, then she is flat by the time we run. We move around in circles and figure 8’s and backing up, to warm her up and loosen her muscles. Then we will play “tricks for treats,” incorporating some freestyle tricks and other stretches to warm her muscles. Right before we go in, I give her a rubdown from head to tail, and kiss her on the head.

  2. First thing, is bake Carmels favourite treats. She knows when I bake treats, we are going to an agility trial. Next is to re check the course over and over again. Then I tell Carmel that she is amazing and that we can do this and I get her focus. Then the most important part, HAVE FUN. After the run she gets praised and a delicious treat and I tell her she won. we finish a trial by going to get waffles.

  3. I always tell my Springer, Josie, “You make me feel so young, You are my champion, I love you!” She is 10 yrs old, and still loves
    to run and play.

  4. Everytime we are at the start line I kiss his nose and tell him “I love you no matter what” then off we go. He also has that embroidered on his collar:) He also gets his hot dog immediately after his run “no matter what” happened on course.

  5. I tell Chico where we’re going, what games we’re going to play, and how much fun it’s going to be to do tire and tunnel, and gire and gimble in the wabe.*
    I tell myself “it’s just expensive run throughs,” and remind myself we do this to socialize Chico, not to get Qs.
    After we run, I *always* tell Chico he won the class, no matter what, and we find some ice cream on the way home.
    * From Lewis Carrol’s poem “Jabberwocky.”

  6. Years ago I got a tape from Clean Run called Clear Mind,Clean Run. I still play it driving to trials. I find it helps me relax and forget about other things going on in my life. I especially like the reminder to “look at my dog with soft eyes.”

    If particularly tired I will listen to upbeat music during the walk thru.When setting Bailey up on the line, I always pat his chest and say we can do this.
    He is nine and still high energy and fun to run.
    Looking forward to getting a puppy soon to carry on the triditions.

  7. Competition Rituals:
    1. Due to excitement, sleep poorly the night before.
    2. Study the running order and attempt to guesstimate when we run.
    3. Check and re-check the agility bag.
    4. Exercise my border collies’ butts off before and between runs to take that top layer of energy off. 😉

  8. The primary thing I do to prepare for an agility trial is to bake their favorite treats the day before we leave…my own recipe for chewy pumpkin cheesey bites. The girls go ga-ga over them, and since they ONLY get them at agility trials they get super excited when I bake them. The day before is also a big packing event at my house…because with the exception for one agility trial, all of them are far enough away that we are gone for multiple nights. So, baking their agility trial treats, getting their trial crates out from the basement and packing everything into the car lets them know we are going somewhere overnite, and we are going to have some fun!

  9. I get really nervous, so I just try to breath and remember the order of the obstacles (I’m really new!).

  10. I set up our spot in a way that will be familiar to my dogs whenever possible. The crates get a spritz of DAP and one, sometimes both dogs get to wear their thundershirts. Anything to reduce stress! Then I do my best to destress myself! Dairy Queen is our usual dinner choice post trial.

  11. My agility girl, Amber, gets a bath (whether she needs it or not!)and nails trimmed; then while I am brushing her, we discuss the upcoming trial, such as where we are going, what events we are entered in, and who we might see at the trial!

  12. Before going into the ring, I always say to her that I love her and she’s a good, good dog no matter what happens, and I thank her for working so hard for me. Helps keep me in the right frame of mind and reminds me why we’re playing this silly game!

    • With my first agility dog, a Weim rescue, we always shared ice cream when we finished our runs. Maggie knew where the ice cream was sold at all the different trial sites.
      I do obedience doodling with my little chocolate lab to get her focused before going into the ring

    • Before we leave home we make a batch of Tuna Fudge to take
      along and also bake some sweet potatoes that we love to eat.
      Just before we run I give him a little kiss on the nose and tell
      him “Buddy Holly, you be the man !” After our runs are over for
      the day we sometimes can be seen at the DQ for ice cream.