Dog Agility Trials Are Just Pop Quizes
Talk about dog agility competition long enough and you are sure to run into those that strongly dislike the competition side of dog agility. You will undoubted also fall upon those that cringe at a run done by a novice dog and novice handler stating, “That was ugly, that team needs more time working on their handling skills.” But here is the truth, dog agility trials and matches are just a pop quiz. They teach us so much about us, our dogs and our team. In fact, many times we learn things we had no idea we needed to learn like humility.
No one would expect a fourth grader to get the same answers to a quiz as a college bound student nor should we expect that from our fellow competitors. In the same token it is a bit ridiculous to judge a college student for pursuing their career path and succeeding. So while for many of us competition isn’t in the equation it doesn’t mean we cannot learn how to be better handlers and teammates for our dogs by watching those that do. Your pop quiz may just be a local fun match or clinic while others will choose to test themselves on harder more challenging tests and that’s OK, too.
I say it over and over again that this sport is so awesome because you can start dog agility for whatever reason you want and not be judged for it. We are all after the same root result, a better bond with our dog. We need to be mindful all the time of our fellow enthusiasts and realize, while their goals may be different than our own it doesn’t make them bad. And more importantly I think we need to remember we all started at ground zero. We all have had our fair serving of humility and we need to come alongside those struggling through those times and not stand by and criticize.
You can either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. No one is so high up that they cannot be knocked down and no one is so low they cannot be reached. So lets all go about having fun with our dogs where ever that path leads us and try to remember we are all heading in the same direction so share the road.