Most Important Aspect of Dog Agility is Fun or is It?

Dog agility like an appleWhen we saw this question, “What is the most important aspect of dog agility; fun, speed or correctness?,” we immediately thought, Fun, of course. But others had some really great points that fun is the underlying theme, but speed and correctness have a top notch place as well.

We all know that if you and your dog are not having fun, then there isn’t much good in running dog agility. And while most dogs don’t always start out having the greatest of fun, most will grow to love it for one reason or another. In fact, dog agility is one of the best ways for shy, unconfident, or uncooperative dogs to lose those bad traits and replace them with boldness, confidence and willingness. But I can guarantee it wasn’t a ton of fun in the beginning.

So one could easily argue that correctness should take the top rung, even over fun at times. Correctness is not only necessary for proper execution of obstacles and courses, it is also necessary for the safety of the dog and handler. Fly offs, bad tunnel entries, and run-ins with jump uprights can cause injury to both the body and mind of a dog. But to get correctness takes tons of repetitions and in order to get those repetitions, the dog has to be having fun or they will shut down.

What about speed then? Many of us may not think anything about speed at all. Yet, most dogs will at some point believe faster is better. This is where we get some great episodes of Zoomies. However, this unbridled passion leads to more than a dropped bar, it can lead to an excusal as well. That is no good at any speed. Speed to some degree also makes the dog’s job easier as they have the momentum they need to clear triples and spread jumps as well as get up the a-frame and dog walk.

So which one really is the most important? We say they are inseparable, much like an apple. The apple is surrounded by skin (correctness), filled with a delicious middle (fun) and just the right amount of seeds (speed), all that make it a complete fruit that we call dog agility. What do you think?

photo credit: apple via photopin (license)