Dog Agility Handlers Need Proofing Too
No one will refute the notion that all agility dogs need tons of proofing to insure they have a solid understanding of commands, focus on their handler and emotional control they will need for competition. But we have forgotten the other half of the team. That’s right, handlers need proofing too.
Most of us would consider the trials to be our source of proofing, but there is another great way to work on your focus and emotional control on course and that is with games! Not only will these games help you, they will make a great activity to do with all your dog agility friends.
Without further adios, lets look at the games agility people play!
It is a game so start with a fairly simple course with jumps below competition height. Definitely add a trap, but keep with the fun so make it a crazy trap such as connecting two tunnels to make a really long tunnel with a trap next to it. This way “if” the dog and/or handler go off course they are WAY OFF course. Now for the fun.
Take 3 x 5 cards and write a challenge on each one. Be creative in your challenges keeping in mind you are trying to challenge the handler more than the dog. Before each run the handler draws a card and has to do whatever it says.
Here are some example challenges:
We love to see you and your dog dance around the course so that is exactly what you must do! Dance the hula dance between all obstacles.
Hope your dog is really good because for his every fault on course you have to remove a piece of clothing AS YOU RUN THE COURSE! Clothing not watches or jewelry.
Time to work on your focus handler! As you run all others will try to distract you with catcalls, clapping, whistles, bouncing ball and offering food!
Let’s test your multitasking. You have to run this course while only singing “How much is that doggy in the window.” No other words allowed! Your dog must follow your physical cues only!
You have to be think on your feet in dog agility. Run obstacles 1-2-3 and put on what is in the mystery bag at 4, then 4-5-6 and put on what is in the mystery bag at 6 and so on. If your course is smaller, place the bags every two obstacles. Before hand you will have to have placed at least 4 bags on the course with silly, but easy to wear items such as raincoats, huge boots, floppy hats, bunny ears etc.
Run the course holding a Dixie cup of water in each hand without getting soaked.
Use your imagination in creating the cards. The sillier the better! Everyone has a good time, even those who have to hula on course!”