Run Agility with the Dog You Brought
Starting out in dog agility may seem to be a huge undertaking especially if you have a dog with issues, you know the ones that you hope dog agility will fix. Confidence for the fearful dog, focus for the distracted, energy outlet for the energetic dog and the list goes on. When you have a dog like this it can be very tempting to look at advanced dogs or dogs that take to team work like ducks to water and start wishing you had that dog and not yours.
It can be very tiring working with your dog if they have issues, but remember in the beginning dog agility is your idea not theirs. You have to sell your dog on the game and how much fun it is, even when they seem uninterested. Keep in mind that every team has it’s issues and while you may not see them now, you have no idea the road they traveled to get to where they are. You also need to keep in mind your dog loves you, he is not looking around envious of the other dog’s wishing he had a handler like them. Your dog only has eyes for you, even when you make a mistake, get frustrated or have a hard time staying focused on a lesson.
And while our goals are wonderful, giving us something to work towards, we also need to take a moment and remember to love the dog we’re with. Don’t let your long-term goals spoil your enjoyment of the time you get to spend with your dog. They love you even if they do pop out on the third weave every time! They wouldn’t trade you for the world, all the cookies in creation, or all the squirrel chasing possible. Ok, maybe for some squirrel chasing.
Love the dogs you’re with, and take them with you towards your goals.