Dog Agility Obstacles are not Always Equipment pt 3
Sometimes our obstacles in dog agility really are not obstacles at all. Unfortunately, people can cause us to fail or give up by having prejudices against us, our dogs, or our style. Other times it is our own mind that gets into the way and we don’t know how to ask for help. Thankfully these viewers share their stories of success, failure, and how they got through it so that you can be a winner just like them.
Donna Work says
When first starting agility (and even some now), my biggest obstacle is thinking that I wouldn’t be able to remember a course once I’m out there with my dog. Things are going too fast for me to pay attention to the numbers. I was afraid that between me trying to direct my dog, paying attention to her, and making sure I was doing the right thing, that I would get lost on the course. I soon found that I COULD remember the course, even after advancing to more difficult levels! Now, I can even learn a course just in the walk time, without having studied it beforehand. If I can do it, anybody can!
scotsgirl Annie says:
Well as newbies to the sport we are having quite a hilarious time with our beautiful blue heeler, wee Annie. She takes to the obstacles much faster than we can keep up with her! Oh and we can use the pause table we just made from scratch (sorry Affordable Agility- your prices are great, but not quite as cheap as Home Depot) for our parties and we can also take turns on the seesaw (honestly it works, the base is from your company, THANK YOU!). I am having problems jumping through the tire jump, and even tho my dog is small, I cannot jump 20 inches (how pathetic). But the hardest obstacle for me personally is the chute…
Uh-oh, my partner just told me she read the AKC rules and regulations and only the DOG is supposed to actually do the obstacles, oh well, live and learn!
I recently found out that I have pretty bad arthritis in my feet, of all the darned things. I’m a very active person and this just really smacked me down hard. I was wondering why my feet were hurting so much at trials. I would walk my courses in such agony I wondered how I could possibly run the course. But somehow the adrenaline kicks in and I feel no pain while running, but after I get off the course I about die! So for me, now, my biggest obstacle is keeping myself healthy enough (and pain free enough) to continue to play the game my dogs love so much. I am working with my doctor to accomplish this, but unfortunately there is not a lot they can do for arthritis in your toes. I have created my own special inserts in my shoes to take some of the pressure off and it’s helped so far. Surgery just isn’t an option for me … yet.
I became a poodle Mom in December of 2007. I got Gidget for Christmas that year. She was the runt of the litter and my vet did not expect her to get very big. SURPRISE! She is a beautiful, solid white standard poodle. We began taking Household manners classes when she was 8 1/2 months old. At the end of the course, just for fun, the instructor set up some simple agility equipment and had us try to get our dogs through the obstacles. Gidget took to it like a duck takes to water. She is so energetic and not afraid to try anything. We are still in the beginning stages having taken 3 basic agility courses but she is doing great. She absolutely loves weave poles and tunnels. I have since fenced in additional land, put in several pieces of equipment and we are having a blast. She goes bonkers when I ask her if she is ready to go to “work?” It is not work for her, it is pure joy. We are building a bond that is unbreakable. I am looking forward to our first competition down the road. Until then we will continue to “work” and enjoy agility and each other.
After taking several sessions of agility lessons with a ten year old Ridgeback many years ago, I discovered that it was going to take a lot for me to negotiate the courses at anything past a slow walk. My dog was enjoying himself, but I consistently got lost mid-course. I could not sufficiently recall the course layout enough to overcome my difficulty in finding the next obstacle. The group I was training with became insistent that my old dog begin jumping full height and generally were less than complimentary about working with hounds. At that point, I became disenchanted with agility and decided to take a break from the sport.
I never gave up, though my old dog left me. With the advent of Rally, I began working through courses that way, learning to negotiate the signs and course patterns at a more comfortable speed. At last, I’ve gotten another Ridgeback boy and we are taking agility classes again with a new trainer in a much more positive environment. We haven’t made it through an agility course yet, but “the new kid” is showing such great interest that I just have to try again. Wish us luck as we slooowly introduce enough obstacles that I can try again to negotiate a course at something past a walk. I think we’ll find a way to succeed this time around!