Young Agility Dogs Need To Test Their Skills In Different Locations!
When I entered my competition dogs MACH NATCHS-4 VERS NATCHS JET, NATCH NATCHS VERS NATCH STEELE, and NATCHS ANGEL , HPS-E, TGS-E, WVS-E in the Las Vegas March show I knew it was fenced… so I decided to enter my young dogs (Boots and Ranger) in tunnelers and jumpers, so they could see what it was like to do agility in a new location, even though they are not “ready” to compete. My goal is for them to compete in the Fall.
Entering them in the Las Vegas show was a perfect experience because my expectations were appropriate for their level of training!!!
I viewed their entries as “Agility Fun Runs,” where they could practice listening to me, find jumps and/or tunnels, follow directions, see pole setters and a judge, experience EZ Ups blowing in the wind (it was the windy city of Las Vegas after all), and work our way through a course.
Great novice courses helped Boots and Ranger bring home placement ribbons and qualifying ribbons – which was icing on the cake, but what really matters to me is that they got to deal with the different level of distractions that can only be duplicated at a show.
Distraction training is so important with dogs – with even something as simple as sit.
My dog training clients are frequently surprised when their dog who sits perfectly at home, cannot sit at my facility, or the park, or PetSMART, or the veterinarian’s office. A behavior is truly “learned” when a dog can do it anywhere.
Will I take Boots and Ranger to practice their “Agility Fun Runs” at recognized shows?
Yes. Because in my area agility practice matches aren’t available.
And I recognize that if I want them to be show ready in the Fall, just walking them around the outside of an agility ring at the show is an important step, but it’s not the only step to prepare them for showing.
May you always have the
Best Agility Dog Ever!
ps I am including one of Boots’ runs at the Las Vegas Agility show.