Last week Leskie and I entered our first Kennel Club agility competition. I say first, if I am completely honest we did enter one about a year and a half ago. We waited three and a half hours, we managed five obstacles before she squatted in the middle of the ring and pooped. I was prompted escaughted out of the arena and eliminated. Lesson learnt. No matter how many toilet breaks you take, take one more just before!
Anyway back to our first real competition. I really enjoyed it. Leskie has come a long way in the last couple of years and I was so pleased to see how well she focused and took direction in a super distracting environment. It was quite the experience. So here’s a video of our first Kennel Club jumping competition. We got five faults for re-entering the tunnel. In hindsight I think that because I sent her into the tunnel on my left arm she was expecting to turn right in the tunnel to come and meet me, but the tunnel went left which is effectively away from me. I had never noticed this issue before but hey its something to practice. Otherwise, I think she did super. Excuse the pixelated view of the video, it turned out really dark and was hard to see so I had to try ‘brightening’ it.
The next video is of our first Kennel Club agility competition. Note: agility involves the contact equipment (climbing frames), jumping does not. For this competition I missed the opportunity to walk the course because, lets face it, I was a bit lost in the whole show! Its very hard to understand where to go. This meant that I could only learn the course by watching those going before me. I didn’t feel this was much of an issue as I don’t struggle to remember courses generally. However, what I underestimated was remembering all the commands at the right time. You will see that I royally mess up the course after the weaves and before the dog walk because I got in a right muddle and didn’t give Leskie any indication of where to go. This inevitably lead to her crashing a jump, which she never does! Bless her. Another lesson learned, always walk the course!
Here’s how I would have liked to have run that section of the course…
Pro Dog School. Reward the good, prevent the bad.
About the Author: Holly Keeling. Dog Trainer in Sussex, England. Mother to furrbaby Leskie 5yrs and little humans Teddy 3yrs and Louie 1yr. Outdoor lover. A blog about raising kids and dogs and my life as a dog trainer. View more blogs here.