C is for competition!

Posted on Friday, February 3, 2012 by Jo Clarke

Starting up again soon is the agility season! Boots and myself are looking forward to entering some more local shows and hopefully winning some prizes along the way! We didn’t do as many as we had hoped to last year, mainly due to a very busy business which I cannot complain at! We have been training when we can (although the weather hasn’t really been in our favour) and will really get back into the swing of things once I get all the agility equipment out again at Golden Valley Vets in Nailsea! We are also keeping our eyes open for a bit of flat land locally in Portishead to rent where I can set up some equipment for training. Please send me an email if you know of anyone with a little bit of land they could spare! Our Portishead training paddock is great, but its slightly undulating levels make it not really suitable for agility! Boots loves doing agility and all the play and reward he associates with training for it! Most of all he likes the extra one-to-one time he gets to spend with me away from the other dogs! Anyone interested in having a go at learning some of the very basics for fun should book on to the Beginners Fun Agility classes which I will be running from Golden Valley Vets in Nailsea from April to September.

I have also decided to enter Mac into his first Working Trials Competition. We have a little way to go on the training, mainly on the ‘Sendaway’ which requires the handler to send the dog to a designated point as picked out by the judge (e.g.hedge, bush, tree) on command- This exercise is much like the ‘send to bed’ command which we practise in our advanced class but much further in distance, and without a bed at the end! I will enter him into the ‘Intro’ stake for our first efforts, which is the entry level for newcomers to the sport. Now all I have to do is find a trial which isn’t too far from Bristol. Being a ‘sport’ with fewer numbers that dog sports like Obedience and Agility, you often have to travel all over the country for Working Trials.

The main reason however for doing all these things with my dogs is just for fun, I am not super competitive, and only want to do it for enjoyment purposes and because the dogs seem to love their training so much! I won’t ever be a hard-nosed, serious, competitive type- that’s just not me! Watch this space for more updates!