About this time last year, Jaxon decided that he really wasn’t interested in Agility anymore. I couldn’t understand why a puppy who had loved going to training & playing on the equipment now had no interest whatsoever. At every occasion, he decided running away would be a better option. I felt pretty sad for him, and guilty that I was trying to get him to do things he didn’t want to do. Then it receded to a point where he wouldn’t jump at all, and then I clicked something was wrong.
Each week we bring you training ideas for you and your puppy. We are 100% believers of short and fun training sessions, and we usually train a couple of times a day on foundation skills, with 2 larger sessions a week for Agility and Jumping. As with any sport, it’s also important to know when to rest and recover.
When out and about with Jaxon, I often get compliments at how cute he is, and how very well trained he is. My philosophy is it shouldn’t take long to train your pup, but like any other member of your family, you have to put time in to reap the rewards.
When people ask me what sport I like, I tend to talk about 2 things – Formula 1 and my love of Agility.
As a sport, it’s a very different road than your average sport on a Thursday night. Touch football, netball, Futsal (which I also love), and such are generally the team sports that get mentioned by the water cooler.
The next question people ask is – What is Agility?
To that I reply the most awesome fun you can have with a dog – ever! But really, what is Agility?
We’re not going to be talking about the Wizard of Oz today, but one of the more interesting foundation skills for doggies doing Agility – the Two On Two Off or Contacts training.
Having a small dog, one of the foundations skills I just didn’t worry about was the contact training. As Jaxon gets faster and more confident, however, I’m realising that this really is a necessary part of our training, and something we should at least cover the basics of.
I imagine it to be like one of those Brazilian soccer callers when we cross the line…..”TITLEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
OK, so it wasn’t quite like that. And our title run came out of a run that could have been disastrous.
We took delivery of our first core strengthening tool last week – a wobble board. While the one I bought is good for humans and puppies, there are a lot of others out there with soft plastic on them which are also great to use. I plan to get some of those soon too.
This week was about getting Jaxon stretching and balancing across a range of different exercises.
Mondays come around quickly, and we’ve lots to share again!
This week I feel happy thanks to my new agility shoes that have been absolutely fantastic.
Over wet and soggy agility trials, humid mornings and the days after rain, I found that my old shoes were really starting to wear thin, and my constantly wet feet were not making me a happy handler.
So I went in search of some trail running shoes that would help keep my feet dry & give me some stability.
It’s a beautiful thing when you really start to click with your dog as a team.
I’ve been training my dog for 4 years, 2 .5 of those consistently and through club, and then starting Agility. Over that time I’ve learnt a lot about being a handler, owning a dog, opening my heart, patience and persistence.
There are a lot of talented puppies on the Internet. I’m sure you spend hours looking at them and their kitty friends for a good laugh. When it comes to pure talent, it’s such a joy to watch the elite levels of our sport when they are working.
Last week we talked about doggie friends overseas who are currently participating in various competitions and they are running with out their normal team mates.