A Chat With the World’s Best In Dog Agility: Take Two
Can you guess who this is in the picture to the left? She is today’s dog agility expert who I will feature in my second instalment of the “World’s Best in Dog Agility” interview. Take a close look . . . and if you guessed Silvia Trkman you would be correct!
Certainly Silvia needs no introduction as her success as with multiple dogs in the sport of dog agility makes “Silvia Trkman” a household name in the sport of dog agility, the world over.
Although our paths have never formally crossed in training it is enlightening for me to see how similar our approaches to success in the sport of agility is: relationship, “trick training” and not focusing on any outcome are the stepping stones on the pathway to success in our sport. Please share what you feel have been your important stepping stones.
Once you listened to what Silvia has to say be sure to check out her website where she shares loads of valuable tips on the sport of dog agility www.lolabuland.com
Today I am grateful of Silvia Trkman and how she continues to push limits in the sport of dog agility. Below are the transcripts of this interview for those who would like to read along, thank you to Mary Ann Brown for providing these to us!
Susan Garrett: I’m here with somebody who needs no introduction and her name is Silvia Trkman. Very, very world famous. Amazing dogs. I think one of the things I admire most about Silvia is her relationship with her dogs. She loves her dogs far more than any sport and it shows. When she’s in there with her dogs. You know I know a lot of you may have already taken Silvia’s online courses. And, uh, so she’s no stranger to any of you out there. Two gold medals in individual? Is that correct?
Silvia Trkman: Ah, Yes.
Susan: And, and, team?
Silvia: Also a couple. And last year, third.
Susan: And, then European Open. You’ve done extremely well there. So, so many gold medals for her. So the number one question I want to ask you is if somebody watching this video is thinking, “I would like to be at the world championships”, what would you think the most important thing that they need to keep in mind?
Silvia: Well, as you noticed, I’m not counting the medals from world championships. And, for the same reason I think is actually the most important to, uh, don’t be too focused on getting to world championships. Or, making that the goal. I think it’s better to focus on having fun with your dog, building the relationship, building the skills you need, and then just getting the best you can from the dog that you have. Not every dog can be world championships. But, um, well, you should just take the dog you have and get the best out of it. I never thought with Bu will win a European Open ever because she was so scared and not a confident dog. Has no accelerations. But, she did, and, um, ya. We never had that as our goal. Our goal was to, ya, just get the best out of my dog.
Susan: So, if they have fun with the dog and they, there’s got to be a difference now; I have fun with my dog and I love my dog and I do all the skills. What makes the difference between running and being a world champion and running and not qualifying?
Silvia: Well, as I said not every dog is able to be a world champion. I mean they need to have the structure. They need to have, um, the nature of speed. I mean I started in agility with a Samoyed and he never won world championships but he did really good for a Samoyed. So, um this, and of course you have, ya, many talented border collies who could win and they will never win. But, it’s mostly, I think, it’s very often because people are too focused on winning.
Susan: I agree 100%
Silvia: They want it too badly and, then um, then, it’s harder. It’s much easier to run without the pressure if you just come here to have fun and to see what the courses will be. And, if you don’t manage, you just say, “Oh, it’s a new challenge I need to train some more. Maybe next year, maybe not, maybe never.”
Susan: So as far as you know you have had a lot of personal success. If you look at Slovenia as a country and all the countries in the World into agility how brilliant they are. How do you think your country rates compared to some of the other ones?
Silvia: I think it’s pretty brilliant because it’s so small. We have like 200 people in the whole country doing any kind of agility.
Silvia: So, it’s just 200 people and I think the average level is really very high because we did really well in Teams, too, and in general they are always placing very high. So considering that we don’t have many people to choose from I think I really like.
Susan: And, do you think there is something in the water in Slovenia?
Silvia: (she laughs)
Susan: Is that the reason for it? Or, is it another reason?
Silvia: Ya, I think it helps that, ya, it’s small so I see everybody every weekend.
Susan: I think that’s a big part of it.
Susan: OK, Last question. On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rank me as my ability to run fast?
Silvia: Hmm. You could run faster….
Silvia: …but you are not trying.
Susan: (laughing) That’s the appearance. 1 to 10 it would be….?
Silvia: Well you could run a 10
Susan: (excited) I could?
Silvia: You could!
Susan: (excited and jumping up and down) I could? Thank you! Ok, thank you to my friend Silvia Trkman. Check out her blog, check out her website. She’s got a lot of great information that’s for free for anybody and also a lot of phenomenal online courses. So, thank you, Silvia.
Silvia: Thank you.