I was eating my breakfast this morning thinking about what I want to accomplish at the three day workshop I have starting today. The workshop is primarily young, adolescent agility dogs, those either just embarking on an agility career or those that have yet to start. In my preparation I realize what my objective is really is to help people define their goals. Before you can really define your goals you have to be able to visualize exactly what the brilliance you are after looks like.
So think about the agility dog and handler team of your dreams. If you need some fuel for your dreams sit down and watch the runs from a recent World Championship. You can pick up a copy of last year’s FCI Championships from the Clean Run website. You should have this DVD in your library. Everyone should have at least one copy of the elite in the sport. Just watch some of the runs and start to define agility brilliance for yourself. What does that look like? Aside from the physical abilities of the handler, what trained skills would this brilliant dog possess?
Here is my list of what I came up with this morning. Trained skills of the most brilliant agility dog your mind can visualize
2) Runs in “squirrel speed” around the course
3) Ability to drive lines. She locks her head on a line and doesn’t look up until the run is over (ie doesn’t have an unbalanced value for the handler over the obstacles)
4) Comes off any obstacle when prompted by her handler’s body cues (ie doesn’t have an unbalanced value for the obstacles over the handler)
5) Amazing tight turns.
6) Lightning responses to her handler’s cues: front cross, rear cross, threadle arms, post turns, accelerations and deceleration cues.
7) Full independent obstacle understanding (does not relay on the handler’s speed or body position for her ability to complete any obstacle at full speed).
Ok, that is what I came up with this morning. You guys have anything to add?
Today I am grateful for the amazing group of enthusiastic students I am about to work with this weekend (putting the power of visualization to work for me 😉 )