I’ve recently travelled back home from this year’s FCI Agility World Championships held in Finland. Being on a plane always gives me time to think… and my thoughts turned to what leads to agility success.
Agility success can be at any level of the sport, from if you are just starting right through to being part of a world team. To me, success in dog agility comes down to two key groupings of elements. I went live on Facebook this week to share those elements AND my take aways from this year’s Agility World Championships. The recording is below for you.
I was on my mobile for the chat, so if you want to watch at a larger size, click on the icon on the lower right of the video to expand it to a full screen. The poll I mention is in our Free Dog Agility Workshops Facebook Group.
2 Key Elements to Agility Success
To recap, it does not matter if you are training your first ever agility dog or you’re working to compete at the world championships of agility, these two elements are the same.
Obstacle Performance: The elements for obstacle performance include our dog’s fitness, criteria breakdown (weaves, tunnels, contacts, the different jumps, tyre and start line), understanding and speed.
Handling Execution: The elements of our handling execution include knowing our dog’s line, knowing our best handling line, proper appreciation of motion, cueing lines for our dog well in advance to allow him to prepare his body and know what path to take, keeping the connection with our dog throughout, and our fitness.
No matter where we are in our agility life, we need to know one thing … our agility dogs are doing the absolute best they can, with the education we have given them, and with the experience of the environment that we are asking them to perform in.
Today I am grateful for the joy Momentum and I shared at the AWC and for the volunteers who do so much to bring us events at this level, and for the opportunity to catch up with my online students who were in Turku!
Update: The Masterclass I mention in the video is over now, but you can get news when we next run a free series for dog agility or open one of our agility programs to join by registering on our Agility Nation and Handling360 notification lists.
I am excited to learn how to improve my movements/timing so I am clear to my dog..
Great info .. need more clarity with cues to my dog and confidence in myself
Need to create more confidence in my dog she is insecure and many places
More confidence more time, more enthusiasm when working !
Any idea of how to keep a deaf Aussie from greeting judges and losing focus on me ???:-)
I am 70 years old and started Agility with my 4 year old Cavie when she was 18 months old. I am fairly fit for my age and absolutely love agility. My baby girl Meisha trains really well we have our excellence title in agility and not far off having our jumping title as well. I had a lot of trouble with her running off and sniffing in the beginning that we worked through but have started sniffing again the last few months at trials.What are you suggestions.
My Border Collie, Bella, has anxiety issues with the teeter. She can do it but hates the vibration and the noise and will often just say no to going on it. She is in her 4th year of agility and is my first agility dog. My teacher says she has not had a dog with this problem for so long before. She used to be able to do the full height on occasion at home but now even at home does a lower height and often does not want to do that either or will suddenly just quit. She also is much happier on my left than on my right. We do FEO in trials in Standard so leave it out in order not to stress her further. Otherwise she loves agility although she sometimes thinks the walkway might be the teeter but is ok with it once she realizes it is not. She does well with the other events and loves Jumpers and Games and continues to progress in those as well as in Steeplechase but our teeter stops us moving on in Standard.
I am excited to learn more, at my own pace so it will resonate with me, how to better communicate with my dog. Thank you!
Mental management for me!!
Thank you Susan for being the beacon of light and hope in our dog/human relationships. I lost my husband 3 years ago to cancer and had to move across the country to live with my brother. Rough times. Our success in agility trials and classes with so many friends seemed to vanish before my eyes in this small town I now call home. My 6 year old Aussie was not focused on me, she has some injuries and our once a year trials were getting worse. Good news though! We signed up for Recallers and this last trial we did much much better! 1st and 2nd place! I can relate with you Susan. I am 62 and life has changed. I’m in really great shape, but my dog bless her heart, has some back leg and shoulder issues. We will keep plugging along with strenghth training and Recallers! Life is always changing, but we can still find enjoyment when we look for it….especially when it’s with our dogs!! Love you Susan!
Very informative! Thank you for all you do for us. See you in the free master class!
Thank you SG, this is excellent and inspiring. You really did a great job on this. I’ve been with you online since you started courses, and I frequently recall an instructor, who I quickly stopped taking lessons from, telling me I was using too many words and would confuse my dog. hahah! That was way before you started online courses. I just figured my dog was SOOOO smart and SOOOO much faster than I she had better know words for what I wanted her to do.
Thank you for amazing article I hope it might help others! Thank you
Many thanks Susan fo all you do for us to understand not only our dogs but ourselves.
I always try hard to execute all I strive to learn with your fantastic explanations. I look forward to joining you on your free handling masterclass.
From Linda ( UK)
Thank you for this amazing video. You are so right – the dog is never wrong.
I’m so sorry to hear about your husband passing. My sincere condolences on your loss of your loved one.