Between the Obstacles

Welcome to my blog!  Excuse the dog hair.  It comes with the territory.

If you follow me on facebook you know I love my dogs and cannot resist taking their photographs, but what do they think and what would they say if they could finally get on the keyboard?

Well, as the saying goes, every dog has his day, but today I’m going to start the ball rolling.


The other morning a new student and her puppy came for a private lesson.  The two clearly have a great relationship blossoming.  The handler is intent upon doing the right thing for her puppy and the puppy is happy to play all the games with her.  With their combined positive attitudes I am confident they will enjoy the obstacles and more importantly, they will enjoy the bits between the obstacles just as much. 

I have each student answer various questions.  Does your dog like toys?  Does your dog like food?  Does your dog like other dogs?  Does your dog like other people?  The answer was a resounding “Yes” to all.

Next came the big question.  What do you like most about your dog?

Most handlers answer “Everything” or “Happy attitude” or “eager to please” or “he’s a fun-loving guy” or “she’s my best friend”.  These answers always make me smile and whether their intention is to go on to compete or not I know they are off to a good start in their agility careers. 

This particular puppy reminded me of a dog I had trained a long time ago.  After they left I wondered how many dogs I have introduced to agility or helped along the way since I started “teaching the occasional lesson” in the 1990s.  Going through the introduction 

sheets I found that number to be around 430 people and 450 dogs.  As I glanced through the sheets I remembered every dog and handler.  Many are my friends today.  Some have returned with several generations of their dogs.  I remembered how excited I was to get to know them and their dogs and to introduce them to this fun sport called dog agility.  

So there it is.  The reason I teach private agility lessons.  I enjoy helping dogs and handlers enjoy the sport, but above all, I enjoy teaching them to love the bits between the obstacles.

Have a great day.  Tell your dogs they are good.  Give out rewards as if somebody else paid for them. 

Talk to you later!

For more on the mental game of Dog Agility, check out “Because Agility is a Mental Game”.

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