Our parents have had plans on agility even before Lexie but have been putting it off as they wanted us to complete our basic obedience class and we had to wait till after Lexie turned One.
What Is Dog Agility?
Dog agility is a competitive sport that tests a person’s skills in training and handling of dogs over a timed obstacle course. Competitors race against the clock as they direct their dogs to jump hurdles, scale ramps, burst through tunnels, traverse a see-saw and weave through a line of poles in an obstacle course configuration designed to challenge a handler’s competitive and training skills. With scoring based on faults similar to equestrian show jumping, dog agility has become an exciting spectator event.
A few months back, Lexie started her Basic Manners class with Michelle from PupPupNAway and graduated on 3rd April 2015. Michelle was starting novice agility classes on the 11th April 2015 and humom knew we had to join as the timing was just right. Lexie will be turning two and we’d both completed our basic obedience classes!
There were a total of six weekly lessons every Saturday. But due to bad weather, some lessons had to be pushed to the following week so it took us a little longer to complete the six lessons! During the lessons, the humans learnt about body awareness, that us dogs read your body language to try and figure out where they would like us to go next etc. Humom still needs a ton of practice as she’s constantly being reminded of her “chest laser”.
For the both of us, we’re pretty handler focused so Michelle said that the parents have to train us and get us to be more obstacle focused. We were taught how to land in the manner that will not hurt us. We were also taught to run through the tunnel.
The humans were taught to handle us on both left and right side and heading in different directions. They were also taught the different “turns/switches” to switch us from right to left side or vice versa.
During water breaks, we get to explore and go for toilet breaks.
Humom: I’ve been struggling to keep Lexie’s focus on me during classes as she’s not very food motivated. We’ve tried dehydrated treats, boiled treats and even freeze dried treats but she gets bored of the treats usually within 20mins of class and would plonk on the floor and not move or wander off on her own. During the fourth lesson, I decided to bring her tennis ball as she loves playing ball at home but not outside but I had nothing to lose so why not. I started class with treats but like I mentioned, within 20mins, she got bored of the treats. I brought the ball out to see if I could catch her attention and it did! She gave me full attention for the remaining 40mins of class and we even played fetch after! It was the first time she played fetch outside and played to the extend that her tongue hung out so long as shown in the picture below.
Lexie was recovering from tummy issues so she didn’t attend our last lesson. It was a plus for me, Lycan, as it meant more alone time with the parents and I even got to practice with humom after class! She was free during class so she managed to snap a few pictures of my classmates and I in action.
Baileys love running away from the course and humom managed to make a gif of Michelle trying to catch him.
Lexie was diagnosed with grade 1 & 2 luxating patella recently. It came as a total shock to the parents as it was something they never thought will happen. The vet said no more agility for Lexie and no vigorous exercises like running. Intermediate classes start mid July so the parents are planning on getting a second opinion for Lexie and I’ll go for a check up to see if there are any issues before class starts. Cross our little toes that all goes well and that we’ll be able to start intermediate class in July!
Lycan & Lexie