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You owe your agility dog

You decided to do agility with your dog. Maybe you even got your dog specifically with agility in mind.

You know what? You made that decision. You owe your agility dog, for them agreeing to play the game with you.

How do you pay your dog their dues?

  1. You care for their bodies. Dogs competing regularly in agility are athletes and should be treated as so. This means regular cross training, specific fitness, and body work such as physio and/or canine massage. If you can spend money on memberships, seminars, and show entries than you can spend some money engaging appropriate professionals to ensure your dogs body is in top form.

  2. You care for their emotional wellbeing. I'm sorry to say this (well, not really), but if your dog dosent enjoy agility you shouldn't be doing it with them. How comfortable are they in the show environment? In the club environment? In a car while traveling to a show? Your dogs emotional wellbeing matters, and if they are not happy then it's your job to address that.

  3. You let them dog. So you have a top agility dog? They don't have to be perfect all the time. Let them run, sniff, chew, bark. They need it.

  4. You do the work in the other training that your dog needs. Not just agility. There are so many skills that an agility dog needs to cope with agility, and the associated activities. They need to be OK with equipment like leads, coats, they need cooperative care for body work and medical procedures, they need to be able to rest in between runs. They need an agility measurement before they can compete. They need to understand the ring process and delayed reinforcement. And you know what? If you can train weaves, you can train a dog to take a pill without having to force it down their throats.

Have you read this and are feeling pretty good, because you are already doing these things? Awesome, your my people.

Need to make some changes to look after your canine teammate? Don't feel bad, make some changes!

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