First Time Competitor Agility Tips
Adrienne McLean of Richardson, TX is the owner, handler and trainer of one of the most agile dogs in the AKC Canine Partners program - MACH5 James Albert McLean also known as “Jimmy. Jimmy qualified for the AKC Agility Invitational as theOne of the top five All-Americans in the country and also qualified for the AKC National Agility Championships . Adrienne 's two new All-American Dogs are no exception - MACH Jinx Falkenburg McLean and Judy Scott McLean MXJ.
If there is anything I would have liked to know before going into my first essay this would be how m all the questions we were going to get down the line - literally thousands , as well as hundreds of titles.
So rather than worrying about not doing well right away, I would have used each run, like I do now, as a learning experience and a way to identify gaps in our training .
With my third dog in particular, who just turned three, our first runs may have looked like exercises in futility, but they weren't not - neither for me nor for her. Now she too has a MACH and many Qs, so my advice is to make sure, first of all, that you and your dog are trying to enjoy everything what happens in the ring during the first few races - even during the first six months of races or more.
Ideally, you don't compete until your dog has allYour the necessary obstacle skills, of course. But unless you're one of the lucky few who never gets nervous, there is no substitution for real competition , so don't be surprised if your dog is more stressed than usual, because you probably are too.
With my new dog I didn 't repeat any missed obstacles or correct any "mistakes on our first runs - and I try not to correct it much even now." With a few exceptions, most agility dogs need time to build confidence in the ring, and handlers too. I know how annoying it is not to earn a Q you're after, and I myself can't always keep the frustration from showing up when something unexpectedly goes wrong. But I hope my dog doesn't try to "catch me, it's not" to be bad it just isn't.I'm not sure what I want - especially if my voice is louder than normal or my body is tense.
So go to the start line as confident as possible, remember to breathe, and even if your dog is just circling or barking at the judge or sniffing his shoes (like mine ), don't worry, and have your dog pretend that whatever he or she does is okay and will be rewarded and that the ring is a fun place. If you can do it - and of course you socialize your dog to all sorts of distractions and build your relationship outside of the ring, along with the basic sharpening and checking skills, now won't be the time. at all before you're just addicted to the fun of running with your dog and winning Q after Q and title after title along the way.