Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm Not a Perfectionist...Or Am I?

Apparently I'm having a little trouble a) heeding my own advice and b) remembering the Golden Rule of Agility. In case you've forgotten, the Golden Rule of Dog Agility (or really dog anything) is "Keep it Fun"! The advice I've given is not to compare your dog or yourself to other Agility Teams. Here's the back story...

Last night after Heeling class (in which we both had fun), I was talking with Delta the Dalmatian's owner about how her Agility classes were going. She said that they recently competed in their first trial. Delta is 2 like Gilda. I asked  how long they've been doing Agility and she replied, "since May". And that's how it all began.

To be perfectly honest, I'm fine if we never trial (I hear everyone saying, "that's what I used to say").  My purpose for starting Agility was to help my dog become a good dog and to bond with her. Gilda has come so far due in large part to her Agility and Clicker training. With all of that said, I couldn't help thinking that I must be doing something wrong! Meanwhile, I don't know how long this person has worked with dogs, how many dogs she's had, if Delta was a well-adjusted pup, when she started training, etc. Egads!

{WTG Gilda!}

Linda said that we had a good class tonight and that we should all be happy. I was thrilled that Gilda seemed happy again and was jumping well and running fast for the first time in a long time. Why then did I find myself  acting disappointed about making handling errors, sighing out loud, announcing my mistakes (which as Linda said, everyone was already aware!) The worst part of all of this is that it truly affects Gilda. Her body droops, her head hangs down, and if she's going to race off mid-sequence this is when she does it.

My attitude with Gilda's Hospital visits is that if it's not fun for her, it won't be fun for anyone. I am very conscious of her stress levels and I work not to push her too far, too fast. I'm thinking this might be a good attitude for Agility too...

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