Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How a Tiny Dog Changed my Agility Attitude

The first time I watched an Agility trial I thought, "Oh! How much flipping fun is that?!"

The first 2 years of Agility with my girl, Gilda, completely changed my tune. Agility, it seemed was hardly fun at all! When Gilda wasn't running off, she was shutting down. At home, training sessions were a balancing act of keeping her attention AND keeping her happily working.

The mere thought of giving up my weekends to trial was horrible! I was actually relieved to accept the fact that my beloved Gilda would probably never trial....

{Gilda sittin' pretty}

Then along came Pico... all 8 pounds of him. Our second dog was supposed to be a lap dog and companion. Our second dog was also supposed to be a female...

I had no idea that little dogs were trainable but Pico made that clear from the start. I started taking him to Gilda's classes to give her the frequent breaks she needs and to work on his crate training and distraction skills. I was shocked when he started quickly picking up shadow handling, obstacles, and handler focus. It was really as though he was teaching himself!

It was very apparent that, unlike Gilda, he was really enjoying Agility class and training, and, I was finding class much more enjoyable!

The true change came when I took Pico to his first run-through just 8 weeks into his formal training. I had no idea how he would react to other dogs and handlers being around. In the past, the run-throughs I took Gilda to were disastrous!

Pico, however, acted as though he was in just another Agility lesson! He was willing and able to work through a 10 obstacle Novice Jumpers course a total of 5 times! The runs weren't clean or even pretty but I suddenly had the feeling that "This is so much fun!!"

{Tiny Dog Agility}

I think the Agility bug finally bit me and I'm so proud of my little dog. And don't worry about Gilda... I'll make sure she's doing what makes her happy too.

Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference!

This post is part of a Dog Agility Blog Action Event. If you'd like to read more posts on "Attitude" click here


Catalina said...

I'm so glad things have worked out for you! I'm looking for my 2nd dog that will like agility, because Tibby has told me she doesn't like it :(

Kathy said...

Omg, Pico sounds like so much fun, Gilda sounds like she probably taught you a ton- how lucky are you to have those two special teachers :-). Great post, thanks!

Deb Owens said...

What a cutie he is!! Good luck with him, and yes they all teach us so much!

Dog Steps For Bed said...

It would be nice seeing him in the competition.