Article forwarded by Caroline Perks
Three years ago, I took up agility with Oscar (Jassendue Highlander). I wanted an activity that we could do together that would channel his enthusiasm and focus his excitability.
What exactly is agility?
It’s an obstacle course for a team that consists of a handler and a dog. The handler directs the dog through a predetermined pattern of obstacles.
A course usually has 12-18 obstacles, like tunnels, jumps, weave poles, and the big “ramp” obstacles collectively known as contacts.
The dog runs the course off-leash and the handler can’t touch the dog. The human half of the team relies on body language and, to a lesser extent, vocal cues, to tell the canine half where to go.
Why take up agility?
Agility is open to people of all ages and athletic ability. It is a fun and stimulating sport for dogs that stretches them physically and mentally, providing new challenges and a fun environment in which to learn. It improves off-leash reliability, whilst training is reward based and provides a fun way of gaining a closer working bond with your dog whilst giving them an appropriate outlet for their mental and physical energy.
When we first started training, Oscar used to take off around the perimeter of the field in hunt mode whilst off-leash. However, as we made progress and the training became fixed in his mind, Oscar stopped doing this and found he enjoyed this new sport. He picked it up quickly, me less so! We love our weekly lessons and also have equipment to train with at home. We are yet to enter a competition but that is our long term goal.
So now you know a little more about this sport why not give it a try?
Our breed has everything needed to take on those Border Collies and give them a run for their money…
[ezcol_1third_end]Here’s another Brittany competing with the Isle of Man Dog Club. Magic (Happy Magic Spirit des Mirages D’Azur) owned by Tom Radcliffe but is trained and competes with Wendy Radcliffe. Magic clearly loves to sing to Wendy as he gallops around the agility course. Well done Magic and a beautiful photo too![/ezcol_1third_end]