Day 15: My Little Agility Star

Bailey just finished up the last class in his latest round of agility training.  So today’s post is all about Bailey and his agility.  (Photo taken for today was taken out in our yard with Bailey’s own tunnel, not at class)

Bailey has been doing agility for about a year now.  Although it started when he was a puppy, and we made him his first jump out of some pvc pipe.  From that moment, I knew it would be something that he would enjoy doing and looked forward to getting into it with him in the future.

It took a while to find the right training club to do it with, but eventually we found a local club, and we signed up for “Small Dog Agility for Fun.”  It was perfect for us.  Not only did we start learning the basics of agility and handling and the equipment, but the class was also focused on ways that we can implement and practice agility at home.

I also loved that it was focused on fun, rather than competing.  Bailey absolutely loves agility.  It is fun for him, and  he is fearless when it comes to trying new obstacles, so he learns rather quickly.  He is also a speed demon when it comes to running the courses.  However, if dogs could officially be diagnosed with ADD, Bailey would have it.  Bailey’s attention span comes and goes.  I am also convinced that Bailey does agility for himself, not for me.   The reason he does the agility isn’t to obey me or to please me.  He does it because he has fun doing it.  What does this mean?  Well it means that sometimes he gets really excited and will just run the entire course and do the obstacles before I say it’s okay to go.  It means that he sometimes finishes a course, and his reward for himself is to turn around and run the course backwards.  When he gets tired and is done, he checks out.  It doesn’t matter what I ask him to do.  He doesn’t do agility for me.  He does it for himself.  So when he is done, he’s done, and there is no fighting him about it.  Then there are some days that his nose takes over his brain and all he wants to do during class is sniff the floor at the training club for treats that other people dropped.   Most days, he does listen and obey really well, but some days he just can’t focus that little brain of his.

Here is an example of Bailey’s ADD and excitement getting the best of him when practicing his agility. (This video was taken last Summer)

So for all those reasons, he probably wouldn’t be the best at competing, however it is a wonderful thing for us to do together for fun.  So many people don’t understand how important it is for dogs to not only get physical stimulation but also mental stimulation.  Dogs LIKE to think.  They LIKE, no they NEED, to have their mind challenged.  Agility is great for that, and it is something that we get to do together, so it builds our relationship and communication for every day life as well.

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19 Comments to “Day 15: My Little Agility Star”

  1. that’s cute.. I love that he loves it that much that he does it for himself. Sometimes I think luna is like that with hunting. She would much rather be able to do her own thing and not have so many rules. But a lot of them in hunting are for her own safety. I hope to do agility with her eventually, gotta get some other titles finished first.
    Hope you had a good weekend
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

    • Yea, hunting definitely wouldn’t be a good thing for her to be able to do her own thing and make her own rules. I would recommend agility to any dog owner whose dog has a drive for it. It is a wonderful sport for both the dog and human. Hopefully you can do it with Luna in the future :)

  2. Loved today’s post! It’s so important to remember that playing agility is supposed to be just that – playing! Agility should be fun and enjoyable for both the dog and human. You and Bailey are a great reminder that fun needs to be the focus of this sport :)

  3. Loved this post! Really made me feel motivated to get out in the cold and building my own PVC jumps :)

  4. My internet is slow today so there was just a blank spot where the picture was supposed to be. As I began to read suddenly…POP..Baily appeared all at once surrounded by rainbow color. What an adorable pic!!
    As I write this I am still waiting for the video to load. But wow, this agility stuff looks so fun.

  5. ahhh It looks like he was trying to trick you into giving him more treats evey time he went through the tunnel.

    • He actually didn’t care about the treats that day. I don’t know if you noticed but one time when he actually did make it through all 3 when I said to go, at the end I tried to give him a treat and he didn’t even take it. He just turned around and started running back up the A-Frame.

      The back and forth of tunnels was more of a “Okay Lets Go!” *runs through tunnel* thinks “Why aren’t you at the end of the tunnel waiting for me, Mom?” “Ah okay, I’ll come back.” *runs back* “Okay, Lets go!” over and over again :P He didn’t want to wait for me to start, but he didn’t want to continue without me.

  6. Aww, Bailey’s expression in the tunnel is adorable! Bailey looks fantastic in the video, too. I was at the dog park a couple of weekends ago and I saw our local kennel club setting up agility equipment for a lesson. The dogs looked like they were having so much fun. I would love to try out agility training with Maple, but she has such short legs that I wonder if she’ll be able to make it over a jump…

    • The size of the dog isn’t really a problem with agility. Bailey is small too and jumps are just adjusted based on the height of the dog. A small dog would never be expected to perform a jump of a dog bigger than him. It’s all relative to their own size. bet you and Maple would probably really enjoy it!

  7. He is very good! There is an agility class here that is also for fun, perhaps the new puppy will like to do that! Reese isn’t the right build for a lot of it but would probably enjoy jumping over the pipe. It is very true that they always need mental stimulation besides the physical. Reese likes to find things, which gives him a chance to work things out

    • Finding this is a great mind exercise for them. There are so many great games that you can play with your dog to get them the mental stimulation they need. Agility isn’t for all dogs, but I think its wonderful for dogs who have the drive for it :) All dogs are different.

      Another thing we have for Bailey are puzzle games/toys (highly recommend Nina Ottosson toys, though they can be a bit pricey) where he needs to find and work out how to get treats, which he loves and gets so excited whenever I take it out to play with him.

  8. Great photo of a very enthusiastic dog!

  9. Isn’t that a beautiful picture? he is so cute, I think agility is great fun for little dogs. I’ve never done it seriously as my preferred discipline was /is Competition Obedience, I love the control part and the tidiness, but had I another life running alongside this one, now isn’t that just too daft? LOL, I would have done agility, good luck to the little bright star.

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