I am so lucky to have such a sweet dog! Jefferson is such a joy and pleasure to train and I am thankful every day for the world of dog agility that he has opened up to me. He is my first dog...EVER and I feel like I hit the doggie jackpot. Over the past few months, our training relationship has gotten closer and the results are evident whenever we run an agility course. I have learned how to better communicate with Jefferson and he has learned how to better trust me to tell him where we are going next on a course. During our Sunday agility “marathon,” we practiced some difficult handling moves, including my blind crossing between jumps, on the flat and not at the exit of a tunnel (an easier move to say the least!) I was so proud of my boy for reading the blind so well (and me for making it to position!) and feel comfortable having this in our handling “bag of tricks.” I may just become the “blind cross queen!” In order for me to get into position and better advance the course using the blind cross, I layered the weave poles and the teeter. This advanced handling move allowed me to get into position and Jefferson read it like a dream! So proud of my boy and how far we have progressed.
I have also learned to execute more post-turns, especially whenever I am choosing a handling move at the end of a running dogwalk. Performing a front cross at the end of a running dogwalk is pretty tough, especially since Jefferson has gotten so much faster and I have not! Again, dog agility is all about options and being able to recognize the various methods of handling your dog on a particular course. I am getting better at doing this, but am still a work in progress and learning during every run. But, I welcome the challenge and look forward to stretching my handling abilities.
Agility has taught me so much – how to train a dog, how to train a handler (ME!), how to be patient and calm, and most importantly, how to enjoy every minute both Jefferson and I are healthy enough to run an agility course together and connect as ONE team.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”