Looking at Blackspot, resting on a yoga mat, tummy full of dinner, it’s hard to imagine her running around, let alone doing agility.
But that’s the point, you don’t know what your dog likes until you try it.
We tried agility when we first adopted Blackspot. We had just completed basic obedience and wanted something a little more challenging, more mentally challenging for our new smart puppy.
Plus I thought it’d be a bonding experience for the two of us.
Because while my husband and I both attended the basic obedience classes, agility was really for Blackspot and me. She still saw me as an interloper in her queendom with my husband. It didn’t matter that I was the one who fed her – associating me with food and treats didn’t turn the tide.
But agility did, kinda.
What is agility?
Agility is an obstacle course that a dog goes through, under the commands of the owner, who leads the dog around each obstacle in turn. Obstacles include weaving through poles, going through tunnels, walking on narrow planks, jumping through tires…In the competitive world, this is a highly competitive sport and the dogs are extremely fit and athletic.
But it is also a really fun sport, just something to do with your dog and for your dog to gain confidence, expend some energy, and get out of the house!
Exposing your dog to new situations in a supportive and fun manner is a great way for him/her to become more confident and less fearful. It makes for a happier dog, and a happier family!
Every time your dog and you overcome an obstacle, it is exhilarating. Many dogs won’t go through a tunnel, or walk the plank. Some dogs aren’t agile or very coordinated. This is what I thought of Blackspot; after all, on our very first walk, she fell off a sidewalk curb.
But let me tell you, Blackspot was amazing. Fearless, she ran down that narrow plank, that I was sure I would fall off myself. Tunnels? No problem (as long as a treat was on the other side). Sometimes she may just run around the tire but she got the idea. Weaving the pole? Ok..slowly, but ok.
It wasn’t the time or even the completion of the course that mattered. It was the excitement we both felt. Blackspot can be a stubborn little puppy. When she doesn’t want to do something, she won’t. I have to say it was a good bonding experience and forever, I will have that memory of her tackling the plank, like a pro.
If you want to try it out, check out the Singapore Kennel Club website. I’ve never been there so I can’t vouch for it. Remember, as with everything, safety first!