15 years of Agility

19 Aug

I have been doing agility with my dogs for about 15 years.

First there was Hannah. She really spoiled me. 15 year ago when she did agility there were no handling systems, no weave poles in Novice, and 2-3 trials per year.  I pointed, she took what I pointed at, we won. Very rarely did she not take first place in a class. We stopped trialing because she developed a “skip” in her gait -which is now known as a common JRT trait, but back then got us excused from courses because of lameness.

Hannah - Look how cool the jumps were back then!

Next came Simon my Whippet. I thought how FAST Whippets would be at agility… We trained, went to Camp Weed, Seminars, and Private Lessons.  Simon did agility because I wanted him to do agility – not because he loved it (unlike Hannah who used to drool at the start line) We were kicking BUTT and ranked #4 Whippet in Agility in the US.

I remember our last run. It was in Perry GA at a huge trial. It was the last run of the weekend. We completed a perfect, fast, flawless JWW run and earned our first MACH points. The crowd cheered to see a Whippet out there. That was it. We never ran again. After that he sniffed, walked, and avoided equipment like the plague. We tried a comeback in Preferred with no luck. Looking back, I think the stress of the other dogs barking, especially when we walked by crates and cars did him in.


Mona was next. She weighed 4 pounds and hated every second of it. I was bored though and wanted a dog to train! We competed once, she ran out of the ring, and that was it. I was too nervous about a high drive dog mistaking her for a snack.


So I figured I had such great luck with Hannah, I wanted another Jack Russell. 🙂
Wyatt had lived on a farm before I got him. He was supposed to be a barn dog, but he preferred cattle and that’s why they gave him back to the breeder (and how I got him). He had/has a VERY strong prey drive. Anyway we worked through it. We did five time the amount of camps, seminars, and private lessons that me and Simon did. The good news though for me is that he LOVES agility.


Along with camps and seminars, we were die-hard Clean Run readers, and travelled almost every weekend to trials, all over the South East.  So after ALL of that, we finally made it to Nationals in Tulsa, OK in 2010. We went 5 for 5 and placed 38th out of 200 16″ dogs. Here is one of the runs.

So after all of that, me and Wyatt took a year off. We did lots of walking, terrier trials and visits to dog bakerys. So after that year off – we are “coming back” to agility this fall. Not every weekend, not every trial, but we miss it. Our first trial after our one year plus break is in September – and we can’t wait.



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