Tag Archives: dog agility

Great weekend of agility in Asheville.

23 Jan

Wow what a weekend at the Blue Ridge Agility Trial in Asheville!

Wyatt Cleans up!

On Friday morning we headed up to Asheville for 2 days of Agility.   Wyatt had 4 perfect runs -which earned him 2 “Double Q’s” A Double Q means you get two qualifying runs in the same day. A qualifying run has to be flawless.  To qualify for the AKC agility nationals, you need 6 QQ’s for the entire year, so earning 2 in two days gave is a great head start. This puts is 8 QQ’s away from MACH!

We were struggling somewhat last year in agility – with  one minor wrong move here or there which would cost us the run. What was also happening was Wyatt was getting faster and faster and more and more “hyped”. Trying to navigate 19 obstacles with a dog in the mode isn’t fun – and feels like driving a Ferrari on ice.  Part of what I find so fun about Agility is the teamwork.  The trials at the end of 2011 felt more like I was trying to just hang on. He also started to bark at me through many parts of our runs. In the past he only barked at me when I made a mistake 😛

This weekend I tried something different. Instead of getting Wyatt “geared up” before running (tugging, lots of tricks, running around), I tried a more calming approach to our warm-up.  Some massage, heeling,  sit stays.  He was focused, on task, with minimal barking. I thinking this calming warm-up is the way to go! We’ll see what happens at our next trial in Tennessee in a few weeks.

Here is one of our runs.


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.