AG170: Agility From Backyard to Competition

Instructor: Julie Daniels

Course Details

You already know about generalizing and proofing and taking your skills on the road. But it is very difficult not to feel discouraged when those beautiful weaves in the backyard become “what weaves?” in competition. When your accurate, confident jumper at home can't keep his bars up at the show. When your eager, focused dog at practice becomes impossible to control when the Q is on the line.

Whether your dog stresses 'down' or 'up,' whether your canine partner in the backyard is serious or lighthearted, whether you have focus problems in general or whether you seem beautifully connected right up until you go into the ring, there is help for you in this class. We are all about being ready to enjoy and do your best in agility trials.

Your dog's skill set, and your own, will be tested in competition. The holes in your foundation will open up, that's for sure. We will make room for work on individual obstacle weaknesses in our Gold homework threads, as each team will have different obstacle performance polishing needs. But this class is really about the bigger picture of competition.

Every week in our homework exercises, we will build and rehearse most of the combinations of events which will be in play as we travel, settle in, get ready to run, and then perform a long list of obstacle performance requirements in our classes. No two courses are alike, and there are countless possible ways for problems to arise. We can minimize the effects of the newness of competition for inexperienced dogs and handlers by being ready for anything. And we can also help experienced dogs and handlers who have problems with the unique situation of the agility trial environment. We will cover so many combinations of experiences in class that the busy agility scene will feel familiar before you get there. We will rehearse the focus and connection we want, and we will bring that to the show with a relaxed and open-minded readiness to have a good show day.

This class will welcome teams who are new to competition as well as teams who already have problems in the context of agility competition. You will need to make local road trips and you will need to enlist the occasional help of friends, neighbors, or fellow dog people. You might have to be creative now and then with props and set-ups to practice certain skills and situations. But I promise you, it will be enlightening, it will be FUN, and it will do your relationship a LOT of good both inside and outside of the agility ring!


Welcome to AG170!