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This year we participated in both days of a local agility seminar taught by national trainers. Last year we went for only one day. About 6 months ago I took agility trials off the table because I felt frustrated at lack of progress. This seminar showed me just how far we’ve come in a year. The instructors were so helpful and validated some things I’d heard from my agility teacher and training friends; I just hadn’t continued the work.

Maybe this is a pitch to not give up and to take advantage of extra training opportunities. It was also beneficial to see my dog through others’ eyes, including my favorite barn hunt judge who was in the same seminar. She shared her observations of how my dog hunts in barn hunt (the consumate professional) and his pure joy at agility. So kind of her. She also said that our dogs would be a good pair at barn hunt nationals . . that would be a blast!

These photos are fuzzy because they’re taken from video. But I think they show joy!
 

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Oh that looks like fun. I am so glad you are pushing through your frustration and listening to other trainers. It's hard when you feel like you ran into a wall with your training to figure out where things are going wrong. Did the seminar jump start your desire to trial in agility? It looked like it jump started your dog!
 

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Yes, Click, I now believe that it’s possible for me to handle my dog in agility. He’s so big and fast that I lamented he didn’t have a more experienced trainer. The instructors talked about setting criteria and acting on it. For example, being willing to walk off the course if you’re dog breaks its start line stay if that’s the criteria. It was helpful to see experienced handlers dealing with similar issues. The co-owner of the agility facility where I train has a creeping border collie. She took him off the field the first time he did this and he became better as the day progressed.

This morning I met the regular agility practice group at the club. I employed the tactics from the seminar and had two clean runs. I wasn’t the only surprised person there.

The other idea that struck me from the weekend was preparation for practice. I often feel tired before class and am bringing my job with me in my head. This isn’t lost on my dog. It will be interesting to see if the new strategies carry over into obedience training.
 

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It’s wonderful that you had such a positive experience.

I’ve taken seminars with my trainers in agility and it was fun to see the national trainer making the same comments to my trainers that they make to me.

I see dog training is always a work in progress. I’m like you, I have a very fast dog and I’m so slow that I wish she had a more experienced younger trainer. We are learning to work together as a team.
 
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