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My first time viewing a trial up close!

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Wow! I had such a blast. It really made me feel like I could be a good handler (We've been considering a BC ) . I noticed how big a difference a good handler could make...the dogs that did the best had handlers who were calm, very good at keeping the dog's attention with clear signals, and who had figured out ahead of time how to stay out of the dog's way! I'm curious, does a dog have to be purebred or registered to compete? I didn't see any mixed breeds around. I think my favorite part was this: many people were complaining about the weave poles in our arena (one of two) listing to the side, and being confusing to the dogs, and I did indeed see many dogs have problems who ran a beautiful rest of the course. One BC ran the course and missed the last pole, which was VERY crooked from where I was sitting. He finished the course and seemed to get a good score, but boy, he knew something went wrong, and he was MAD! He chewed his owner out (two or three good barks with his tail tucked) at the end of the course. It really felt like he knew that course was messed up and had some choice comments to make. I can't wait to see more agility trials. I was fascinated by how focussed some of the borders were just before their runs...they didn't appear aware of anything but the course.


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Guest Dynamite Tess

Hi Saille

Here in England any dog can enter agility trials but has to be registered with our Kennel Club. A cross breed can be resgistered for trials but not showing. In competition woe betide any judge, show organiser or ring manager who allows any piece of equipment to be out of place for any one dog running the course. I usually 'jump steward' when our club holds their show and I am meticulous. I feel every dog is entitled to a perfectly set up course and have no qualms about holding proceedings up to notify the judge of an unsteady or crooked piece of equipment. Before handlers walk the course, judges usually go round and measure each hurdle and the tyre to make sure everything is at the correct height. Some of our trials are held on sand and sometimes the entrance to a tunnel can get quite worn away. Again every now and then, things are held up while the problem is sorted. If you ever get the chance to watch mini dogs in action do go along. These little dogs are a treat to watch expecially when it comes to the see-saw [i think Americans call it the teeter tooter] If you haven't started agility yet, just keep on studying those other handlers until you do. Check out what they do and the response they get, but remember that not all dogs work the same. Both my girls do agility, yet one works wide and the other sticks close. If you really think you are going to get into the sport and go to another trial, it is always worth approaching the organisers to ask if you can do anything to help, like picking up the jumps that are knocked down, or helping at the score table. Over here, no help is turned away. Regards, Val

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Hi Saille,- it sounds like you might be getting the "agility bug" Hope you do cause its really a blast. Dont know where you are located, but here in B.C.(Canada)any type of dog(as long as it is healthy) can compete in the trials. Also, at the beginning of each trial day is the "walk-thru". It is at this point that you, as a handler, can check out the course lay-out and the equipment set-up for safety standards. Anything you think is wrong or unsafe can be brought to the judges attention for correction. Hope you get more involved in the sport and enjoy-it is fun for both the dog and you! Heather & Monty

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