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I’ve yet to work with a new agility student who didn’t start off thinking agility was about dogs doing obstacles. Little secret: it’s not. A few days ago I started with a great new student who has a really fun dog, who started off our first session with, “I went to a trial recently to watch, it looked too simple, too easy for my dog.” I smiled. And we began.
A slight change of foot direction, a flick or drop or raising of the arm, a turn of the head, shoulders went that way, and whoops, where’d the dog go? Why’d she do that? The jump was right there! Quickly beginners get an inkling, wow this is more challenging than it looks! Not just point and shoot. There is finesse, communication, dance, a whole new language to learn. And so much fun!
In agility, the devil is in the details. The obstacles are generally the easiest part to teach. What really makes agility fun and addictive is the nuances of handling and path. Agility is really about what happens between the obstacles. Amazing how much can occur in a scant 20′.