My philosophy

My philosophy on agility

I don’t really have strict rules for agility, maybe a few guidelines. I am very flexible and open regarding the ideas of others’ handling and training. Although I encourage my ideas of handling and training I am not one of those people that insist there is only one way.

The only rules I have really are these:

First rule

If you are training your dog and it gets the exercise wrong twice in a row then make it easier the third time. If your dog fails two times in a row then it doesn’t understand so make it a tiny bit easier so that the dog can succeed and you can reward the correct behaviour. I do not believe in letting dogs fail and having to work things out themselves. Let’s do our best to communicate with them what we do want, it’s so much more positive and creates happy stress-free dogs.

Second rule

Stop nagging the dog. No telling the dog off and certainly no harsh handling which includes intimidating stares etc. Dogs do not speak our language, they are not naughty. If they are doing it wrong then it’s because they do not understand or we have indirectly made something far more rewarding than what we are asking.

Third rule

Reward reward reward, pay your dogs for the correct behaviour and pay them well. Would you work all week to be ignored or just a pat on the head? I use a toy as a reward but whatever the dog thinks is the best thing ever, whether it be treats, toys, a swim or a squirrel (oops not really). Verbal praise is generally not enough.

Fourth rule

Never run or train your dog if you suspect an injury, if in doubt, pull them out.

So as you see they aren’t really agility rules they are just common sense and making sure the dog is the number one priority.