I ran a fun competition on Sunday and once the rain cleared up it was a lovely day, everyone did really well.
It got me thinking though about first competitions, I started competing Zazu in June. In my eye's he is a baby dog and he needs time to settle in to competition, I have a few expectations of him which I will list later but I don't want to put any pressure on him or myself.
When people go into thier first agility competition they too are producing a baby dog, the difference is they are inexperienced themselves so need to get used to the natural pressures that competition brings at the same time as teaching a young dog how to cope.
Bellow is a video of Zazu at KC festival, at a first glance this run looks a long way from a clear round but I see lots of positives.
These are the things I want to achieve when running Zazu
A solid start line wait - it's very hard to get these back if you loose them
Getting running contact criteria - If I let this slip it will confuse him
Keep him happy
Give him a positive experience
Positives from this run
Start line wait
He bounced 2 - 3
He turned when I crossed behind
He got his weaves first time
He was happy and confident
I'm thinking about each round as a building block to his future, if I rush now things will fall apart as he gets older.
This should be the same for all dog's, the clear rounds will come but our dogs can do agility for years so why rush. Often the desperation for results takes the fun away from this game we play with our dogs.It's hard to think about the bigger picture when you are stepping into the ring for the first time but I know very few people who have only competed once, 99% of people get the bug and carry on competing for a long time after that first competition.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.