Clean Run - June 2011 - (Page 74)

Agility By Brenna Fender Roll Now, Run Later When you are a frequent agility competitor, sooner or later something hugely embarrassing and/or hilariously funny is going to happen in the agility ring. When it does, just remember that we’ve all been in your shoes! This month, Sue Erickson from Mankato, Minnesota, shares a story about her rolling dog. “My Briard, Hilo, loves to run agility. We have had a usual number of NQs due to handler error, off-courses, and blown contacts, but no one who ever saw him run would doubt his drive. In fact, I always keep him well back from the ring until it is his turn because he is so keen to run. We were almost finished with our Open titles at a trial in a lovely indoor soccer arena. Hilo has good start-line behavior and I often do long lead-outs with no problem. I confidently left him and strode out past two jumps. When I was set at the correct angle for the next obstacle, I looked back to cue his start. I was amazed to see he had crept past the start line and was sniffing the ground. I watched in horror as he lurched to the ground, rolled quickly onto his back, and had all four feet kicking the air, blissfully massaging his back on the Astroturf. I stood there flatfooted, hollering his name, and Break! Let’s Go! Hurry! Come! Run! Go, Go, Go! and everything else I could blabber. That’s me—40 years training dogs and it never occurred to me to go back to him and then start running! Finally the judge’s whistle blew and I slunk back to lift my 90-lb dog by the collar from his still ecstatic rolling to pull him to his feet. He walked eagerly out of the ring, quite a bit happier with his performance than I was. Hilo is my first agility dog, but I have watched many other dogs run. I have seen some slow dogs, and some that had an obvious refusal problem at certain obstacles. Never had I seen a dog that would not start the course. It simply did not occur to me that it could ever happen, and certainly not with my dog. When a run is going well I am not conscious of time: zip we are in and whoosh we are out. When I was standing there, begging my dog to run, that course time (yes, the judge gave us all 64 seconds) seemed like an hour and a half.” D Got a blooper of your own to share? Put “agility blooper” in the subject line and send it to 74 Clean Run | June 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - June 2011

Clean Run - June 2011
Editorializing: When Did Agility Become About Looks?
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Building and Balancing Handler and Obstacle Focus, Part 3
Sharpening Your Snooker Skill: Teach Your Dog to Bypass Obstacles
Lameness in Agility Dogs
Confessions of a Gambling Addict, Part 2: Planning the Opening
AKC’s New Kid on the Block: Time 2 Beat
Challenges for Rising Stars
Intervertebral Disc Disease in the Canine Athlete
Challenges at CR Central
FOCUS and Impulse-control Classes: Week 2
Ready, Set, Trial! Walk, then Run
Tips for Training Running Contacts, Part 1
When is Good Enough Enough?
Agility Bloopers

Clean Run - June 2011