Cheryl May's Dogsports Agility Page

Agility is fun!

My dogs and I got into agility because my sheltie, Rocky, adored the sport. He always did obedience trials because I asked him to. He did agility because he loved it. This is akin to a human who gets to retire early and play golf just for fun. Agility was Rocky's version of golf. When he finished his UKC utility title in August 1997, he immediately retired from obedience and pursued his beloved avocation in NADAC, AKC and UKC. He played on the equipment in the backyard until he was nearly 13. Rocky died in May 2005 at the age of 14 years, 1 month, but he will live on in my heart and in my wonderful memories of our fun times together.

Rocky was very successful in terms of titles, ribbons, placements. All that is secondary to the joy I had running a fun sport with a dog who always gave 110 percent. He should never know whether he Q'd or not! Each run ended the same way for him -- by being told he is the most magnificent dog on the planet, and suggesting he might like a dog cookie -- he would! He celebrated his 10th birthday at an agility trial with a Q and a placement.

Every time in the ring is a gift, and I appreciate and treasure each run with each of my dogs. I wish you the same pleasure.

If you think that you and your dog might enjoy agility, I suggest you visit classes taught by instructors in your area. Compare methods. Be a wise consumer. Look for kind and positive methods of training. Compulsion has no place in agility! Train with kindness and you will be rewarded with a happy and enthusiastic partner. Our dogs' lives are very short, compared with our own. How sad it would be to look back at the end of a dog's life and regret harsh treatment delivered in pursuit of personal glory for titles and ribbons.

Here are a few agility articles that I hope you will find helpful.

  • Agility Skills You Can Teach at Home I wrote this as a follow-up after a workshop we did for the German Shepherd Dog Club of Greater Kansas City.
  • Agility tips from experienced competitors. These tips are from members of CleanRun-L, (now Agiledogs) an agility list on the Internet.
  • A basic explanation of Rocky's favorite agility game, Gamblers
  • Beginner's guide to UKC's Agility I class. This is an article I prepared for students in a beginning agility class.
  • Conquer Ring Nerves! Advice on getting over those pesky ring nerves which have bothered most of us at one time or another.

    Agility resources

  • Click Here for Affordable Agility, a great source for quality agility equipment at reasonable prices.

  • Dogpatch.

  • Enter dog events online with this service. There is a service fee for this.

  • Bev Rumsower, a popular trial secretary in Kansas and Missouri, has a Web site with entry forms and information on upcoming trials.

  • Look up agility events anywhere by visiting the Events Calendar.

  • Don't miss the agility course of the week which, although no longer adding courses, still has numerous courses you can print out and study.

  • Agility Ability Katie Greer's very comprehensive agility home page

  • Agility articles from PowerPaws - Nancy Gyes' homepage.

  • Clean Run Magazine
    Home page features a new agility exercise each month.

  • Look under the Training Exercises link for agility exercises by Barbara Mah.

    Books on Agility and Flyball

    Agility organizations

  • AKC home page
  • AKC event search

  • CPE home page

  • NADAC home page

  • USDAA home page

  • UKC home page

  • USDAA home page

  • Agility trial job descriptions

    E-mail discussion lists related to agility

    The Internet provides a great community for sharing agility ideas, training techniques, brags, and more. Here are some of the available lists: Agiledogs Subscribe by writing to Leave the subject line blank and type in the body of the text: subscribe agiledogs
    Agility Follow the directions at the site to subscribe to this list. Agility
    Clean Run members discuss training articles featured in the magazine, discuss the content of their books, and pose training questions and ideas for future articles.Clean Run
    Just For Fun Agility a discussion list for the JFF style of agility. Just for Fun
    NADAC agility discussion group for NADAC Agility. Follow the directions at the site to subscribe. NADAC agility
    Novice A is a place where dog agility enthusiasts new to the sport can talk freely about the experiences of being new to agility, in an open and non-critical atmosphere. Follow the directions at the site to join. Novice agility

    Rocky in action

    Rocky, UUD UACh Tartan's Dream Catcher, UD, AX, EAC, NAJ, NGC, NJC, CGC, retired Delta Pet Partner

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