31 January 2012

Jumping at the Chance - Greyhound Agility

I've always quite liked the look of dog agility. I've seen several demonstrations at Crufts, set up a PR stunt with Chris Evans having a go at dog agility (you can see the video here) and have even had a go at some greyhound-sized fun agility with Stevie.

As part of my university studies and the 'Advanced Dog Training' module, I have to choose a doggy discipline to train Mina in and I'm toying with either agility or scent work. I really do love the idea of agility - it's a great way to keep both me and Mina fit - but as most people will know, Mina's a bit of a canine catastrophe, she's getting on a bit now (she'll be 10 this year) and as a greyhound isn't a breed you'd automatically associate with agility! (Though, the fabulous Jen at Never Say Never Greyhounds disproves this time and time again).

However, we're not ones to let any obstacles stand in our way and today we had our first ever 1-2-1 agility session. I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't think we'd be haring around a course in the first session but I was itching to have a go on the equipment and I had a feeling that Mina would love it too.

So, at 11am we found ourselves in the 'Field of Dreams' - an agility school run by Bob Sharpe.  Bob has competed at Crufts and is well known within the agility world. He's straight talking and, as you would expect, really knows his stuff.  We'd had a long chat before I booked the session and had gone through Mina's age, breed and why I wanted to try agility.  Bob explained that our first session would really be a chance to see how easily we could motivate Mina and that this would be the basis of the lesson.

Thankfully, Mina loves to tug and play ball - all of which really helped. Once she'd had (several) chances to go off and sniff all the pee-mails, she really did show that you can motivate a greyhound and keep their attention. By the end of the session, we even managed a few jumps (including a rather spectacular long jump!)

I'm really proud of Mina and I think I may have been bitten by the agility bug. We've got to work on motivation training for the next week or so, but we've already booked our next session.

We've a long way to go but I'm sure that together, the journey will be worth it. I'll be updating the blog with Mina's progress in the coming weeks.

I've also got a great February giveaway coming too - the chance for 2 people to win a pair of tickets each to Crufts. So do come back in February to see how you can win.

If you've got any great agility tips that you'd like to share, or would like to comment on the video please do add a comment - I love reading them.


  1. I'm so behind on blogs! How cute! She moves great! I wouldn't guess 10 at all. I'm also impressed that she works for a ball tug toy. I just don't train with toys for whatever reason. I think its because my hounds that love their toys... run too much with them. So I end up tiring them out with one or two silly rewards.

    Very cool!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...