Agility in the
are many relics in Britain and Europe dating from the Neolithic period, more commonly called
the Late Stone and Early Bronze Ages including some of our most well known national landmarks,
such as Stonehenge or Avebury. It has long been believed that they are aligned on the rising or
setting moon or sun at significant times of year, such as Midsummer sunrise. But beyond that,
their purpose has remained unexplained, and has been assigned to ‘ritual' use by the
archaeological community. Recently, a theory has been put forward that throws new light on the
use of these structures, and it is a ritual that we are all familiar with – that of meeting up
and competing with dogs!
Garden designer Jo Baker recently designed and built an
agility greenspace for a dog daycare Centre in Surrey. The brief was to create a practical
design that would provide a stimulating and sensory environment which was fun and safe for
dogs, staff and visitors. Her design encompassed the benefits of
agility and combined them with horticultural principles. Most importantly, the dogs at Dogstroll love it!
while ago, American Kurt Glaub requested ideas for non-commercial phrases to put on the jump
boards on a panel jump at his local show. The response was tremendous! People took inspiration
from everywhere - even the Bible, Star Wars, pop stars and even the ancient Greeks! The trial
has come and gone, and by all accounts it was a great success. Kurt has kindly agreed to
compile a list of the best suggestions in alphabetical order! His final choices are highlighted
in red below. What's your favourite?
in agility you hear a comment that just sums up everything you are feeling, or tells you
exactly what you wanted to know. A one-liner that's witty, pithy or wise enough to say more
than an entire book. We've made a small collection. If you've got any favourites of your own,
we'd like to hear from you...
For many of us in the dog agility world, our lives revolve around our
dogs. As well as the close emotional bond we have with our dogs, we also
have a close working relationship with them. They are our partners,
co-workers, companions and team members. When this relationship comes to
an end, the grief can be over-whelming. Agility competitor and
counsellor Emma-Jane LaRoche recognises that grieving for the loss of
a pet, whether through death, parting or enforced separation, can be a
sad and difficult experience and that everyone deals with grief in their
own way and in their own time.
You Top This?
Richard Wilson of One Foot in the Grave was often heard to say, 'I don't believe it!'
Sometimes we astound ourselves with our achievements and equally... our failures. It can be a
good thing to be able to sit back and crow about our successes or laugh if we mess up. After
all, no one is perfect all the time. Just because you haven't won out, gone clear or qualified
for a specific final doesn't mean you didn't have a good run, or you didn't accomplish
caravan is one of the most important and possibly the biggest expenditure in the
agility competitor's life other than vet bills! It's what's fuelled the rise of
the multi-day show and the week long agility camp. It doesn't have to be new or
fancy - after all it is for the dogs - but it needs to be roadworthy and safe
for whomever uses it. Dave Camble, owner of Diagnostic Caravans in Thame, makes a few suggestions as to things
to check before you set off to a show.
for the Better
If you could change just one thing about agility,
asked Jo Asher on Agilitynet Facebook, what would it be? Hers would be the early
8.30am starts! We liked your answers so much that we've put then altogether.
Serious or cheeky, what are your niggles?
Collie v. ABC Debate
As more people abandon their ABC
dogs in favour of collies, we must ask 'Is winning everything?' Your comments are
invited. Dave Cooper & Terry Woods join the debate. (28/09/00)
there was dog agility, followed by cat, rabbit, chicken, rat and even fish versions. Now there
is a new spin off called horse agility. It's a new equestrian sport (obviously) that is growing
rapidly in popularity for people who love horses and want to compete at the highest level
without having to ride. Like dog agility, it's meant to be fun. Founder Vanessa Bee thought up
the idea when she was helping a young horse and his nervous owner.
Make a Midi
there is no sure-fire recipe for making a Midi. People often get a puppy of a breed hoping it
will make the size and be able to run Standard classes as well. But those two magic Midi inches
between 15-17 that can be annoyingly elusive - even with a pedigree dog. Thankfully 99.9%, if
not 100%, of these people just shrug their shoulders with an ‘oh well’ and have lots of fun
their big Mini or small Standard dog anyway.
Is Agility Really a Sport?
is a truism. What cannot be accomplished by a pocketful of frankfurter and chopped lumps of
cheese? Sue Mott was about to find out. There are 6.5 million dogs in this country and most of
them, from a Affenpinscher to a Shipperke, can be persuaded to hop over a hurdle for the price
of a morsel of sausage. Obviously, do not try it with your St. Bernard. You would need a pound
of fillet steak. Anyway, big lumpy dogs are no good at all. Reprinted from
Little Dogs: Does Size Matter?
Hey, Mini and Midi handlers - do little dogs get
as much coverage in the Agility media - including Agilitynet - as Standard dogs? Possibly not!
Do big dog handlers taunt you with jibes of 'get a proper dog!' Do you long for lower contact
equipment to match your dog's little legs? Agilitynet asked six Mini and Midi handlers with
various levels of experience to talk about some of the issues that effect small dogs in agility
in a 'virtual' roundtable discussion. Feel free to join in.
Minority Agility Competitors
problem with homophobia in sports and 66% felt there was a problem with transphobia in sports,
i.e. prejudice again people attracted to those of the same gender and prejudice against people
who have transmitted from one gender to another respectively. This made Kayden Medcalf reflect
upon agility as sport, and he wondered whether the human competitors within agility had
experienced anything similar and, if not, he wanted to explore what it is about agility that
makes it so different from other sports which seem to struggle to overcome discrimination. So
he posted a survey on Agilitynet Facebook to find out more.
The Price is Right!
If you are like most of us, you probably
never admit to yourself how much money you spend on agility. The final
sum would send you into epileptic shock. I would rather have my dogs
than a Ralph Lauren wardrobe, and you can keep the Costa del Sol for
yourself – I’ll spend my holiday at Dogs In Need. These days I make few
purchases that are not dog orientated – whether they be a pair of shoes
or a new car. Agility is not a hobby It’s why I go out to work!
Mary Ann Nester calculates the real cost.
judge Leona Hellesvig also judges rabbit agility, according to a 'Minnesota version' of rules.
Rabbit agility is getting to be a fairly popular event in 4-H these days (at least in
Minnesota), along with goat agility. There is also a cat agility national organisation out
there which often holds events in conjunction with CFA cat shows. And don't forget Bob Baily's
'chicken camps' where people teach chickens to do agility as a method of learning to do clicker
training correctly. How do they compare to our fast and furious dog agility? And will it ever
catch on here?
In Defense of Slower
who has been involved with agility for a while will agree that, over the past few years, the
sport has been getting faster and faster. These days, unless you have a dog that takes off like
a bullet, speeds like lightning, turns on a blade of grass and virtually thinks for itself, you
will get stuck in the lower Grades, like the bulk of us. All of which gave Martin Gill reason
to wonder if there is a place for another form of agility where skill and accuracy - not just
speed - are the prime movers. He's been having fun dreaming up a slower agility.
Eight years ago Kay Westgate thought she would try and get
information on how to get her dogs into the world of advertising, film and television, so
she rang the BBC and asked where they got their animals for television work. The joker on
the other end of the line said he thought dogs had to become members of Equity, the
actors union! But Kay wasn't falling for that.