Emma and I are really turning into an actual team. I am becoming much more clear and consistent in my handling. And she is becoming much more confident and responsive therefore. Due to some issues with the teeter (more on that later) we are not doing full runs on anything except Jumpers courses. As the name implies, Jumpers courses are all jumps with an occasional tunnel. Course times are fast and any mistake will cost you the run. Jumpers is the ultimate test of handling skill. There is no equipment to throw anything off. You either showed your dog where to go or you didn’t.
It has always been my favorite class. The runs are a high speed ballet, uninterrupted and flowing. I’m proud to say that my little girl and I earned our first Elite title this weekend. In Jumpers of course. We went three for three so we have a leg towards our next title.
Sometimes I hear folks who train their dog to run a whole course without them, using only verbal directionals. I used to wonder myself why this wasn’t how agility was done. But I can honestly say, it’s not how I would do it now. Oh sure, I’d love to learn some distance work. But for me, the sheerest joy in running agility is the partnership and dance with my dog.
You can’t get that standing still!