All of you lovely dog agility enthusiasts buying Packa Shacks, got me wondering what the heck dog agility is?!
So, here is Packa Shack’s duffer’s guide to dog agility...
First get a dog (you lucky, lucky people I really, really want a dog... well two actually, a Border Terrier called Chawley and a rescued Greyhound called Flash, not that I’m choosey)
Then train said dog to obey your every command without question. In dog agility the handler can only use their voice, movement and body signals to persuade said pooch to travel round an obstacle course in the right order and as quickly as possible. No toys or treats are allowed to encourage the dog round the course (I think Chawley might be better at this than Flash...)
The course consists of a set of standard obstacles laid out by the judge and anyway they choose in a specified area of ground, which can be on grass, dirt, rubber or special matting.
The courses are designed to be complicated enough that the dog required it’s human to guide it in the right order. Because courses vary the human is allowed to walk the course decide the best and quickest way of directing their pooch around the obstacles.
If the judge is feeling particularly sneaky they can add in U-turns, have the same obstacle used more than once in different directions, or have to differentiate which of 2 obstacles placed close together should be tackled first. Bearing in mind the name of the game is to do this as quickly as possible, so it can be easy to become flustered in the heat of the moment.
Scoring is based on the time taken to complete the course and how many faults are incurred in the round, this includes time penalties as the standard / expected course time has been decided by the judge in advance.
So, it would appear that a good dog agility team needs planning, speed & accuracy.
I think this is something Chawley, Flash and I might need to work up to if we are ever to consider taking up the noble sport of dog agility. Maybe we’ll stick to demonstrating the benefits of Packa Shack to the dog agility world instead.