Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The wind of change

Something I hear a lot following international competitions is:

'why should we have to change the way we do the sport for a handful of people who compete internationally'. 

That's a valid observation, however its missing the fact that agility is changing. 

Dog training techniques improve, equipment improves; dogs are trained to be more skilful; handlers are embracing skills from other sports e.g. to improve their running technique, improve their spacial awareness, to be more concise and accurate with their handling etc. 

Like all sports once you start getting professionals involved, training becomes more targeted, technical and specific and the overall standard should improve.

Many of the people practicing and training-out these skills are members of the international teams who handlers from the agility community pay to train with. So the 'why do I have to change...' argument is lost as people are paying to learn the very skills, ideas and techniques seen overseas.

The trainers who compete overseas are also advocating and training us on courses that flow nicely for the dog & handler. Courses which have fast, exciting lines for the partnership to tackle. They are both enjoyable to run and entertaining to watch. I haven't heard anyone say they don't enjoy running or watching the international style of courses. 

So for those people who resist change, well... we don't have to change, but we are changing by the very fact we're adopting new ideas and we're spending our hard-earned cash learning about a different style of agility.

 'In life, stuff changes'. Dog agility is no different. 

We need to embrace the changes and get involved with taking the sport forward in a way that works for everyone.

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