I’d love to try agility with Honey. I’ve taken her to a couple of competitions where she’s enjoyed watching the dogs go through their paces.
Unfortunately the closest agility classes are ten miles away and I don’t see well enough to drive in the dark. Next best thing? Find agility obstacles around the neighborhood and start working on them.
Our local high school just completed some construction. They’ve set up dozens of plastic bollards mounted on soft foam bases. It is absolutely the most perfect set of weave poles I could ever imagine.
Honey doesn’t quite get the point of going through all the poles when she can just walk around them but she’s working on it.
Near my house are the remnants of old industry powered by massive waterfalls. Yep, including a huge tunnel.
The darkness inside the tunnel and the light at the end made it hard for me to get a good shot of Honey. But she didn’t find this scary at all.
Honey has shown some reluctance around flapping canvas blowing in the wind so I suspect a traditional agility tunnel will take some work for her to feel comfortable with it. Big metal pipe with lots of echos–no problem.
Responsible agility instructors do not allow large breed dogs younger than 18 months or so to do a full agility course. They want to be sure a dog’s bones are formed before putting too much stress on them.
However, that doesn’t mean they can’t get used to being around the equipment or stepping over a low jump. I was lucky to find this three doors from my house. But it won’t be there much longer.
I guess it’s too much to ask my neighbor not to repair her broken sidewalk, huh?
Agility folks, feel free to give me the right names for these things. I’ve seen some courses where the dog has to jump up onto a table and stay there for a short time.
Although Honey has enjoyed jumping on my desk or table at work for the sheer joy of it, I find it hard to teach her to jump on much lower items on cue.
I find some people are a little put off when I try to get Honey to jump on a picnic table. I don’t know–something about paws that have stepped in dog poop or something?
Once again the local high school came to the rescue. They have some new architectural features at the ramps (benches? I don’t know) that are pretty low to the ground. Honey got some practice putting her front paws up on the surface. We haven’t yet gotten to jumping the whole way up. No hurry. These aren’t going anywhere soon.
Finding obstacles around our neighborhood has been a great way to add some fun to our walks and keep Honey from getting bored. She never knows what’s going to happen next. And until I see the next obstacle, neither do I.
Does anyone else try to bring different activities to their walks besides “walking?” I’d love new ideas.
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