You Can’t Do That! Oh Yeah? Watch Me!

Didja ever notice there’s no shortage of people telling us we can’t do something?

Well I like surprises—people and animals that do awesome things because they don’t know they’re not expected to do them well.

I’ve been seeing more dog adoption descriptions that note a dog as being suited to agility work. They’re always mixes of Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and other active, fast dogs. When was the last time you saw a description of a St. Bernard listing it as excellent for agility?

I thought not.

Here’s a very stately dog showing us how to do agility, St. Bernard style.

And the next time someone tries to tell you you’re not cut out for something, think of this elegant St. Bernard and his awesome agility run.

Has there ever been a time someone said you or your and your dog couldn’t or shouldn’t do something and you proved them wrong? Do share.
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  1. That was awesome! I have to admit, I wondered how he was going to fit in the tunnel but he did it. That’s fabulous!

    I like the idea that people and animals often accomplish many things just because they don’t know they’re not supposed to be able to. It’s a little more complicated when it comes to overcoming the hurdle of being told you can’t and trying to anyway. That takes a specific kind of personality. (One might call it “stubborn”. 😉

    As a female computer programmer in a world where apparently we’re not supposed to do that, I can tell you it’s not always easy to believe in yourself enough to stand up to those who say “you can’t”. But if you can and you do, you’ll find the respect that comes along with having overcome their objections is worth the effort. Finding someone (or many someones) who encourage and support you is invaluable.

    • So are you saying that a female computer programmer is like a Saint Bernard doing agility but with a lot less fur? :)

      Yes, if you can find that support network willing to step off with you in trying something brave and wonderful, you’re a very fortunate person.

  2. Now that’s a dog I can handle in the agility ring; while he might not win for time he’s very accurate!

    I agree with Leslie, it’s much harder trying to do something others tell you, you can’t then doing something when you just don’t know better.

    Be the St. Bernard.

  3. I love it when non-traditional dogs train and compete in dog sports. My trainer actually competes in agility with a Borzoi – sighthounds are apparently not supposed to be all that trainable but my trainer’s dog is magnificent. We also have been practicing with a Bernese Mountain dog ever since we started. Jenna will never be the fastest dog but she has a lot of fun out there.

    As a woman, I’ve been told many a time I can’t do things. Luckily my dog has escaped this. The only thing I’ve been told she can’t do is competitive obedience or therapy work. And I am inclined to agree…

    Thanks for the great video! Happy Friday!

  4. I LOVE this! This is exactly how Hurley would do agility.

  5. One of Toby’s past trainers competes almost exclusively with her English Bulldogs – also in agility. What a sight to see – but they do well and have enough titles to shame many a Border Collie…

  6. Wonderful. I sent the link to a friend who grew up St. Bernards

  7. I love watching “non conventional” dogs do agility! That video really made me smile….it would seem that the A-Frame is that dog’s favorite piece of equipment! English Bulldogs doing agility is pretty rad to see as well.

    It is nice to see something that isn’t a Border Collie competing. Nothing against Border Collies’ they’re obviously rock stars, but just because they’re really good doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who should get to have fun!

  8. I loved how the St. Bernard took his time, it was fun to watch :) I played softball as a kid and my dad always told me I couldn’t play certain positions because I was too small. I ended up playing all of those positions 😉 Love this video!!

  9. I’ve always thought that large dogs would bring a lot of elegance and sophistication to agility. Now I know.

  10. Personally I would have never thought that a St. Bernard couldn’t do agility. What dog can’t jump or climb with instruction? Maybe I just think differently. (sigh)

    When a trainer told me I didn’t know what I was getting into with my aggressive dogs, I think I proved him wrong!!

  11. Fabulous! What a super dog and owner :). He is indeed elegant – loved the weave poles. Sending to a Saint friend.

  12. Oh sure! A lot of people think Greyhounds are made of spun glass and can’t be trained for anything. Bunny hikes like a pro and carries her own pack. She did wonderfully in obedience class, too. My dad also told me I’d never be successful as a writer. I think his definition of success and mine are probably different. I’m not making a living at it, but I am doing a lot more with it than I thought I would.

    • No disrespect to your dad who I don’t know, but he certainly doesn’t know what he’s talking about as far as your writing. You are amazingly successful–in telling great stories, in educating us, and in posting high quality posts on a very prolific schedule. Sounds successful to me. :)

  13. I just love that! What a lesson in life for me. I CAN do it. I need to remember that. I love the way he goes through the weave poles. This really made my day, thank you!

  14. That is so sweet! And why not take it slow and steady?

  15. Oh Pamela. I LOVED this! I am just so sorry it took me so long to get back over here to comment. I hadn’t thought of what a message it sends, but when I watched an agility trial a couple of weeks ago I was amazed by the different breeds of dogs who did agility. Here I was thinking they couldn’t possibly do agility! Ha! Was I wrong!

    I watched Dachshunds, Pugs, Yorkies and Poms do agility. I also saw Great Danes and Goldens and the traditional Border Collies and Shelties, but there were two dogs that were my favorites – a deaf Bull Terrier and a Great Dane. You’re right. Saying you can’t is only a mindset – whether it be your own or someone else’s. Great post.

  16. I had a grin on my face from beginning to end. There’s a dog that’s in no hurry to get anywhere! I particularly liked those weaving poles – hope I got the right name – all I know about agility, I learnt from Shiva 😉

    As for myself, I spent all of last week doing what everyone tells me is a ridiculous thing to do at my age and had a great time. So there!

  17. This is amazing! I love the video… I had such a big smile on my face while watching it.

    Sometimes it would be so nice to not have any clue that someone thinks I can’t do or am not suited to something. Going in without other people’s negative expectations weighing on my mind would make such a difference!

  18. i adore st. bernards, and that one is just spectacular!

    desmond has been told he maybe can’t be in an upcoming group obedience class because of his reactivity. :-(


  1. […] Back in April, Pamela over at Something Wagging had a post titled, You Can’t Do That! Oh yeah? Watch Me. […]