By Karen Laker
From left to right Torro, Moog, Rhyme Pikachu and Chic.
Well its April already and the agility show season is already begun with good weather making the outdoor shows already doable.
Our dogs are all set for a busy year with the competing dogs looking fit and strong.
We feed CSJ CP24 all year as even when not competing they are being kept fit and active.
This year we have decided to change Torro to CP18 as he is now 13 and naturally not quite so energetic.
Chic is coming up to 18 months and looking promising.
We have got out of the habit of taking our planning seriously for shows regarding getting the most benefit for achieving our goals.
Rhyme had an injury over 18 months ago that we didn’t manage to sort fully for a while and then had a long rest. Last year was a lot of lets see what happens.
Moog was a very immature dog and so again it was a case of let’s see what happens.
Pikachu was not keen on competing initially so again it was a case of …….. yes you’ve guessed it – lets see what happens.
This year Rhyme is now fit, Moog has grown up, Pikachu has got her agility mojo and Chic is old enough to compete. Now we need to drive our shows to make what we want to happen.
There are so many shows to choose from and each have their benefits depending on what is driving you.
It is easy to get on an agility show wheel and always go to the same shows and chase the same things. Sometimes it’s just any show within a certain distance or any show your friends are going to. This can be a lovely social way to enjoy agility.
However, if you are feeling that you are not achieving or enjoying your agility so much then take some time to list what you’d like to have achieved this time next year.
Write it down and take some time to consider if the shows you are attending will help you do that.
For example if your desire is to compete at Crufts but you only go to one show that has that chance then you are limiting your chances of success.
If you would like your dog to have moved up a couple of grades then you may want to consider which shows offer you more chances to get those wins. If the usual shows you go to only offer combined classes above your current grade but a show further away has graded classes and your favourite judge, then that show is a better choice for you.
Taking time to make different choices or understand why you make the choices you’ve always made will give you control over what you and your dog are capable of this year.