Tactics and strategy are playing a much bigger part at the top level of the sport

Image (1)By Mark Laker

Where has the summer gone? I recall a few really hot days with the dogs either competing, out for walks or just lounging about in the garden, but July at the European Open with the juniors and then with the adult team seems ages ago.

In a weeks time we’ll be in Finland getting ready for the FCI Agility World Championships, the highlight of the year in the international dog agility calendar. With over 40 countries attending it promises to be an amazing competition. I’ll report back on this next month.

Talking about amazing competitions, earlier in the year we had a dog-swap at home (only for competition and training). I’m currently running Karen’s agility dog Rhyme and Karen is training and running Moog.  Rhyme’s a great all-round dog to train and compete with – we’ve had a lot of fun. We’ve also had some successes noticeable winning the championship class at Weardale show which qualified us for Crufts 2020. Karen and I are both really pleased with this result and I’m quite proud that Rhyme will the fourth agility dog that I’ve competed with on the famous green carpet.

I’ve also found it really interesting watching how the game is changing at the top level this year; especially in the championship classes. Tactics and strategy are playing a much bigger part at the top level of the sport. So much so that those handlers who are able to change their game plans to deal with pressure, course design and competition definitely have the competitive edge. This has always  been the case to some extent, however I’m seeing a noticeable change this year and a need for handlers to learn these skills.

So I had better get my game face sorted for Crufts 2020.

Best regards,

Mark

GB Team Captain

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