During the warm months (let’s just pause here for a second to remember that lovely time….), I enjoy being outside with my dogs. We take Georgie and Khaleesi to the beach to play in the lake, to romp around the field at my mom’s farm, or on long evening walks through the city. They have plenty of opportunities to exercise and we have a variety of ways to interact with them.
Once the cold weather hits, though, those options drastically dwindle. I’m going to be honest here. I love snow, I enjoy wintertime…but I hate being cold. In other words, I like the notion of snow rather than being out in it. Nothing makes me happier than being wrapped in a blanket, with a mug of hot chocolate, and looking out the window to see a world draped in white snow.
This winter, Dave and I decided to try agility. I’ve seen plenty of nimble Border collies out in the ring, flying over jumps, racing through tunnels, and zigzagging through poles to know that this can be a pretty intense sport. I didn’t know if we had what it takes (and still don’t), but I figured it would be an awesome way to have fun and stay warm with our dogs over the next few months.
Let me just say: agility is awesome. In the five short weeks that we’ve been learning the fundamentals, I’ve already accomplished things with Khaleesi that I’ve never thought we could do. I’ve seen Georgie grow more confident as he and Dave work on obstacles and handling. I’ve learned that agility is so much more than tackling jumps as fast as possible. It’s about teamwork and communication.
Most dogs love agility. They have an opportunity to run around, explore new things, and get treats. What could be better? We, the humans, are really the ones who need to get our act together. While Khaleesi is a natural at this, I have to work on my timing, my cues, my turns, my luring. In other words, I have to learn to communicate much more effectively with my dog. If I had realized how much agility training spills over into other aspects of my interactions with my dog, I would have started it much sooner.
Did I mention that agility is awesome? If you’re looking for something fun to do with your dog over the winter months, why not give it a try?