Sunday, December 16, 2007

For the Love of Agility

Travis was extra whiny this morning, so he had to do a sit stay on the fireplace. Doing so, forces him to concentrate and stop crying.
Yesterday and today, I went to an agility seminar with Stacy Peardot Goudy, Elicia Calhoun, and Karen Holik. For some reason, we do not get a lot of agility seminars in the southeast it seems. Of course, the weather was miserable today. We were outdoors, under cover, in a dusty arena. Man, it was cold and I was wearing just about every article of clothing I had.
I came to audit and just observed the training since I'm pretty happy with Travis' agility skills and at age 9 I do not plan to make any major changes at this point. But, I have finally admitted out loud that I am looking for my next agility/obedience greyhound hopeful. I'm both apprehensive and excited. I haven't started from scratch in about 6 years. I cannot believe it has been that long. Katie and Travis could not have been any more perfect than they are. I truly could not have started with any better raw material than those 2 greyhounds. I only hope that I will be so lucky with my next choice.
So at this time, I am trying to get organized. I need to get my baby agility equipment replaced and repaired. Brush up on the latest agility training techniques and determine how I want to train the weave poles and contact zones this time around. Is there anything I wish I had done differently with Travis and Katie? Is there something missing from their skill set that I would like for the next greyhound to have? All important things to consider.
I'm very picky when it comes to choosing a competition greyhound. One time I called the foster home of a greyhound that was suggested to me and she told me that the dog was nervous initally in the house, but settled after awhile. I knew immediately that I was not interested because I needed a greyhound that didn't have to settle..... I needed a greyhound who immediately owns the place and struts right in. Training a greyhound is hard enough and I do not want a dog that has any fear issues with people, dogs, or environment. Extremely, food motivated is another important trait I cannot live without. I also want a high prey drive, so I will only be looking at non-cat safe dogs. So wish me luck on my hunt!


Sarah Regan Snavely said...

Why do you chose non cat-safe greyhounds? Because they have more drive or ???

Jennifer said...

Yes, I like for them to be food, toy, and prey (small animal) motivated. I find it much easier to change a greyhound's mission in life if they are over the top driven about doing something. Although it has to be paired with extreme food drive. Food is such an easy reinforcement. Its so easy to vary and to use. Can't life without it!


Sientay L said...

What happened to a non greyhound dog as your next competition dog? Wasn't that what you had thought about a long time ago?

Jennifer said...

A non-GH idea is always brief and fleeting :-). I have no idea what breed I would even consider and I like being one of few competing a greyhound.