Agility training with Kenzie
While channel surfing late one evening last week, I came upon the AKC National Agility competition. Jenn and I had often joked about trying agility out with Kenzie, but neither of us thought that Kenzie would be good at it. After all, she is sort of short, stumpy and perhaps a little chubby (maybe she takes after me).
Either way, I was hooked to this competiton. The connection between the dog and handler was amazing. The dogs were hurdling over bars, jumping through hoops, conquering see-saws and best of all, running through tunnels all at breakneck speeds. Frankly put, it looked like fun. But still, could Kenzie do this? Most of the dogs I kept seeing were leaner and more athletic, so my dream of an agility dog seemed short-lived at best. But then a Golden came on. Not only did it compete flawlessly, it won its class in thrilling fashion. My mind began to change, maybe Kenzie could do this. Then the announcers stated that Goldens are perfect for agility and extremely easy to train.
Yes. My short-lived dream was now a definite probability.
After reading about some basic beginning agility training, Jenn and I set up our own little course in my back yard. Using chopped up bits of Nathan’s Famous, we began teaching Kenzie to do simple things such as walk on a raised plank and jumping over obstacles. I was amazed at the ease (and eagerness) that Kenzie exhibited. For such a seemingly chunky dog, she sure can jump.
The key is to remain patient and be consistent with your directions. The dog needs to understand exactly what you’re asking it to do, so timing is also very important. Within an hour, we had Kenzie conquering two jumps and a plank all in one run.
It was a fun day, and I used the opportunity to grab some good dog jumping shots.