Thursday, January 31, 2008

Agility Bandwagons

I wonder, after doing agility for a while, how much we are being driven by business interests. It is starting to seem a little fad driven to me with lots of folks jumping to the latest technique for contacts or whatever. Good handling and a good relationship with your dog and lots of proofing are the best thing for a you and your dog especially for those of us not concerned with being at the national level. That's not to say that techniques have not improved and that there is nothing new to learn. But I think we have to be cautious about always changing our techniques and jumping on the latest bandwagon.


Katrin said...

I have wondered the same thing myself. I guess I remember a time when we all cheered and said "Look at that! He actually hit the yellow!" when a dog made it into the contact. There was very little to none of 'this is how you train a 2o2o or 1 toe or whatever' Not to say that having different training options isn't nice, but it almost seems to be getting very sterile or institutionalized- if you don't train with so and so you'll never make to to X (X being your goal) or if you don't teach this exact method for contact performance you won't make it to X, etc.

I guess for me, I just want to have options and I want to have tricks in my tool bag. Of course I have my favorites, we all do, but I like having choices and I like taking what my dog wants and prefers into account. My contact performance criteria are different for each of my dogs, based on what they showed me they were more comfortable with doing and that set my criteria.

There is no 1 way to skin a cat (or train a dog)

John Heffernan said...

Good post. I agree and thanks for your comment.


manymuddypaws said...

I think the thing to remember is to take what works for you and your dog- not every method is going to work for every dog. I do think that we should continue to make improvements on our training and handling.

We all started training much differently than we do now and I guess I don't see it as "jumping on the band wagon" but more- evolving with the sport. Things will continue to change, and if we want to continue to do well in the sport we have to change along with it.