English setters love agility. Do you? I do!
I'm Jennifer Necker and I live in Los Alamos, New Mexico. I'm in the 7th grade and I've been running agility with my English setters for about two years.
Running agility with your favorite dog is great fun and good exercise for both your dog and you. Agility is also a fun way to develop a stronger relationship with your dog. Running agility with my dogs has also helped me become a better handler in the conformation and junior showmanship ring because we've become a better team. We've developed better communication. We know each other's signs and signals. Above all, we know how to have fun together!
I've run four English setters in agility. All four of them like the tunnel the best. They race into and out of the tunnel. The weaves are usually the hardest to train, but for one of my setters the teeter has been the most difficult obstacle. For all of the obstacles, it takes practice and lots of smelly treats for rewards to master the obstacle.
Running an English setter in agility can be very challenging, especially when birds are on the field or fly by. Some setters think the top of the A-frame is the best place to stop and look for birds because you can see the whole field. There should be extra points given when a setter points a bird mid-course!
Another challenge of running a setter is getting consistent speed from the dog. Most setters run slower in hot weather and faster in cooler weather. Most English setters love to run in cooler weather, but in cooler weather the wahoos become a problem. The wahoos happen when the dog runs fast, but very crazy all over the course. They have lots of fun creating their own course! Overall, it can be challenging to run agility with an English setter, but it is still lots of fun!
This year the AKC/Eukanuba Agility Invitational is providing a special agility event on Friday, December 16, 2011 for juniors. I'm excited to be participating in this event with two English setters, Lorna and Owen. I hope to meet other juniors who love agility at this fun event.
So, if you haven't tried agility with your favorite dog now is the time to get started. Give agility a try by:
• Looking for a local training class or training buddy
• Finding a mentor in a local club
• Going to an agility trial to watch and learn