Shiva’s Agility Debut

I am showing this week’s video today instead of on Friday. Mostly because I spent a ridiculous amount of time working on it and I can’t wait to show it off. I know it’s a little long – I do apologize for that. But I really like the way it works with the music. If you don’t watch it all I won’t be offended.

We made a lot of mistakes this weekend. I’ll just say that right away. There are a few things that really bother me. For instance, I don’t like that Shiva broke her start line. We have a wicked lead-out that we have worked on for the last two years. Her sit-stay is fantastic. I rely on it a lot – perhaps too much – in order to get her focussed on me. The fact that she turned and ran away from me when I released her really bugs me. In general, she just wasn’t very thoughtful. Things we have perfected in class just ceased to exist. We looked like we’d never done this before. Obviously we just need a LOT more work in highly distracting environments.

There are some good things I’ve taken away from the weekend.

1. I managed to memorize two master’s level courses without a single problem. Since I’ve never had to follow a course sheet before, this was something thatΒ made me nervous. But I had no difficulty remembering which obstacle came next in the sequence. All those good university study habits have paid off. And I never thought I’d use that history degree…

2. When we arrived and I looked at the challenging jumpers course, I waffled. The first thing I said to my PH was “Maybe we should just watch.” It’s what I have said every single time before now. It’s why these were our very first full courses. Something inside me, however, prevented me from bailing. When they called our turn, I walked up to that start line with confidence. We not only participated in both courses, but we also attempted the gamble challenges later in the afternoon. I am pretty proud of that.

But enough rambling, it’s time for the video! I challenge you to see if Shiva’s tail ever stops wagging.

Dang weaves.

Thanks must to go my PH for his excellent videography. It’s not easy to keep up with a dog like Shiva in full zoomie mode.

There is another match this Sunday, same time, same place. I wasn’t sure if we were going to go but now I think we have to. As hard and exhausting and insane as it all was, we still had a blast. We’ve gone as far as we can in class. Now we have to figure out how to put it all together.

34 thoughts on “Shiva’s Agility Debut

  1. That was awesome! How can you not love Shiva’s enthusiasm and spirit.

    Ummmm….amazing contacts! I thought for sure she would be a “fly off’er”, but no, she stuck those contacts like a pro.

    Looks like a complete blast.

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  2. I actually loved the video! Shiva is so excited to be doing the run that she can’t help but zoom to work off her excitement. πŸ™‚
    I am so glad you did this Kristine. I’m glad you’re going to do it again. I think you’re right that she’s just distracted by the activity going on, but if you watch, Shiva was almost always focused on you.
    She clearly loves doing this with you. It’s hard to believe she was once a crazy and untrained dog when you brought her home. She’s so impressive now.

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  3. Brava! Excellent job to you both. The best part is seeing Shiva’s wagging tail throughout the entire course. That’s the best sign of success ever.

    A friend does agility with her speedy Australian shepherd. She says that hardest part is staying ahead of her dog on the course because he’s so fast. I suspect that’s quite a challenge with Shiva too. πŸ™‚

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  4. Agility is a lot harder than it looks on TV! You guys did a fantastic job and I think you are spot on for trying it again next week. The first time for anything is always exciting and I think you will find the more you do it, the easier it will become.

    I love the video. Great job!!

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  5. Excellent video! It looks like both you and Shiva had a ball. Once bitten by the “fun” bug…that’s it…you are hooked! You both did great and it will only get better.

    We worked on Thunder’s heel on lead since he was a pup (he is 5 now). He is perfect until he gets to a hunt test. Once he sees a duck….his mind fogs and heel on lead becomes pull the lead. Always more training to do!

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  6. What a great video! It will be fun to look back on as you keep getting better and better πŸ™‚ She looks like she is having a great time!

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  7. OK, that was so fun to watch! I know it must be frustrating to not have Shiva focus but she was having a blast! And she does come back when you call…which is more than I can say for Daisy.

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  8. I enjoyed the video as well. I don’t think I would be able to put a video together that well. And I love how you included some funny parts where she takes off running the other way. Come on, it’s funny! And she is having so much fun! Nice work with her. I can tell she is a high energy dog!

    How do I get a mixed breed dog involved in agility competitions? We’ve taken classes for fun but we’ve never competed and never registered anywhere.

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  9. Wow! You guys are naturals–keep it up! I think her focus looks amazing–and the places where she does her own thing just show her personality and joie de vivre πŸ™‚

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  10. I give you major credit for going through with it and not getting stage fright. My bet is that after you’ve both had actual competition experience a few more times, things will start to fall into place. Shiva looks so happy out there, I think it doesn’t matter if she does it perfectly or not. It’s obviously something she loves to do!

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  11. Yes, I laughed: Shiva was obviously having a blast! And you kept your cool even when she zoomed off course, always returning to you. Agreed – great videography by PH. Oh, I am so glad you are doing this again this weekend – getting right back up on that horse while laughing the entire time. Indeed, looks like both you and Shivs had FUN.
    Liked the leg weaves you did on the box :).

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  12. AWESOME! I mean, when Shiva takes off there right at the beginning, I thought I’d fall of the chair laughing, but she’s so HAPPY!

    It’s about FUN, not gold medals or money (though they would be nice)… Next week will be even better!

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  13. Impressive! I love how much fun Shiva was having and I love that guts it took for you to do it! Even though she seemed to be all over the place, she was still there with you. For a first time, I think that says a lot. Thanks for sharing. It was great watching you two in action!!

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  14. Awesome video and congratulations for having the nerve to get yourself out there and have a go. It does get easier the more you do it and Shiva will soon learn the difference between training and competing. The first Rally O competition I did with Beryl she went round the course like she’d never been on a lead let alone knew how to sit or down, lol. Too busy gawking around and she seemed to forget I was there:)

    Great that you could memorise the courses! I so suck at that. Loved the way Shiva’s tail wagged non-stop. She’s such a happy worker. You’ve both come such a long way and have got so much potential for more. Well done:)

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  15. That was a great video! Love how you alternated between the match and indoors. She really does look like a happy joyful worker. Competing outdoors is never fun for me, my Lab gets too distracted, the grass is like a Nose Magnet to him, so I get stressed….you know how that goes. Glad you walked in with confidence and you both had a lot of fun!

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  16. Yea for you and Shiva! It’s obvious that she had a complete blast – it seems she thinks it’s all a big game, not a competition. Perhaps that will occur to her eventually and her competitive side (if she has one) will kick in. If not, who cares!?! She having so much fun – and that’s what really matters. I admire you for getting out there – I’d be hanging back watching, worried I’d look foolish in front of those people. But you looked GREAT!

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  17. Good for you in putting yourself out there and going for it! She is trying so hard and is having so much fun! You will likely have a few more times like this but as she gets used to doing agility in new environments you will be surprised how it all comes together. Really nice job!

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  18. Great video! Great song! And it looks like Shiva is having a great time, which is most important.

    A couple random comments – I didn’t notice you wearing a sweater of any kind! Ha. Also, maybe you, me, and Lori (OBF Lori) can put together a support group for “useless” (read: interesting) post-secondary educations!

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  19. I just LOVE Shiva’s enthusiasm! Looks like an awesome day, nothing like on the course training to really have fun. Definitely makes me me agility classes. Hmmm, maybe time to pick it back up.

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  20. you are totally right about just having to get out there and do it… it is what they encourage us to do at the tracking club, try trials pretty much straight away as you learn better as a handler in situations where there are standards and judges and pressure… πŸ˜‰

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  21. The first A-frame made me snort! πŸ™‚ She definitely “gets” it and there was certainly FUN in that match. I say mission accomplished; hope you have even more fun next time!

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  22. Holy Cow, i’m not sure how i missed this!!! I LOVE the video!!! I love that she just runs off to get her zoomies out then comes back does a few obstacles then runs out… all the while (well, it looks like this anyhow) you remain cool and calm and aren’t getting too peeved. I’ve seen some people FLIP out on their dogs for this type of behavior at classes/fun matches … Shiva’s having a blast and is figuring it out but also keeping an eye on ya. The zoomies should diminish as she learns about working in high distraction environments… keep at it!

    I love how she moves… AWESOME video… it looks like you had a blast!

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  23. It was so much fun to watch you and Shiva, coming from an agility background too. I could totally see the challenges and felt I was living vicariously through you. Since a knee injury in January, agility is not on my agenda any longer…at least for a while. We’ll see. Keep up the good work!

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