Yeah we’re into sports. Dog sports.
Before adopting Lucy I think I was aware that dog sports (like agility) existed. And I probably thought: ‘Good for them, I’m never going to do anything like that’. Cut to me now and I’m subscribing to Clean Run magazine.
Living with a herding dog has really expanded my world. We started with puppy classes. And trick classes. We were good at everything. I got really into training for fun. And then came anxiety and reactivity which forced me to learn more about dog training than I ever thought I would need.
Herding dogs have a lot of energy. And drive. Lucy was chasing a ball on the day we brought her home as a puppy. If a ball is visible she can’t stop. Herding dog brains also have to be worked or they become even crazier than they already are. So just playing fetch isn’t enough. We aim to exhaust our cattle dog with a mix of physical and mental exercise…everyday.
They say herding dogs need to have a ‘job’. So I started looking for other things Lucy and I could do together. Enter agility! Agility is really fun for the dog and the person. But it’s also really hard. We’re still learning the advanced obstacles like the weave poles, teeter, and dog walk. And the most difficult thing for me is being coordinated and athletic enough to keep up with Lucy and direct her where to go.
Interestingly enough, agility is totally doable with a deaf dog - because a lot of the handling communication is based on the human’s body, feet, and arm positions. I still think it’s a little harder for us because most people yell a lot of directions when they run.
We’re still pretty beginner but I want to try competing. It’s possible that a trial situation will be too much for Lucy to handle. But I don’t think there’s harm in trying!