Dog sports are a great way to bond with your dog. They are great physical and mental stimulation for both your dog and yourself.
My dog Moose and I are new to the sport of Agility and are loving it. Moose and I started with the Foundations Class with the Newfoundland Athletic Dog Association (NADA), which is a requirement before beginning any dog sport with the NADA. NADA is run by volunteers and is an awesome organization to join if you want to get into dog sports in Newfoundland. In addition to Agility, NADA offers many dog sport classes such as Fly ball and Rally-O.
The dog sport of Agility is when a dog and their handler navigates a course made up of jumps, tunnels, ramps and many more obstacles and challenges. The objective is to complete the course with accuracy and speed to achieve enough legs or “Q’s” to complete a title. Once a title is completed then you can move up to the next level at the next trial that is attended. There are also games such as Gamblers, Jumpers and Snooker where the objective is to accumulate points. The Foundations Class starts you and your dog off on the right foot (or paw), and gets you both set up for success. Once you have successfully completed this class you can move on to Agility Level 1. Moose and I are currently finishing off Level 3.
The dog sport of Agility takes a lot of time, patience and practice, but it is a lot of fun. I love seeing the excitement and enthusiasm my little dog Moose has when we arrive at the practice facility. Moose and I have yet to compete in any trials as we are still very new to the sport and have lots to learn, but we are hoping to participate in a few in the coming year.
Whether we compete in agility trials or not, it’s still a lot of fun for both myself and Moose, and that is ultimately the most important part.
Joanne Combdon and Moose