Chico and I have been competing at about one agility trial a month since last September, and in July we worked our way out of Novice level into Open level. Courses are longer and more challenging than in Novice, judging is considerably less forgiving, and we are not getting qualifying runs. We are having fun! It’s fun to be challenged. Odd as it might sound, one advantage is that in Open, dogs face a twelve-pole set of weave poles. In Novice, competitors get a break and the weave poles (generally considered the hardest obstacle because it is not a movement dogs make in “real life”) are a set of sic, not twelve. Chico, for some reason, really doesn’t take a set of six weave poles very seriously, so this is great. And Julie‘s practice courses are all at the Open, or even Excellent, level, so Chico and I are kind of used to boldly trying maneuvers that might be a shade beyond our collective abilities.
The first weekend of August, we competed on two days in an Agility Club of New Hampshire trial at American K9 Country. My camera got the hiccups and Saturday’s runs were not successfully recorded, but, thanks to my class mates Joyce and Margaret, we got Sundays runs. Some parts are very good and some parts are horrid.
The majority of agility competition takes place in the Excellent division, for dogs jumping 16 and 20 inches. When we get to Excellent, we’ll be in classes with thirty, forty and even fifty dogs. I’m perfectly happy for it to take another year to get there. Right now, as the video shows, Open courses are challenging enough.