AgilityNerd (aka Steve) has brought the agility blogging community together again for a blog action day. Dog bloggers all over the country are preparing posts on a common topic "If I knew then what I know now" - the timing is perfect with lots of newbies getting ready to enter and run in their first trials.
The rest of the blogs for the DABAD (dog agility blog action day) can be found here:
P.S. - I haven't had time to read the other submissions yet - but I love the title of Susan Garret's post:
Dogs Are Amazing and Will Do Everything You Want if You Have Cheese
I've written a bit about preparing to trial from a rules and regulations standpoint (you can find that series here). But from a personal perspective what do I really wish I'd known eight years ago when I got into this sport? There are so many things - but that would take an entire semester of classes or blog posts to get through so I'll touch on a few:
Run each run
A fit dog is a sound dog
I started Murphy and Teller both on bad footing - horse stall mats that were slippery, hard, uneven. I have dogs that were so careful on course because they learned to protect themselves running. Then you have the dogs that don't protect themselves on that footing and you have injuries - or dogs that learn to compensate for the footing by torquing their bodies. At some point Teller finally figured out that various facilities (mostly trial facilities) had good footing and he'd really step it up and run differently! Gah! That's not the dog I have in training! Once I quit running the dogs on bad footing I started to get that trial dog in training - what a difference!
Fun and Friendship matter