Friday, January 27, 2012

Obedience vs Agility

I've been toying with the idea of training one of my dogs for the obedience ring. Probably Jake since his hips won't support an agility career and he deserves a chance to do something. But this weekend has really put a damper on that idea.
We are in Nashville at a show that have both agility and obedience. And the difference between the two is striking.
At the agility ring, people are laughing and talking. Someone leaves the ring after a particularly nice run and people clap with genuine happiness for them. "Good run!" "Wow, what a great front cross after [obstacle] six!" And for the people that didn't do so well "Sorry about the bar, but wow, was that a great run otherwise!" or, "dang him for popping those weaves... especially when you had such a good run going!" The participants (both human and canine) are having fun, visiting, laughing and cheering one another on. Sure, there is competition, but it isn't mean spirited.
But the last two days, I've passed through the obedience area, and it is like there is an evil spell around them. The people are stressed and no one was cheering others on. The tension level was palpable. All during the day as we walked from the agility ring or outdoors back to the crating area, people were practicing their obedience work in the middle of the aisles-all with very stern expressions. Even at the hotel, we were rudely interrupted by the sound of someone tossing their dumbell down the hallway at 6am to get ready for today's show. AND, it might be my imagination, but I think that there is WAY more poop than normal being left behind, and I'm blaming it all on the obedience people (even though I have no evidence to support that).
Anyway, these last few days have made me change my mind about obedience- I just don't have it in me. One of two things would happen... either I would start being rude back to all the cranky folks, OR, I would turn it into a big joke and say/do something entirely wacky.
Either way, it wouldn't be pretty.


  1. Wow...good things to know. We just adopted a dog from a rescue and they "think" she's a lab/border collie. We're totally smitten by her. She's got the webbed toes of a Lab. And judging by the way she weaves and jumps I can see her "collie". She loves going up and down the kids slide in our yard. She's only 13 weeks, but we're excited to see what she can learn. I'm sure that we'll lean more towards agility.

  2. PS. I found you from Sue (the Port. Water Blog)

  3. Kim, nice to meet you! Maggie is also a rescue! Good for you for saving someone!
    I hope you enjoy agility as much as we do.

  4. Just ran across your blog and am just saying that obedience rings need someone like you to lighten things up - how else are they going to change? Go for it!