Hogan in Agility Training

Here you can see the A-frame, the pause table, and the teeter-totter.

Last week, I took Hogan to his first agility class at Superdog Central in Bowmanville. For a young dog—especially a young terrier—Hogan is very unenergetic (I had his thyroid tested, but apparently, it’s normal). His first agility class highlighted his lack of energy more than ever. The dogs were introduced to a hurdle, which was set at ground level; a tunnel; and a pause table. Hogan was very good about doing everything he was supposed to do; he just did it all at a snail’s pace. Whereas some dogs weren’t so sure about the tunnel, Hogan went through without issue, but he sauntered through, all the while sniffing for treats that might have been dropped. He also sauntered over the “jump” and onto the pause table. He showed no sense of enthusiasm or urgency whatsoever. That’s our laid-back Hogan!

Hogan really seemed to enjoy doing the A-frame!

Yesterday, at our second class, however, Hogan actually broke into a trot. The dogs learned to climb and descend the A-frame, did two jumps in a row, practised running through the tunnel, revisited the pause table, and were introduced to running through the chute (with the bottom end held open) and to hearing the bang of the teeter-totter.

From his very first approach to the A-frame, Hogan did what he was supposed to. He went up and then down, and he wasn’t even sauntering this time! He jumped onto the pause table easily and got into a down and waited for his treat. He also excelled at the tunnel this week, running through it and out the other end no matter how long the instructor made it (it started off short and became progressively longer). Where Hogan had trouble—and I take full responsibility for not practising enough with him—was with the sit/stay before doing the double jumps. So that’s what we must work on!

Hogan liked the pause table. He got to lie down there!

All in all, I don’t think Hogan will ever be competitive in agility, but excellence in competition was never my goal for him. I wanted Hogan to have something that he could do separate from Dusty and that he and I could do together (Dusty and Cora will get their opportunities, too!). And agility will certainly serve that purpose. Although Hogan will likely never be fast, he shows great promise at nevertheless being good!

(Not to take away from Hogan, but we bought the dogs a tunnel for Christmas, and I taught Dusty how to use it before we started Hogan in agility. Below is video of Dusty learning to use an “amateur’s” tunnel. The one Hogan’s running through is much bigger.)

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