This weekend was the first agility competition of the year for us! Its always good to “get going” even though I take this competition as an indicator on what I need to work on towards the “real” season starts in april. Having competitions at our own club is extra fun, as we do seniorclasses and Team Bella get to have fun on the course again.
Criteria and details
A criteria is what your dogs needs to do in order to get their rewards, for instance stopping on the contact or waiting for the startsignal. It is important to me that there is no difference between training and competition in terms of criteria for my dog, the same applies both times. I know from experience that a disqualification because I upheld “our” criteria feels much better than a run where I did not upheld the criteria.
Buffy has always waited for my signal before starting but because I have not made sure the criteria is met, she has begun starting before I have given the signal. This was confirmed this weekend and luckily I have no problem receiving a disqualification on purpose to uphold the criteria.
What is the point of seniorclasses?
In SBK (my club) we do seniorclasses for dogs over 7 years at our agility competitions. They can run in grade 2 and on one height lower than usual. The idea was taken from Denmark where seniorclasses are common on all competitions and we feel its a god way for older dogs to still run agility but with less strain for the dog than usual.
Me and Bella always have a great time in the seniorclass eventhough we usually compete again just ourselves 🙂
Remember the good times!
At competitions it can be difficult not thinking about prizes and quliafications. I think its a lot more fun winning than being disqualified but at the same time I am happy I have been able to shift my focus to something more important. The flow and the feelings running agility gives me are what I allow myself to focus on during competitions. This is something I have learned through mental training which I started with in 2016 and has helped a great deal, not just for competitions. So instead of analyzing everything that went wrong after a competition, the first thing I do is to see what went well. When I have gained some distance I will look at what we can do better for next time.
More videos from the competition can be found on my YouTube channel.