Fanny Gott had a good blog post recently about letting your dog tell you when he’s ready to work on differently agility skills and she said, “Every dog has their own timeline.” I have definitely found this to be true with Gambit. Sometimes easing up and working on other things for a bit helps us move forward.
We are not in a hurry. I want Gambit to be strong and confident. I want his body to be ready for what I ask him to do and I always want to put his safety first. Gambit turned 12 months at the beginning of August. For now he is still jumping 8 inches in class and usually just running through jumps on the ground at home. We are not in a hurry. I want to be sure I am making progress with my handling, communicating with him the best I can to indicate which jump and turn I want him to take next. I want him to learn to do most of the obstacles independently, without needing to look back at me. I want Gambit confident and strong. We are on his time.
I decided to repeat the Agility Foundation 2 class we are taking. He could move on but I think he will be stronger and we will both be better if we wait. It’s hard to hold back and not move forward with other members of the class but it is the right choice for us. Gambit is often brilliant in class but I want to be sure he is comfortable focusing on me and on task before we move up. I don’t want him getting hurt because he is distracted by the cute terrier girl in the corner on the teeter while we run across the dog walk.
I am thrilled with how well Gambit is doing and how well he focuses in an exciting class. But I want him to be even better. Sometimes waiting allows us to move forward faster.
*Fanny Gott’s blog: http://www.fannygott.com/let-the-dog-tell-you-when-hes-ready