About 2 years ago, I felt that Nubis and I needed a new training challenge, so I decided to contact a local agility training center. Initially, I was only planning on doing this as an outlet for her boundless energy, and to hopefully continue to build her confidence even more. I had resigned myself to the fact that with her past history of fearing loud noises (clapping, thunder, and gunshots, etc.) and crowds, competing with her was totally out of the question. Agility trials can be noisy places and there are lots of people. While she had come a long way from when we started working with Terry, she was still not totally comfortable in those situations.
After about 8 months of training, and much prodding; our agility trainer convinced me to enter our first trial! It was outdoors, and we figured that would be better since the noises would dissipate more quickly. So enter it we did, and to my amazement, we had great success! She didn’t race around the course; instead, she stayed close, and kind of trotted along side of me. BUT… we had three qualifying runs on our very first try! This is a huge deal for a “baby” dog!
It’s been a full year since that first day, and now we’re competing at least once a month, and this winter, we began attending indoor trials! She is closing in on her 1,000 point title in Level 1, and has gained enough confidence that she will now run (instead of trotting beside me) at certain points of the course.
It’s almost hard to believe as I see her running the course; head high, tail up, having a great time, that she was ever the frightened little dog who used to spend most of her time, hiding under a pillow…