A couple of weeks ago, I posed a question to the people on my mailing list: Why do you do agility? There was more to the question than that, but I REALLY enjoyed reading the responses, and I don’t want to lose them, AND I want to be able to share them. I started collecting the responses in document so that I could read and reread them, and enjoy them, and draw motivation from them myself, and then I realized, WAIT, those of you who WROTE probably would enjoy the same thing. So, here goes:
So, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why *I* do agility. What about it is so fulfilling? What need does it fill for me that other activities fill for other people? Is it an emotional need? A physical outlet? Competitive outlet? Just something to do with my dogs? For me, it’s so much more than just something to do. So many of us are so passionate about it. Why? Why are YOU so passionate about dog agility? What is it about this activity that has got YOU hooked? No greater cause, just curious what your answer would be, your agility manifesto, so to speak. If you’ve got a minute, email me back, I’d love to read your thoughts!
I am passionate about agility because it combines the three things that have been most important in my life.
First, I love collaboration, working together with others to accomplish a common goal.
Second, I am fascinated by understanding how others think, learn, reason through problems, identify goals.
Third, I love the animal world, but most especially the universe of dogs.
Agility is a unique and beautiful medium that weaves these three pieces together.
It has taught me how to communicate and understand a wonderful friend so that the two of us can collaborate in the challenge of solving the mystery of a jumble of jumps, tunnels and obstacles.
Because I’m still fascinated by dog behavior and dog training. I still look at agility as just dog training and not so much a sport. I’m still enchanted with the the idea of getting my dog to “want” and “enjoy” doing something “I” want to do.
My motto…Train attitude, not obstacles”
I’ve never liked head to head competition but love challenging myself as a trainer and a competitor. Agility gives me both.
As I’m thinking of all these reasons one thought came to mind.
Because I’ve been doing it for so long it’s just part of my life. It’s been part of half of my life! Which can be somewhat of a sad statement because it’s so NOT who I am. I could walk away from agility and be perfectly happy but probably not walk away from dog training. I miss doing movie work with my dogs.
I feel lucky to have seen the sport change and evolve. I look forward to being part of what it will become in the future.
The only part that makes me want to go away is how it changes people, sometimes not for the better.
I believe in coming out of every situation a better person…especially towards others.
I love training my dogs, I love teaching. ..I could take or leave the competing.
How is that for a short answer….phew! I feel better now that I got that off of my chest!
Why do I do agility? This question has an evolving, revolving answer. I got into it because it looked a whole lot more exciting and positive than obedience, and I selected a Shetland Sheepdog with the intention of pursuing sports with him.
Why do I engage in agility?
1. The strong connection it fosters between my dog and me.
2. It is something FUN to do with my dog.
3. The people I like and appreciate the most includes many agility people.
4. I enjoy the challenge of learning new things and improving our dog/handler teamwork.
So you asked — I LOVE LOVE LOVE dogs! As a matter fact for the most part, I think dogs in many ways are better than people. They’re honest, trustworthy and don’t judge you. Always happy to be with you! So I enjoy being with my best buddy. And he doesn’t care if we win or lose. He makes me not take life so seriously and have fun! I’ve shared my life with a dog since I was just a toddler and can’t imagine life without one by my side.
Several things got me Hooked on Agility, but really once I understood the game and engaged with my dog without a care about the awards or what anyone thought it became my Escape to have Fun and take a break from anything negative or hurtful in my life.