Dog Agility was born in the 1980's as a "halftime" entertainment during horse jumping competitions. It caught on like wildfire and has become the fastest-growing canine performance event. Thanks in part to it's presence on ESPN's televised "Great Outdoor Games", agility has gotten much more popular with the general public over the past 10 years. Along with the AKC, there are several organizations that have arisen to promote the sport, and more training clubs are popping up every year. Any breed is eligible to compete (mixed breeds allowed in all venues except AKC), but sport is dominated by herding dogs (Border Collies, Shelites, Austrailian Sheperds) retreivers (Labs, flat coats) and terriers (Jack Russells, Carin terriers), with Schnauzers, Corgis and Westies always making a reasonable run.
So you can imagine the looks I get when I show up with a French bulldog.....
Brutus shows a unusual athletic ability for a breed that is known more as a couch potato. Although I started doing agility just to help drain his endless energy, it turns out that Brutus has developed quite a following. We hope to make our show debut this fall (he can compete once he turns 15 months in October), but for now have really enjoyed doing agility demonstrations at local dog-related events.
Sure, the other dogs might be more flashy, but Brutus is predictably the crowd favorite. No one ever expects a stocky little guy like him to be able to fly around the course, or get his body off the ground at all. Luckily people are so enamored with Brutus, they don't seem to notice my poor attempt at handling!! He manages to win their applause every time, and always performs better in front of a crowd than he does during practice. I just come along for the ride!!
The agility photos I posted a few weeks ago proved to be one of our most popular posts ever! Not suprisingly, I have received many requests for more photos. You wanted to see tunnels and contact obstacles (A-frame, dogwalk, teeter), so here you go! Since I was busy handling Brutus, I must give credit to my dad & step-sister Aimee for capturing all the action!
Here we go---
... Over ...
... and down!
In one end...
... and (flying!) out the other
Yeah, his collar matches my outfit :)
(I need a life!)
The tongue helps him concentrate & hit that contact!
The Brute focussed on his momma!
I never noticed his ears curled when he ran until I saw this!
Had to include one jump for good measure!
If you are new to our blog and want to see more of Brutus doing agility, check out our "Flying Frenchie" post earlier this month for some amazing photos!
Well, we're off to practice some weave poles (notice there were none of those pictured... LOL). See you next week!!