Sarah and Aiden

I was very proud of Aiden (and myself!) this summer. After practicing hard for 8 months I entered Aiden in two agility trials this summer. Aiden came to me as a 3 yr old just last year and has some issues with reactivity, which makes taking him to a dog show extra challenging! I was so proud of him at both trials. He remained focused on me, and all our hard work training paid of as we got 3 Qualifying runs towards his title, and he took a Second Place and a First place!

For the (off leash) agility competitions Aiden needed to learn each piece of equipment individuality then we needed to put the pieces together so he could run a whole course.

Aiden came to me with a good obedience foundation but probably a lack of “real world experience”, so he hadn’t been exposed to a lot of new places/people or other dogs. We are still working on this, but I took him to agility practices/classes in as many different places as possible so that he could be exposed to lots of different settings with other dogs and other people.

FOCUS was my key to succes with him at agility. I needed his attention on me! So much going on at an outdoor trial that I needed to be able to keep him looking at me rather than focusing on the other dogs and other peope outside the ring. So we worked alot on that…..when we see other dogs/people he looks at me and gets a special treat….now I do have an “auto look”. I had to keep agility super fun for him with lots of treat and toy rewards, so agility would be more rewarding than running off to bark at people/dogs!

Before Aiden could even go to agility classes he needed to learn the basics. I signed him up for Basic Obedience at dogma. Here he learned all the basics sit, down, stay, come, focus, and name attention. All of which I use in his agility practices. Most importantly, was learning and classes and working with me became fun for him because he learned using positive reinforcement methods. Aiden was unsure of other dogs at first. So having him in various dogma classes and in supervised playtimes really helped him learn appropriate doggy play.

Note from Megan: “When I first met Aiden he was an anxious nervous boy. He was unsure of new people and new dogs and would snap at them if he became to overwhelmed. We worked with him to integrate him back in with his canine companions. It took only four sessions and he has been attending daycare regularly since then! The agility has really built his confidence. It has been so great watching Sarah’s dedication to him and how with all of her hard work, he has become a confident, happy agility star!”

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