A new opportunity to compete with Belgian Shepherds in Agility at the World level!
The Belgian Shepherd Dog Club of Canada is excited to announce the creation of its Agility World Team Committee, that will select the dog-handler teams to represent Canada at the FMBB World Championships, in collaboration with the Canadian Working Dog Federation (CWBSA). The BSDCC AWT committee consists of Seanna O'Neill, Eleanor Heagy, and Cindy Bazin.
Dog agility is a sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs must run off-leash with no food or toys as incentives. The handler can touch neither dog nor obstacles, except accidentally, consequently, the handler's controls are limited to voice, movement, and various body signals, requiring exceptional training of the animal and of the human.
In its simplest form, an agility course consists of a set of standard obstacles, laid out by an agility judge in a design of his own choosing on a roughly 100 by 100 foot (30 by 30 m) area, with numbers indicating the order in which the dog must complete the obstacles.
Courses are complicated enough that a dog could not complete them correctly without human direction. In competition, the handler must assess the course, decide on handling strategies, and direct the dog through the course, with precision and speed equally important. Many strategies exist to compensate for the inherent difference in human and dog speeds and the strengths and weaknesses of the various dogs and handlers. Many things can go wrong, though, and for any course on any day, it is rare to be able to predict which team will perform best.
Because each course is different, handlers are allowed a short walk-through (also called a run-through) before the competition starts. During this time, all handlers competing in a particular class can walk or run around the course without their dogs, determining how they can best position themselves and guide their dogs to get the most accurate and rapid path around the numbered obstacles.
Most Belgian Shepherd Dogs seem to excel in Agility, I believe the reason for this is their strong ability to read their owners feelings and the strong connection they have with them.
So now that you know a little more information about Agility; why don't you find a club near you and try it with your Belgian!