Monday, August 23, 2010

"He would be a great agility dog."

I this phone call, email, and note at the shelter way too often.

Why do many people think this dog needing a home would be good at agility?
- The dog can jump. Over the couch. Over horse jumps. Over the fence. On people. Over logs.
- The dog can run "fast."
- The dog is "very smart." But has no actual behaviors trained.
- The dog is a border collie/sheltie/etc...

What actually might make agility dog? (May include but is not limited to...)
- A dog that has many high value reinforcers.
- A dog that has a strong interest in interacting with people
- A dog with good body awareness.
- Behaviors on cue.
- A healthy, sound dog.
- A dog readily working/attentive in new environments.

But really, (and unfortunately) there are not many people looking to adopt a dog specifically for agility. And many of those dogs labeled as agility prospects...really aren't all that ideal for agility. Sometimes those petfinder labels come from that first listing instead of features on the second list.....

1 comment:

Crystal said...


This is totally one of my pet peeves. A particular rescue group in my area is FOREVER posting dogs on Craigslist that would make "great agility dogs"- but they have horrendous shoulders, are out of control, etc.

Look. Just because a dog has a lot of energy doesn't mean that it would make a good agility prospect. I know that, and I don't even DO agility.