"Bek" Loved and owned by Kelly Pierson whipping through the Weave poles !
I can not tell you how I envy folks who are able to train, work and play in Agility ! I have some health issues that make competitive agility impossible for me. But when we go to shows and I have an extra few moments I love having a chance to watch the agility dogs work, at any level it is both exciting and fun. And in all honesty every time I watch a competiton I am reminded of a qoute from Maxim Magazine, they were discussing" Macho Dogs", and the Ridgeback was claimed by the reporter to be the " Navy Seal of Dogs" Able to do it ALL . I think agility is the best example of this.
Bek's Mom actually says it far better than I ever could...
"I knew right away after the first few weeks of bringing Bek home...he was going to need a job. In fact I wasn't all too entirely convinced Bek was not part Border Collie. All puppies are active but Bek was to the extreme. So outgoing, active, athletic, really a busy body! Loves all other dogs big and small and people. He just has that joy for life! I had always wanted to try agility myself, and thought this would be the perfect "job" for both of us. We started training for agility right when he was 6 months old. Boy did we have a steep learning curve though. Focus was our biggest issue. Bek proved that he could master all the pieces of agility it was just keeping him focused for more than a few seconds at a time that was our challenge to overcome! Fast forward a few years, with the help, mentoring and support of several local trainers and agility gurus, we have improved 1000% and we now have great focus combined with speed, precision and control that are allowing us to finally move forward through the ranks of the competition agility world. Of course that's not to say that a Ridgeback, doesn't like to still "show its colors" every now and again! Thats the fun of it though. I am so excited at Bek's potential and where we can go. Competing mostly in Colorado, we are almost always the ONLY Ridgeback at the trial, and I am proud to walk around with Bek among all the other breeds that are known for their agility excellence, and show people how a Ridgeback can hold it's own right among them. Bek is a great ambassador for the breed too, as he loves the attention, the commotion, meeting new people and dogs! Go figure!
I encourage anyone who thinks they want to try agility with their Ridgeback to get out there and give it a shot! Even if you never compete or have no interest in it, it's a great bond builder between you and the dog, and there are many skills learned in agility that translate to confidence builders for your dog, great exercise, and socialization too. "
THAT is what Agility is truly about. It is not about hiring a handler or turning your dog over to be shown, it is about constant reinforcement of behaviors. It is designed to show the competing dog not doing "tricks", there is no sitting and begging, High Fiving or wearing a tu tu... Rather the dogs are doing activities that mimic maneuvers found in the brush.. Things a dog may have had to do to survive or preform a job. Highly functional things, jumping vertical and horizontal jumps, going over an A frame, a cat walk, though tunnels that curve or have a collapsed legnth of fabric, the down table may seem silly but it shows the dog's ability in a heated, fast moving event to listen and drop, pausing until released.. weave poles showing the dogs ability to manuever tight areas and even the teeter totter, the dog not simply walking on a narrow board but one that moves! In Agility there are two colors involved, Blue and Yellow, which indicate specific contact areas. The dog must not only do the task it is asked to, but hit the correct areas on an ever changing zig zaggedty course that doubles back on it's self , off lead and while being timed! I not only can't run fast enough to stay with the dog, I can't even keep the course diagram straight!! My hat is off to the competitors! You see ALL ages and breeds trying to master the Agility course.
We had the honor of breeding an amazing agility boy in our first Bo-Jasmine litter. While considered pet quality since he had "ridge issues" Tigger was Incredible. Adored by his Momma, Laura Moore , who until Tigger , had only owned German Shepards. A breed hard wired to take commands and obey without question. What a wake up call Tigger was for her! She had to relearn how to train dogs and in all honesty became a really superior trainer of intellingent canines in the process. GSDs are smart , please don't get me wrong. But unlike the RR they aren't going to get bored look at you and say " Yeah, I don't think so , thi sis dumb!" While Tigger passed away much too young due to an accidental medication complication He was only a few points shy of becoming the first RR to obtain the MACH title for Agility. We were thrilled to have been able to watch him compete at the enourmous Houston, Texas show. Our pride was beyond obvious to everyone, He flew through the course to great applause. We have been told he was the inspiration for many of the early RR Agility competitors. He challenged and raised the bar. Yes, it takes a different approach to training, as the Sport must be kept a positive game, fun and rewarding . Harsh methods or corrections will sour a Rhodesian fast.
Our Boy , "Tigger"
Bwanas Hes'a Classy Tigger AJ AJX owned and loved by Laura Moore.
When the call went out for photos I was swamped by proud parents, if I make a mistake or get a name wrong PLEASE let me know, your hard work should be acknowledged!
DC Dimond Champagne Wishes CGC TDI TT - Gia belonging to and loved by Nicole Sevy , through the tire and over the jumps. Any contact knocks bars down or makes the tire swing so clean jumps are essential ! The focus and determination on her sweet face says it all!
RokiShoal's First Chance OA OAJ NA NAJ RA JC CGC TT AXJ
Sala owned and loved by Susan Joyer Tinch, co-owned by Denise Price, taking a jump clean and with enthusiasim, followed by the closed Tunnel. Closed tunnels are an act of Faith for a dog. They mimic hunting situations, where a dog may chase prey into dense brush, caves, tunnels and culverts.
CH Dimond's Bekua Live At Red Rocks NF NA NAJ CGC GRC C-BTA C-BSA
Bek and Kelly Pierson in competition, the judge looking on with approval as he hits hits his targets!
And if you haven't seen enough happy dogs check out Riley ! And the SERIOUS titles he and his Mom have earned! One of the great things about her note on Riley has to do with the ages she shares about his accomplishments. Any one can fall in love with a puppy but often the owners seem to think after some basic manners and a trick or two they have maxed out on their potential. The saying " Can't teach an Old Dog New Tricks" will never apply to the Ridgeback...the owner ..maybe, but as a breed they are exceptionally smart.
Jacqhari's All Riled Up CGC HIC TDI FCH SGRC JOR MC OA OAJ EJC TN-E NAC
Owned and Loved by Tracy and Jonathan Hartzel
"He took a couple introduction to agility classes when he was a youngster, maybe when he was 1 or 2 but we focused more on lure coursing back then. After we moved to PA, when he was around 5, we started agility although racing became our passion. I think he proabably was around 5 or 6 when he did his first trial but we really started with agility when he was around 7 and I thought it was easier on him than racing, although we still did that and lure coursing too. He continued till he was about 10.5 or so. He was a challenge though - a mind of his own, a true livernose male. He did a million times better at indoor trials. His nemesis was the weave poles. He was great at jumping - rarely took a bar down. We did mostly AKC and NADAC and a few USDA trials. He managed to make it to excellent in AKC. He did great at jumpers and tunnlers in NADAC earning his elite titles there." Tracy
I really hope this works... I am not a cyber wizard at embedding code of any kind. However I thought anyone thinking about the adventure of Agility would get a feel for the thrill! Thank YOu Susan!!!
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1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="300"></embed></object><p><a href="RokiShoals'http://vimeo.com/9086749">RokiShoals First Chance, RA, OA, AXJ, CGC, TT "Sala"</a> from <a href="Susan'http://vimeo.com/user3029511">Susan Tinch</a> on <a href="Vimeo. http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>