Close Visit the newly redesigned AKC.org website by clicking here.

Agility for Life
By Meredith Garrett

All of my life I’ve loved learning about dogs and their relationships with people. Reading every book I could find about breeds and basic training was a priority. One day when I came across the sport of Agility on television, I became intrigued and convinced that this was the sport for me.

At first it was overwhelming trying to search for the perfect breed for our family, learn about agility and find places we could train. We were determined and our research into this growing sport paid off.

I got a Sheltie puppy and I began training him right away. From the beginning, I could tell he had the potential for an outstanding competitor. We had found a great training center only an hour away, and their encouragement and support boosted my confidence.

I feel that Baylie and I make a great team and it is definitely evident in his enthusiastic running. Throughout our training, I’ve learned some important things that might help others. Confidence is the key to a successful team. Don’t be nervous or hard on yourself, because everyone makes mistakes. Another essential element that will better your agility career and create a lasting friendship is communication. Having a great relationship makes your dog love to work and in turn creates fun, stress-free training and trials. Communication is vital to companionship. Remembering these things has been very helpful to me.

Most of all though, having fun is my favorite part of agility. I’ve gotten hooked on agility and every run is exciting for both of us. Agility is also something I love to share with people. Seeing people’s faces when I tell them about agility and showing them pictures of us, makes it all worth the time and effort. It’s gratifying to know that I may have inspired someone to get involved in the exciting world of agility.

My greatest wish is for the continued growth of the sport and it’s something that I know I will be a part of for the rest of my life.