Friday, January 7

Playing Agility with Roofus

Yesterday I took Roofus, my Old English Sheepdog, outside to see if I could get him started in agility. He's freaking humongous (30" or so at the shoulders) so I don't really want him doing most things in agility. Like contacts. Or weaves. And if I run him in CPE, he can do 16" as a specialist, so the jumping part isn't too bad. The only thing left that I don't really like is the tunnel - it's 24" tall, so giant dogs like Roo have to literally crawl through them, while every other dog can take them at a run. I'm still waiting for a "Giant Dog Breed Agility Association," but one does not look forthcoming. :( They have teacup dog agility, why not giant breed? Lower jumping heights (it is NOT necessary to jump a dog at 24", I'm sorry), bigger tunnels, wider dog walk and teeter, 30" weaves, and maybe a lower a-frame with a longer contact.

Anyhow, Roofus can be a dim bulb. And I say that in the most loving way imaginable. I wouldn't change a thing about him (except his recent leash aggression issue), I picked the breed knowing he was not going to win any IQ tests.

After he got used to the first jump back and forth a few times, I tried to step it up by running beside him. Going from one direction, that was fine. But going the other direction, he would run around the jump, no matter how nicely I lined him up or made it so the jump was impossible to run around. I started laughing because he's just a big fluffy goofball and he was having a great time running around the jump. :)

Eventually we worked it out, and I added in a tire jump, because I don't currently own more than one 16" jump (my other dogs jump 8" and 12"). Santa brought me a competition tire jump for Christmas, but it is at my in-laws, and alas, I had to use my cheesy, piece of crap tire jump that is roughly the same size around as Roofus is.

Our sequence looked like this - an enormous bunny butt running at the first jump, doing a tiny little hop, galloping towards the tire jump, EEEERK, slamming on the brakes, and walking daintily through the tire jump one leg at a time. :)

I love my Roofus!

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