I have the privilege every week to work with amazing athletes. They are sure of their job description and really excellent at executing it. They are focused on their part of amazing team work. They are quite frankly the most well rounded athletes of any species I have ever worked on and with. Their bodies are nothing short of perfection with the correct proportion of muscle over correct structure. It is such a pleasure to put my hand on these great athletes every week and be a part of the team that keeps them healthy and marking milestones in their sport of choice. I am talking about the Canine Agility Dog. It is such an honor to work on these dogs. To put your hands on them is getting close to perfection on earth. Now, with that said, not all dogs that run agility are equal. To be in the upper echelon of this canine world the breeder had to do their job first. It is their, and in some cases our, responsibility to breed dogs that can live up to this standard of competence. To put dogs in performance homes that are capable of being the best strung together dog in the litter physically and mentally. They must have good shoulders, pasterns and proper front assemblies for this to be a good performance dog. They must be balanced front and rear. They must have good strong toplines resulting from correct shoulder placement. They must have correct tail sets to assure quality and sustainable drive through the pelvis. They must be of the correct temperament and biddablity to be a contender in this great sport. If they are not, we are doing them a great disservice in placing them in homes as performance dogs. I recently had the opportunity to stay with a dear friend of mine who has a retired agility dog. She is approaching her 12th birthday and is in spectacular shape. I did body work on this dog for a portion of her career and she is still able to hold on the muscle memory and tone after retirement. I love watching this dog in the back yard. She is agile, flexible and and tribute to her breed. She had the makings of a great agility dog from birth, balance, moderation and tremendous desire to compete. It is hard to say these days who is happier to see one another, she or I.
If you are breeding dogs, please take a moment when considering a potential breeding and to ponder this notion. Will this produce a well rounded dog in Make, Shape, Temperament and biddably to do more that be a pretty face to win ribbons to hang on the wall? Can you breed a Sklyar, a Ray, a Gemmie, A Tigger or a Reddy/Ashley? If you are lucky to be part of a team with these dogs, thank the breeder for setting you and your teammate up for success. It takes time and effort to create a great one in any benchmark achievment. Please take to time to do your homework, an animals quality of life is dependant on it.
See you the next show.