Thursday, November 20, 2008

As we had competed for several years at agility in the UK we decided, that although we were now down to just the one dog, we would continue.

Our Australian Shepherd that we imported with us had just started agility back home so we were nowhere ready to compete with her but required a training club.

After several phone calls to various people we found a club local to where we were staying and more importantly would be training that night and we could go along and be assessed.

We turned up at the training venue which was about the size of a couple of football pitches (length wise) and there were about a hundred dogs there!! Alas they were not all for the agility but for the obedience side of the club - the agility was at the rear of the club house. We went round and there was about 10 dogs there!!!!!

The dog was assessed and it was decided that she was very good - by their standards - and she could join in with their competition dogs on both a Wednesday night and a Sunday morning.

To join their agility section the dogs had to be 18 months old and completed grade 5 obedience training - ours was over the 18 months but had not done any obedience other than basic training - sit, stay etc on lead! (the equivalent of their grade 1!) Handlers had to be at least 12 years old to train and to compete.

There are several clubs in the surrounding area that train agility second to obedience but there is a club closer to Adelaide itself which trains agility exclusively - we again had to be assessed and move up through their grades - again something she has done quickly! We now train 3 times a week - which sounds a lot but because of the size of the clubs, tends to only mean about 4-6 runs a night.

Another rule they have is that they don't train when the temperature is forecast to go above 32 degrees that day. It does stay this hot even at night and we are not anywhere near the summer yet!! It can also get pretty cold here - something we weren't prepared for.