I had a long discussion with a friend of mine about agility with Tibetan Terriers. Her opinion was that a Tibetan Terrier is not to be called an agility dog. She didn’t want to explain it more in public so I won’t write more about her. But that made me very sad and I want to tell a bit about my experiences in dog agility.
I remember in the end of 80’s or beginning of 90’s when agility was introduced the first time in my hometown and it’s local kennel club. My mother took us kids with her to trainings and we also got to try agility with our Tibetan Terriers. It was lots of fun and the dogs seemed to like it too.
Years went by and when I got my first real own dog, I attended of course to agility courses. Agility was a really nice hobby I had in my life till 2007.
We lived in Vaasa for several years and there was a quite nice agility club at the time. I started competing first in unofficial competitions and then in official ones.
We moved back to Pietarsaari in August 2002 and of course I started to train agility in my old club, our local kennel club. I had two poodles I trained at the time. I remember the first training sessions with my poodles were not so pleasant. The miniature poodle was attacked by a belgian shepherd and the dwarf poodle by a standard poodle.
Anyway we continued the training. The level of trainers weren’t as high as we were used in Vaasa and over the years I felt I wasn’t really welcome. I had some few friends. They were friends of my mother so maybe they were just polite, I don’t know. My dwarf poodle was the agility dog of dreams, faster than wind and very loyal and hard worker. Maybe the other ones were jealous, who knows? At the time my poodle was the fastest dog in the club, all the others had troubles to reach the ideal times.
Year by year it got harder and harder to find motivation. I started to come up excuses why I wouldn’t have to go to trainings. My dogs were happy either way. I went to the beginners classes with my first lhasa. The trainer had a bad attitude and really hated a beautiful happy dog with a mind of her own. She made us do everything much more harder way than the others. Of course that didn’t work at all. I felt we weren’t welcome to the club because they thought a Lhasa Apso is not a breed that can make it to the World Championships or even National Championships.
I was a bit more lucky with my Tibetan Terrier boy. His beginners classes had the best possible trainee. Because her own breed was whoppet, she understood that it’s not the breed or even the individual dog what is or is not suitable for agility. It’s all about finding the right methods and motivation. She learned me so much about positive training methods! They really worked fast and easy. It was so much fun to go to the trainings when everyone was so positive and everyone got so much progress every time.
Unfortunately the beginners classes didn’t last forever and we had to move on. Quite soon after that I decided to quit agility. I had thought about changing club but the whole agility scene in Finland had changed. There used to be a different variety of breeds in agility in Finland and that was a thing we were very proud of. The Finnish agility team used to be very successful in the World Championships. Now they are fighting with each other using fists.
In my eyes agility is no more fun. I’ve heard it’s quite much same in all agility clubs (I really hope I’m wrong with this!). There’s only room for border collies and shelties.
Here’s a video showing how much fun a Tibetan Terrier Ch. Lövskär’s Nag Po can have in agility trainings! You be the judge if a Tibetan Terrier is good enough to be called an agility dog 😉
And another one: