Should I compete in agility with my lab?

Discussion in 'Agility & Flyball' started by Nia_Farlie_agility, May 1, 2020.

  1. Nia_Farlie_agility

    Nia_Farlie_agility Registered Users

    May 1, 2020
    I do agility with my 4 year old labrador retriever Farlie, and I have grown to love the sport so much. Me and Farlie train every day mostly and have a lot of equipment. We haven't competed so she is grade 1 however she can do g 5/6 courses. I have really grown to love this sport and its my dream to compete in crufts and top level agility. I am aware that this wont be possible with a labrador retriever as they do not have the flexibility or speed of a collie, and try as I might I cannot persuade my parents to get me a collie. I will be entering some very small for fun competitions so I can have some competing experience but my question is should I try to progress up the grades with Farlie or just keep practising in training and at home so I can gain agility experience and skills for when I am old enough to get a collie.She is 4 years old now and because this years agility season is ruined because of coronavirus we will only have a few agility seasons to compete in until she will have to retire. Also I get quite easily stressed out so going to big competitions might not be a good idea if Farlie wont even be successful. Also it wont be fair to expect her to compare her to speedy collies. She is a very small pedigree lab weighing only 23ish kg but she is the fittest healthiest lab I have met. So should I follow my dreams and try to go up the grades and try to win big competitions or should I keep quietly training at home for 5 years until I can finally get a collie and be properly successful in the sport I love.
  2. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

    Aug 25, 2018
    Jersey, Channel Islands
    I don't do agility, but from experience in other dog sports with dogs which I knew didn't have what it took to be successful at the top levels, I'd say:

    You learn so much from getting involved in a sport as far as you can, even when you are working with a dog which has limitations - that I would totally encourage that. Because, when you do get your collie, you will be able to achieve even more with that collie, the more experience you've got with your current dog. See it as important preparation for YOU, for the future as a handler - not so much about the dog and the outcome. Plus, if competitions do make you nervous, I can totally say that you get less nervous the more routine they become for you... and there are ways to 'play the game' in terms of human psychology and in terms of preparing a dog before competition and routines, which will again be invaluable when you do get your collie!

    But do take your dog as you find her and don't feel disappointed when she isn't as fast as a collie or doesn't do as well as your magic unattainable dream dog. Champion her own successes and set your own goals and standards with her and you can't fail, then.

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