Can You Name This Agility Game?

24 Apr 2008Steve Schwarz

I was at a Suzanne Clothier seminar in CT this last weekend and was speaking about agility with dog behaviorist and researcher Dr. Rudy de Meester from Belgium. He mentioned that he was concerned that people who compete in agility can push dogs harder than is good for the dog’s health. He told me about one dog sport and one type of agility competition that were new to me.

The new (to me) dog sport is canine cross country or CaniX. It is basically skijoring without skis. The human and dog are connected by harnesses and run together over a course. Since it involves running with your dog it requires the human to be as fit as the dog. I wish I was in shape enough to consider it.

The other interesting thing he mentioned was an agility game played in Belgium (and maybe elsewhere in Europe) where the object of the game is not to beat the clock but to match the clock. The team that comes closest to matching the course time wins. The thing I love about this game is it can be played by all ages of dogs and competitors. Dr. de Meester liked it because it didn’t encourage handlers to push their teammates past their abilities. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the name of the organization or this game. So if any of my European readers could give me some more information I’d love to learn more about this game.

The more I do agility the more I enjoy the games. At first I was intimidated by the rules. But now I’m older and not afraid to screw up on course and get disqualified. It doesn’t take long to develop some simple strategies and the planning of your run can be fun. Running the courses can also challenge how flexible you can be when things go wrong.

Also the local availability of CPE and, lately more, USDAA trials makes it easy and inexpensive to play more games and earn titles in the games. Some parts of the US also have a lot of NADAC which also features games. I think Bud Houston is bringing back JFF which will feature a lot of games too.

Are there any unusual agility games that you enjoy playing?

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