Teaching agility and magic cures

Teaching agility is a tricky thing.  I have a friend who is very successful in agility but does not teach.  This friend is occasionally talked into doing a seminar by a local club.  Every time this happens my friend is struck again by how difficult it is to get people to change their agility habits.

It is.  It is VERY difficult.  People want to learn a “new move” but they don’t want to learn how to perfect their existing handling.  Which is human nature.  We all understand the learning curve on some fundamental level.  We know when we are in the steep part, when we are learning new things every day.  We know when we have gotten to the part where we are fighting the same demons over and over.  For myself my demon is focus under pressure.  Your demon might be timing your cues so that your dog understands what you want and is physically able to comply.  Someone else’s demon might be remembering the course.

We face similar struggles in daily life.  Nearly every one of us would like a pill that will allow us to be healthy eating whatever and as much as we would enjoy eating in a day.  This is how the diet book industry stays afloat.  I mean, don’t we really all *know* that it’s calories in should be equal to or less than calories burned?  It would be fantastic if there was a shortcut, but there is not.

Agility is not so different.  There is no magic pill.  There is no magic formula or system.  There is what people can do with their bodies and voices to show a dog around a course, and there is what dogs can learn to understand.  Then there’s the timing of presenting that information.  When it goes well it *is* magic, but there is no magic way to get to mastery.  Anyone who tells you that there is, be suspicious.  If they want a lot of money for the magic pill of agility mastery, walk away.