|Barked: Thu Aug 8, '13 11:36am PST |
|You are right Maggie. There are many hidden disabilities out there. That is one reason it's very important not to judge someone's handling when watching agility.
I once was doing a long lead out with my dog Aslan. I don't see well. It's very much a hidden disability. When I lead out a few obstacles, I cannot tell if Aslan, who is the same color as the dirt surfaces we trial on around here, has moved or if he is still in a stay position. I can tell if he hasn't taken the first obstacle, but that is is.
Because of that, his (and all of my dogs) start line stay criteria is just not to take the first obstacle. At this trial, I set him down at the start line and told him "stay." As I was leading out, he left his sit and crept up to in front of the first obstacle. I heard someone in the audience say very sarcastically, "Oh yeah. 'Stay!'"
It made me so mad I almost stopped, turned to the bleachers and gave whoever said that a lecture. My dog was doing EXACTLY what he was trained to do...not take the first obstacle.
I've learned to really try and never judge someone's training or handling. There are almost always reasons for what they do.
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