Read how OMD Coach Jane Elene Christensen introduced her brother in law to the world of agility.
"Last summer my brother in law Frederik wanted to try to run agility. I suggested that he could run with my senior dog Jiggy, who is very experienced. We gave it a try, but it didn’t work out. Jiggy was retired because of injury and we were sad to realize she couldn’t even do 5-10 minutes of training on low jumps without ending up lame. We had to find another solution.
Frederik and my sister own a border collie called Chip that I’ve bred myself. Chip was 20 months old at the time. I have trained agility with Chip around 2-4 times a month since he was about six months old. Since Chip lives with Frederik and my sister, his basic training has never been as regular as with my own dogs. Despite the lack of consistent training, Chip has always been super easy to handle in agility.
I suggested Frederik could try running with Chip, regardless of the fact Chip was still very new to agility. Frederik had no previous experience with agility whatsoever, if you don’t count the fact that he has seen me run.
On top of that, Frederik has a disease called Morbus Bechterew, which causes the vertebrae to grow together and become completely stiff. It is the same as spondylosis in dogs. Frederik started out having no spatial awareness and I thought we would have a very long (or very short, if he gave up) way ahead of us.
But Frederik is very stubborn. He analyzed every training 100 %, and he listened to every detail in my instruction. I was surprised to discover that he was able to run small courses really, really quickly. Frederik was a natural talent and Chip was so sweet and paying so much attention.
Frederik did not know the difference between a front, a rear and a blind cross, so to give him a better understanding of the very basic handling I made a small course that could be handled in different ways. I then asked him to handle the course in three ways; using only rear crosses, front crosses or blind crosses. This really helped Frederik understand the difference between the three basic crosses.
I was so proud that Frederik was able to do this course with the different handling techniques. It was only his sixth training session in total and fourth training session with Chip!
Some of the angles in the course are too steep to do the blind crosses following the guidelines in the OneMind Dogs system, but because of Frederik’s stiff spine, we wanted to try a few different options to see what was the best fit for his condition.
In the end of the video you see me and my dog Do It, who is Chip’s mom, run the course as well."
You can find a printable course maps for Frederik's exercise here: