There is so much more to agility than people think! I mean, just running a course or teaching the dog how to negotiate the obstacles is not really what the sport's all about.
Accomplishment in competition depends greatly on the accuracy of communication between the handler and the dog, and on maintaining motivation through the clear use of cues and well timed reinforcers.
The hours and hours of time spent by dog and handler connecting in training, working towards a goal, enjoying the puzzle that is our sport.. is priceless
...and then not to mention the thrill of running in competition, the challenge of the dog's favourite obstacles, the games played in training... the REWARD.
In a recent meeting in Port Elizabeth it was suggested that NO rewards/toys be taken into a Dog Jumping arena when getting ready to compete. How ludicrous is that??? Firstly I cannot think of any possible motivation for the proposal... what harm is there in tugging your dog to the startline, a good and positive thing between dog and handler.
Now I understand that baiting or similar while doing the exercise should be penalised by elimination... but how can the powers that be think they can include the pre-run bond between handler and dog in the exercise that is about to be judged???
I guess those doing the proposing truly know nothing about working a dog :(