This quarter’s Dog Agility Blog Action Day topic is “Internationalization.”
“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”
~ Sven Goran Eriksson
My questions isnt why? As in, “Why should I want to incorporate or train international methods into my skill set?”; but “Why wouldn’t I”?
Maybe some people are content with what is. Not maybe actually, I know many that are. The same old is fine, and anything different is (insert in the blank here:__________) scary/too hard/not for me/not for my dog/etc.
But what all that really leads to is fear if failure.
To be honest, most agility people I surround myself with are NOT content. To be any good at all, even to win the smallest battles in agility, you have to have an almost unhealthy amount of desire. Serious self propulsion. Competitiveness. A constant drive to be better. So why wouldn’t we want to push ourselves? Push harder, to do things you never thought you could do? If the same is getting you the results you want, great. But if its not, why not open up to new methods?
I never would have thought I could do 4 backside push-to-blinds in a row. But I did, as did all my classmates, thanks to Daisy and her willingness to push everyone outside of their comfort zones. Was it easy? Absolutely not—I messed it up many many times. But now knowing I can do that, so many other things seem so much more doable. I try, and I fail, but eventually I get it right. I got it wrong this weekend. So I go back, evaluate, and try again. And when its right, its awesome. Faster, smoother and just more awesome.
I do understand some people’s hesitation in regards to thinking this is just another “fad” that will blow away over time like many other fads before. But this is different I would argue. Its not just a fad, its how many people have been successfully handling their dogs in different parts of the world for many years. It doesn’t mean its better, just that it works for them and it may work for you as well. No different than any handling system—if you learn the skills and how to communicate them correctly and consistently to your dog, it will work as evidenced by the people currently using it. Period.
So why not? Not every bit is going to work for every team, but expanding your toolbox is going to get you further. Maybe even far enough to go compete with those “international” types someday.
To read all the opinions on to blind or not to blind, click here.