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Winter Weather and Agility



There’s snow on the ground, and the temperature is running a close second to the average temperature on the planet Mars. You would have to be crazy to think anyone can or would want to be outside in that kind of weather.

Where I live there is often snow and cold for at least five months of the year, and I know that it is the excuse for a lot of people to put off there agility training until the weather breaks.

Fair weather trainers, I call them. Do you realize how unfair it is to Sargent to not get his mental stimulation and exercise, just because you don’t want to go out in the cold? Bet Sargent would go out with you in a heartbeat. Shame on you.

I am kidding of course. I HATE SNOW AND COLD, and would not go out, or expect any person with an ounce of common sense to go out in bad or inclement weather, but Mother Nature doesn’t stop Agility people. It’s warm inside, isn’t it? Then that’s where the training is happening.

Lots of agility people bring their training indoors over the winter months. What a great time to brush up on a couple of those troublesome spots everyone has, or training on new equipment.

There is plenty to do indoors, even with limited space, except of course NO JUMPING unless you have the appropriate flooring or the right type of matting as a floor covering. You NEVER want to jump Sargent on hard wood or concrete flooring. (That’s just plain cruel to put Sargent into a position of possible injury.) At the end of fall and just before winter, start making plans to store your equipment out of the elements, but still within easy grasp.

By way of suggestion, here are some easily worked items indoors. The most obvious is the pause table. It takes up little room and serves as a great tool for working on “stays” and teaching or cleaning up those nasty directional commands, not to mention having it do double duty as a sturdy and handy side table to incorporate into your decorating décor.

How about the training of contacts, on the mini combo, A-frame, pause and walk plank? (And if your pocketbook can afford the hit, they make some nice, practical, and portable smaller versions of all the agility equipment.) There is nothing that says you can’t teach and practice the two on two off contact. (see my article on contact training) Inside might make it easier, with no distractions, for Sargent to focus.

How about the weaves and all the necessary sends, entries, or recalls? It doesn’t matter which weave you are using. Chute or straight line both can fit indoors. (If you don’t know about weave poles or their training methods, please see my article on training the weave poles on this site.) Although it may be necessary to shorten up the length of the poles a bit, the full length would prove cumbersome in most indoor home type situations.

One thing that is great about winter practice is the ease and practicality of being able to work at all hours of the day or night. Can’t fit three or four quick sessions in outdoors, inside is a different story. A short workout when you get up in the morning, or a couple of sporadic times throughout the day, at night right before bed, what could be easier? The dog and your equipment are right there. Either it is in the hall or set up in a corner of the living room, or the spare guest room, in the basement, wherever, it’s all right there inside your house, makes it so easy to get to.

So , neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night (never mind, that’s the mailman) should keep you from having fun and at the same time letting Sargent have fun, keeping him quick and fresh with his agility training.


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