Basic obedience training is essential to dogs.

Competitive obedience is also great as it can be fun for the handlers as well as teaching the dog new exercises.

But not all dogs and handlers enjoy competitive obedience where they do the same repetitive exercises, like come, heel, sit, down, stand and stay. Yes, they get to a different environment to meet with other dogs in group classes, yes, the dogs get rewards but it can get boring for both dogs and handlers after a while.

And yes, the opportunity is there, in Barbados, to move from one obedience level to another.

With basic obedience training achieved, a dog, if the facilities are there, and the dog is old enough for its growth plates to have sealed to prevent damage to them through jumping, a fun dog activity in Barbados is agility.

It is also good exercise for both dog and handler.

As far as I know, only The Barbados Dog Training Club has the agility equipment and instructors trained to teach agility for dogs in Barbados. The main instructor is Jean Ray. The training here is also in enclosed grounds as in agility, the dogs run off leash.

Major agility trainers/competitors have visited us in Barbados over the years and have imparted knowledge. The two I remember are Kathrin Tasker (UK)of Millbrook Agility Dogs, a top agility trainer, competitor and agility judge and Elizabeth Evans,(USA) of Best Friends Fun Farm, also an agility trainer, competitor and agility judge. Both of these trainers spent agility training time with me and my Bouviers and other dogs and members of The Barbados Dog Training Club.

These trainers would have also have helped the Club’s agility instructors to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for agility training.

Bouvier Des Flandres Isabelle enjoying the view from the walk way

Bouvier Des Flandres Isabelle enjoying the view from the walk way

This year, Isabelle is enjoying agility, the obstacles she loves, especially the tunnels, and she enjoys the sequence jumping. She is happy racing around. I still give her small treats but I think she would do all the agility running around out of fun. We do agility training one evening a week.

agility in Barbados

Bouvier Des Flandres, Isabelle and agility tunnel

We missed 2 CD trials, six months apart, as she was in season for both trials so we still have to complete the CD (Novice) title before we go on to the CDX (open).

So besides agility, we are having fun with the dumb bell retrieve and other exercises in preparation for when we can go on to the CDX trials.

Isabelle holding the dumb bell

Isabelle holding the dumb bell

And I am looking forward to when Isabelle gets past the beginner’s agility level so I can try for little videos or photos of her racing around the ring.

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