Alan Gardner’s December Blog



Exciting Times Ahead – Looking Forward To 2014

This week we received an invitation to train with the GB Team Agility (squad) during 2014. From the initial squad, teams will be selected to represent European and World Team Agility Championships. The former takes place in Hungary next summer and the latter in Luxembourg during the autumn. Both are prestigious events and the pinnacle of one’s agility career, so competition to get into the squad is very high and actually getting selected for the team will be a challenge!

 So what will the next few months look like for our training and preparation?

For the rest of the year we are on ‘R&R’ which allows time to recharge the batteries both mentally and physically. In that time we can take stock of our strengths and weaknesses and update our training plan ready get back to skills work in January.

Typically, a skill / training session will involve around an hour’s work three times a week. It involves sequence and full course work and a few extra short sessions where we will focus on very specific items, such as targeting (nose touch) a contact.

Physically it’s important to have a stock take as well. Agility is a demanding sport putting a lot of pressure on a dogs shoulder, hip and lower back regions. So we work with vets and physiotherapists to diagnose and treat specific areas where athletic ‘wear and tear’ has taken place and instigate a plan to work on any areas of weakness. Rehab work involves such exercises as ROM (range of motion), massage, standing strength and doggy ‘push ups’!

Next time I will walk through our planned training schedule and how that will help with our busy 2014.

I have been fortunate to have been part of the team five times since 2007, with my Border Collie ‘Jude’ or to give her official name ‘Agility Champion Touchango Again Girl’, who is now ten-years-old. We will be working hard to make it a 6th time.

For more information contact us at

 Alan Gardner

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