Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Virtual Agility League

I am a member of the APDT. (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) One of the benefits of that is I receive a subscription to The APDT Chronicle of the Dog. It is a nice magazine with lots of dog behavior and training articles. They also have ads for different dog related prducts and info about dog related sports and trials. In the latest issue there was a small ad for something that I thought I had to share. It is an agility skills recognition program called The Valor Project. Basicly it is a way for people to participate in agility trials that might not be able to otherwise. It is a virtual agility league.

From the website, what it is:

· An opportunity for reactive, or highly distracted dogs to demonstrate their agility skills

· An organization that welcomes all dogs, regardless of breed or mix of breeds

· An organization that welcomes dogs with disabilities, including deaf dogs, vision-impaired (but not completely blind) dogs, and dogs with three limbs

· An organization that places emphasis on skills and achievement recognition, rather than on speed and competition

· A possible starting point for dogs who may one day progress far enough to enter sanctioned agility trials with more training

· A possible option for people experiencing public appearance anxiety

· A possible option for people who live long a long distance away from trial sites

And what it isn't:

· A substitute or replacement for traditional agility competitions or sanctioning organizations
· An organization that offers placements within a class based on speed
· An organization that “labels” a dog! The virtual Agility League is not mutually exclusive with other agility organizations. You and your dog can compete in the Virtual Agility League without any particular reason for doing so, and also be simultaneously competing in sanctioned agility events, if you choose!

As soon as I read it I thought it was a fabulous idea. What a great way for people with dogs who might not be able to do something in a public venue to still participate!! This can be for many reasons. In this economy traveling to a trial isn't an option for some people who live far away from them. Or maybe public performing isn't your thing, or you have a dog that doesn't do well with a crowd around. Or maybe your dog isn't welcome in a regular trial for some reason. Disabled dogs and ALL breeds are welcome! You still need to get some training from a professional or at least find one with the equipment you can use for your video. But what a fantastic idea. I couldn't wait to help get the word out. If you go to youtube and type in Virtual Agility League you can see some participants. (when I tried linking, blogger wouldn't save the post for some reason)

What so you think? Is this something you would consider doing with your dogs? Why or why not?


Shaggy Dog Stories said...

This is interesting stuff. I'm about to review the book Follow My Lead, and might mention the Valor Project. Thanks for the idea!

jen said...

this is a great idea! It will be a huge motivator for me to start with Kiba once we get the obedience basics proofed.

Thanks for posting it!

jen said...

p.s. I'm passing on the my seven post challenge to your blog!

Marie said...

Yikes but thanks!! That might take me a couple days. I tend to overthink these things. :)