Susan Garrett recently posed a question to readers of her blog:
What (if anything), do you think separates you as a competitor in the sport of dog agility, from the best competitors in the world?
Knocking the money issue out of the picture (i.e. being able to train with whomever I want/could - whenever I want/could [and not have to work which would equal WAY more time to train!]), I would have to say I think that drive and ambition are what separate competitors in the sport of dog agility. Even with the money issue. I think the answer is drive and ambition …. in the human counterpart.
People often talk about their dog’s drive or lack of drive. However I think the “drive” in the human counterpart plays an equal if not MORE important part in team success. Yes, you rather need a dog that doesn’t mind the trial atmosphere and likes to work. However, the flip-side is you could have a world team worthy dog and have no desire to train them to that level. It’s obviously a lot of work (albeit fun work).
I never (EVER) thought of myself as a competitive individual. I started doing agility for fun and then realized that while it was still a lot of fun I was investing a lot of time and energy into becoming a better, more complete, and competent competitor. I enjoy the challenge of training behaviors and then trying to utilize them in a trial atmosphere, which is different than in class.
I just recently realized that I am a slightly high-drive human when it comes to agility, but not nearly high-drive enough to WANT to do the work to make world team. That may change some day, who can tell.