Dog Training and Dog Care advice from UK Professionals

My Border Collie: 'Jazz'

Jazz - Border Collie I am the lucky owner of a male Border Collie called Jazz, (Kennel Club name Acid Jazz) who is my absolute pride and joy. We have always had dogs in the family and I have a lot of knowledge about dogs and training them. I worked for three years in a well known rescue shelter and am currently working at a reputable boarding kennels. I love competing in Dog Agility and was having some success with the family dog when she developed Spondylosis of the spine and had to retire early from Dog Sports. I started to look for a Border Collie puppy of my own to continue competing as Agility is super fun and a great way to keep fit.

Jazz was with his littermates when I first saw him. I had told myself that I would watch the pups carefully and take my time over choosing one but it was no use, as soon as that little bundle climbed onto my lap I knew he was the dog for me!

Jazz is now 18 months old and is a very handsome dog. One of his ears hangs down and the other stands erect. Some people think that he looks quite comical but I think his strange ears just add to his special qualities. Border Collies are very easy to train for anyone that understands the breed and has a good knowledge of dog training. Jazz quickly learned the basics and soon moved on to advanced Dog Obedience. I have taught him loads of cute tricks which he learned very quickly. I started working him on a basic Agility course when he was a year old and I can see already that he has the makings of a future champion!

Jazz - Border CollieWe train with an agility club and have private sessions every fortnight. Due to new agility rules, Jazz has to be measured before he can compete in his group. Lots of people think that to do Agility you just run around a few obstacles and the dog automatically knows what to do. This is far from the truth. Every single week both Jazz and I learn something new. The dog has to manoeuvre over jumps, through tunnels, weave through a line of poles and go over an A frame. Yes this may well sound easy until you actually have a go. Your dog has to be totally under control and must be looking to the handler to know which way to go. Any slight movement of your body or shoulders will send the dog off in the wrong direction. The handler has to run like mad to keep up with the dog yet know when to ease off the pressure and be able to send the dog on over a series of jumps. All too often dogs get out of control and race around doing their own thing while their handler is frantically calling their name. If a dog goes wrong on a course it is always the handlers fault. It may well be that the handler has stepped in front of the dog thereby blocking the dog’s path or the handler has turned their body in the line of an obstacle sending the dog off in the wrong direction. It takes practice and more practice, and then suddenly everything falls into place and both handler and dog work as a team.

Jazz and I are ready to compete and I am so excited. Our first show is on the 8th April 2007 at the Norfolk Easter Show, here in England. Wish me luck…

Zena Hills


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