I Run By Choice

The image of young and athletic OneMind Dogs agility handlers who run super fast seems to have stuck in people's minds. Did you know that most of these handlers are able to clear all kinds of agility courses without one single running step?

”While this run is stunning, do you think that a middle aged person who is carrying some extra pounds and who hasn't broken into a run in a decade or two will think they can participate?” “This handler ran every step with or ahead of this dog except for a couple of times on each course. Very few of the age group that has the most discretionary income can do this if they aren't athletic.” “Maybe posting more video of the "other" competitors running the "other" breeds it would show newbies that they, too, can compete in agility.” “Distance handling is the only way for us out of shape, over weight handlers to succeed. And now the International style courses make that really difficult.” “Show some of us "restricted handlers"!”

Restrictions are not barriers

The sentences above are comments that were posted to my last competition video.

We have published many videos of handlers handling courses by walking, handling without arms, silent handling... We have had many different handlers and a variety of breeds clearing courses. For some reason people don't seem to remember these examples. People still see OneMind Dogs handlers as young athletes who run fast.

I run by choice. I can handle any agility course with any kind of restriction. I teach people according to their abilities. I can ask handlers to start moving earlier, but I never tell them that something is impossible because they are not running fast enough.

Running is a choice

I have had to train without running on several occasions due to an injury. I have had a stress fracture in my back, a tear of a hamstring and a tear of the ligaments in my ankle. Every time that I have been recovering from an injury I have done my normal weekly training, without running. Many other OneMind Dogs Coaches have been through this kind of a recovery phase. We have trained our dogs so well that we never face a course that we cannot handle without running. We choose to run, but our choice is a completely separate thing about what we are able to do without running.

Watch "walking agility" videos on the YouTube playlist!

OneMind Dogs is always the solution

Every now and then I have training weeks when none of my students are allowed to run on the training course. These exercises will not only reveal the level of the dog's skills, but we also find out if the handler starts moving immediately after committing the dog to an obstacle, and if the handler is positioning herself so that the dog can easily read the course. Most of our students have other breeds than Border Collies - being able to do these exercises is not related with the dog's breed.

I always tell my students that you EITHER have to run faster than your dog OR you will need to teach your dog excellent skills on obstacles and learn different handling techniques that help you navigate all types of sequences. Most of us are not fast enough. It is a lot easier to train your dog well than to increase your own running speed as you get older. The slower you are compared to your dog, the more skills both you and your dog need.



Our mission is to give a happy life to dogs by helping people become amazing dog owners. We are passionate about increasing the mutual understanding between the dog and the owner, making a life together more enjoyable for both.