So you’ve heard about Border Collies being the world’s smartest dog, capable of superior performance at nearly any task, and you’re wondering: “Why doesn’t my dog act like that?” Meanwhile your “perfect” dog is digging to China, barking until you’re afraid your neighbors will no longer speak to you, shearing off the vertical blinds inch by inch, and rearranging the furniture on a daily basis. Maybe the canine love of your life is of the “high drive” variety. Your Border Collie needs a JOB!
Many of our rescued Border Collies are daily meeting their “career” goals in a variety of ways. This decathlete of the dog world excels at numerous dog sports including agility, flyball, flying disc, herding and tracking.
Of the organized dog sports, agility is probably the easiest one in which to get involved. There are a number of active agility clubs in Arizona: three large ones in Phx metro area (Good Dog Agility in the East Valley, Contact Zonies and Jumping Chollas in Phoenix) and one in Tucson (Saguaro Scramblers). Links to their websites are found below. These clubs operate in a co-op type system where the members do the work and instructors are volunteers.
There are also private trainers, workshops by experts, professional handlers and other training avenues. A couple active ABCR members are agility instructors at Meadowlane Farms in Queen Creek. Check out their site with training information at www.mlfdogsports.com.
There are three national certifying bodies (that officiate agility trials and devise the rules and games). Information about agility, how to make your dog eligible to compete, and calendars of trails and seminars across the country can be found on their websites.
For NADAC and USDAA, ALL dogs are welcome in agility, purebred or mixed, with the jump heights adjusted to the size of dog – perfect for rescued dogs who normally come without documented pedigrees. AKC requires that dogs be purebred, however they have an accommodation for rescued dogs (or any dogs) without breed documentation. Application for an Indefinite Listing Privilege (ILP) can be found on their website. When these requirements are met, dogs are certified for life to compete in AKC sponsored agility trials.
Other sports in which active dogs thrive and excel are flying disc, flyball, canine musical freestyle, and herding. Information about these sports may be found at the following websites: