Teacher’s Pet: Adventures in Training

Hello hello, and welcome to Teacher’s Pet, a column on all things training!  Every other #TrainingTuesday, Brussels.Sprout, will share his how-tos for learning new tricks, updates on his own adventures in agility competition, and his favorite tips for helping you and your pup bond over training. 

More Adventures in Agility: How Puppers Got His Groove Back

It’s been nearly a year since we last chatted agility, so we are way past due for a pupdate.  I’m still taking classes on the reg, and have finally mastered the teeter AND my weave poles!




A few months ago, I started competing.  In the beginning, it was a lot of fun and I did really well – at my first agility trial, I qualified in 6 out of 6 runs!



But now it’s time for real talk, guys.  I started getting “trial stress,” which basically means I got overwhelmed with the experience of competition – new places, different equipment, loud sounds, weird smells and lots of bigger dogs – and I stopped having fun.  This made mom worry and feel bad, so she and my trainer came up with ways to help me adjust.  I’ve been going to “mock trials” so I can practice agility at new places while getting lots of treats in the ring and listening to recordings of agility sounds so I can de-sensitize.  And at trials, mom is more conscious of monitoring my stress level, giving me lots of treats throughout the day and leaving the chaotic arena between classes so I can have a quiet rest with her in the car.

Guess what… it’s been working!!  I’m excited to say this past weekend, I went to a competition and while I only qualified in one of my runs… I. Had. FUN!!!



So that was my first run, and knocking a pole down meant I couldn’t qualify.  And then I got scared by the pole rolling towards me, but I pushed past my fears, kept going and nailed the rest of the course.  A+++ for effort.



And here I am flying through my second run! It was a strategy class where you have to make up your own course to get points and complete a “send bonus,” which means I go do the obstacles on my own while mom waits behind a line 10 feet away.  I did the send bonus perfectly and got 65 points even though I only needed 50 to qualify! #proudsproutie



That was my last run of the day, and I was starting to get a little tired. As you can see, I was a little hesitant to start- the old Sprout would have turned and walked out of the ring (srsly), but instead, I gave it a shot and sailed through most of the course.  I didn’t want to do the last two obstacles, but I blame mom b/c her clapping ended up scaring me (she apologized profusely).  Even though I didn’t finish, I went home with my head held high.  I still need some more support to get through my stress issues, but I think I’m finally back on the path to success!

Stay tuned for next Teacher’s Pet – I’ll teach you how to do one of new my fave new tricks!

Xoxo, Sproutie

Did you miss the last teacher’s pet? Click here to see more!

Become an Insider

Brussels Sprout

Sprout is a perpetually pouty, 2 year old smooth-coated Brussels Griffon. This tiny little tastemaker loves sweater weather, brunch, giving back to less fortunate dogs, and teeny-tiny tennis balls. He is passionate about lengthy naps and higher education, with dreams of one day becoming an agility champion.

Your inbox could be cuter.