Why Beagles Shouldn’t Do Agility!

We’ve entered our two hooligans into a fun agility competition later in the year, and so we’re tuning up their skills so that we have a chance – however small – of them actually doing what they’re supposed to do on the day. Beanie of course can be pretty good when she feels like it, but Biggles has never really got into agility. To be fair it’s probably because he’s never had the depth of training that Beanie has, but whatever the reason, we got the feeling that while he likes the “scrambling” equipment (like the A-frame, dog walk and see-saw) he’s not keen on the jumps.

To help get him over this, we took him and Beanie for a session with Carol Rogers of Clear Run Agility. We spent a few minutes at the start of the session explaining Biggles’ apparent dislike of the jumps to Carol, and then she set up a few pieces of equipment to see our boy in action for herself. He seemed quite calm as I put him in a sit-wait and unclipped his lead, but then the little bugger took off on a sprint round the barn and leaped over every jump he could find, with a huge grin on his face the whole time. So much for the “problem” with jumps.

It seems that agility session unlocked something within him though. Yesterday I heard him “boinging” for something on the worktops in the kitchen. I was pretty sure there was nothing for him to get, other than a bit of salad packaging, so I didn’t respond immediately. The boinging sounds became a little more desperate, then abruptly they stopped, to be replaced by a rustling sound. The thing was, there was no intervening thud of something hitting the kitchen floor. That’s the normal pattern you see: boing, boing, boing, thud, scoff/rustle.

Curious, I headed into the kitchen and found Biggles standing on the worktop next to an empty pack of tomatoes. It must have taken one hell of a jump to make it up there. His elevated position had given him access to a number of previously forbidden areas, but he hadn’t used his time up there wisely; he seemed to be having trouble deciding whether he should nick something from the window sill or the sink. I didn’t give him time consider the matter further so I don’t think he got much of a reward for his efforts, but he’s been up there once and no doubt he’ll do it again. It’s a bit like we’re living a video game. Every so often Biggles gets a new “power-up”, and life gets more complicated!

Anyway, throughout all the chaos I did manage to get a couple of nice portraits of our two Beaglets this last week. I don’t how or why, but the camera always seems to make them look all innocent and angelic.


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3 Replies to “Why Beagles Shouldn’t Do Agility!”

  1. Julia

    Good lord – that’s my worst nightmare! The ability to simply jump onto the counters . . . it’s chilling! Lately, your blog has been really helping my attitude toward’s Dolly and Jax. She was great until we added him a year ago, and now it’s a contest to be the Worst Ever Beagle at our house. He’s energetic, and she’s smart — I’m not sure which is worse. But, I’ve slacked on training, so I feel I deserve it a bit. And then I read about you guys, who are such excellent Beagle companions, and your two are still little boogers sometimes! And I think, whoah – maybe this is just how it is, worldwide, for Beagle people. No sandwich safe, ever! We’re starting Noseworks training — do you guys have that yet in the UK? It’s sort of tracking training for urban folks. And in the new year, agility. If we dare! I haven’t commented in awhile, but I love your blog. It’s both beautiful & fascinating — sort of Beagle “Wild Kingdom.”

  2. Paul Post author

    Hi and thanks for your lovely comments – really glad you like the blog. I think you’re right and constant vigilance is the price for having a Beagle. And two of them? Way worse than one because they do seem to develop complementary skills! I couldn’t imagine not having our two though, they’re worth every extra loo roll, towel, sock, plant, cooking utensil, pen, rug and loaf of bread we have to buy to replace what they’ve trashed.

  3. Megan

    I agree what Julia says. That really must have been a nightmare for you. I am very shocked how that beagle could jump on the counter. Two dogs do have different ability’s. I have learned about beagles in here and a very interesting story that I will never forget. Thanks for your wonderful blog. Also, I think you should write anther one soon, your very good.

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