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I think that sometimes guys have an instinctive aversion to trying anything that seems to be female dominated it may smack of unmanly or something.

I can imagine feeling that way about some things, but agility doesn't seem to me to be an inherently "girly" activity, regardless of the proportion of men to women in it.

Admittedly, my DH doesn't have a lot of the same hang-ups about that sort of thing as some guys do. He just seems to feel sorry for the guys who don't see agility for all it is. Probably it still helped, though, that there were a couple of married guys in my agility class.

And, as a general rule, he's never been much for competitive sports - the kind where you compete against other people - so much as the things where you compete against yourself and nature. Agility fits right in.

And it has dogs and friendly people who have dogs.

~~Judy
For those of you who took the time to clarify things for me and explain things and tell me where ... if I knew what I was talking about - I am especially grateful. Iintend to try to pass it on.

Judy, you have definitely got GOOD attitude. ;-)

You've caught my own experiences and feelings beautifully.. I remember the people who took time to help me when I was "green" with immense gratitude, and I try to emulate them whenever I can. When people thank me, my response is always "Hey, people helped me out when I was new- I'm just passing it along".
DH made the comment that when you start with a group of people who are spending the day sitting around ... for the opportunity to run an agility course with them - that you're starting witha pretty good base of people.

Yup.
It was a slow process. And not one that I had planned. He got to see how much fun I was having - and enjoyed watching me having fun. Then hestarted thinking that he could also have fun.

I've seen that process happen to several agility spouses.

Sadly, I've also seen the reverse happen once- although the marriage had problems to begin with, the wife's annoyance at her husband's participation in agility was definitely a factor in them breaking up.
Sadly, I've also seen the reverse happen once- although the marriage had problems to begin with, the wife's annoyance at her husband'sparticipation in agility was definitely a factor in them breaking up.


If I get sent away to get HIM "coffee" too many times only to return to find him surrounded (well, one or two) women who want to "pet his dogs" and "talk about agility and strategy", I could see that happening!

As you say, the other marriage had problems to begin with. Once that is true, everything becomes a factor. Especially something that takes up so much free time. If it hadn't been agility, it would have been golf. Who got the dog?
~~Judy
I remember the people who took time to help me when I was "green" with immense gratitude, and I try ... thank me, my response is always "Hey, people helped me out when I was new- I'm just passing it along".

These are the dog people that I most enjoy. The ones who go out of their way to help newbies in the sport. Who remember what it was like. And who are wise enough to know that the sport needs new blood and fresh enthusiasm. If we are all there to have fun, why would you want someone to leave a trial thinking that it wasn't something worth repeating?

People are confused about the "competition" aspect of it all. If I'm watching other dogs run, I groan at every dropped bar and applaud every beautiful run. Sympathize with every mistake and cheer every "save". Doesn't matter if I have ever seen the team before. My competition is never with them. It's Spenser and me against the clock and the course. Our AKC Q was a 100 point third place. The NADAC Q in Gamblers was also a perfect third place. We won as far as I'm concerned!
And it's not just agility. I talked with one young woman who was showing a Border Terrier in conformation. Really nice dog - had his CH around a year old. But after his (and her) first show she was literally grabbed by an older woman as she exited the ring and given orders to bring that dog to her grooming area in 30 minutes and she was going to teach her how to properly show him. And she did. They did an intensive class in both stripping and stacking. And she listened. And the dog did very little but win after that. I've talked with other conformation people who said they have done the same thing - they see a really good dog and want him shown at his best.

That's what it all supposed to be about.
~~Judy
As you say, the other marriage had problems to begin with. Once that is true, everything becomes a factor.

Exactly.
Who got the dog?

Ha. Thereby hangs a tale..
There were actually six* dogs involved, because there were eventually *two marriages involved.
As I understand it, his marriage had been over in all but name for quite some time, but didn't officially end until he met someone else. Said someone else was in a similar situation - I believe she was already divorcing - although in that marriage I don't think the agility was a major issue. He and his unwife had three terriers. She and her soon-to-be ex also had three dogs - two retrievers which she competes with, one Beagle which didn't compete.
Two of the terriers went with him, the third stayed with his ex; that one had never really liked agility and was more attached to the ex anyway. She kept the retrievers, and AFAIK her ex kept the beagle.

So they're now an agility "Brady Bunch", with FOUR agility dogs. :-D

(And before you ask, no, neither couple had KIDS, thank goodness!)
(And before you ask, no, neither couple had KIDS, thank goodness!)

Of course not. When would they have had time?
~~Judy
These are the dog people that I most enjoy. The ones who go out of their way to help newbies in the sport. Who remember what it was like. And who are wise enough to know that the sport needs new blood and freshenthusiasm.

Me too. I recently was asked to do a "member profile" for our local club's herding newsletter (I have been a member for almost a year now, but only knew the "core" group of board members/those who go to the meetings). In it, I made reference to this fact. Yes, it's absolutely fabulous to have a dog that earns it's HC (herding championship), but those of us just starting out are celebrating little things, like a Pre-trial leg, or even the
fact that we had a great practice lesson! Basically it was a polite commentary to those "old timer's" to not forget where the future of their sport lies. I fully expect to "pay my dues", but certainly won't shun any advice
the more experienced have to offer.
And it's not just agility. I talked with one young woman who was showinga Border Terrier in conformation. Really nice ... they see a really good dog and want him shown at hisbest. That's what it all supposed to be about.

I agree. Our local breed club has a few people like this in it. Those who are willing to help out the newcomer (and each other) with grooming tips, gaiting tips, handling classes, and simply lend a hand handling/grooming/fetching and holding dogs at ringside. I feel lucky to have what I would consider two local, long-time breeder/exhibitors that act as mentor to me in a variety of ways.
Shelly & The Boys
There is a famous and true story about a guy who wandered into the Doberman ring in CA one day with his dog on a rope. Now mind you, Dobermans are a Handler breed it's an extremely competitive ring and it's very difficult to finish a dog owner-handled. And this was a big entry, a major, which in California at that time meant something like 40+ dogs and 50+ bitches.
The dog was so superb that he won his class despite the rope and the total lack of handling skill. As soon as the class was over, the young man was descended upon by a herd of Professional Handlers. They gave him a show lead and some emergency handling tips. He took the dog back in for Winners and got a major at his first ever show. The dog ended up being one of the top winning Dobermans of all time, and the young man who walked into the ring with his dog on a rope is now a professional handler himself. Emotion: smile