Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Attitude is everything in agility and life!

Today is Dog Agility Blog Action Day, a day when dog agility bloggers share posts about certain topics. Today's designated topic is one of my favorites - attitude!

Since I'm a dog, I'm going to talk about attitude from a dog's point of view....

My Mum, she's a human, and like all humans comes with a multitude of human feelings and emotions. Although I have to say, she's a super positive person, loves life, enjoys her work, her friends and her time with me and my sis Gracie (and of course my kittie bros) whether we're playing, training, doing tricks, running agility, or just hanging out and cuddling on the couch.

She, like me, enjoys the positive of life, and likes to surround herself with people that feel the same. And she knows, just like I do, that being around positive definitely generates even more positive in her life.

I'm a dog, through and through; a sentient being, capable of a wide range of feelings, from fear, pain, love, excitement, nervousness and happiness to confidence, passiveness, sadness, jealousy and more. I'm not human and my feelings aren't as complex as a human's. But my feelings and resulting actions are definitely a direct result of my environment, whether that environment may be another dog or human, my Mum, a squirrel or deer, a smell, a noise, or anything else that peaks my senses and interest.

There are lots and lots of studies that show that dogs, like me, are sensitive to human emotions. One of our favorite books is Alexandria Horowitz's book, 'Inside of a Dog,' and it talks a lot about how dogs 'think' and  'feel' and why.

As a dog, my life pretty much revolves around my Mum and my environment. And since I spend most every waking and sleeping moment with my Mum, how she feels directly effects how I feel and how I behave.

If Mum gets upset (which is rare and nearly always short-lived) about something, I become concerned and immediately want to make her feel better. And, if she gets all excited about something good, I want to join in the celebration with her! Being the sheltie that I am, that means I start to spin, run around the house and look for a toy to play with, run around the cabin with it, and bark and bark in excitement!

The dictionary defines attitude as:


  [at-i-tood, -tyood]  Show IPA
manner, dispositionfeeling, position, etc., with regard to person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind.

Attitude is everything in agility and in life!

Mum learned early on in our agility career, that when she goes out there and walks the course, comes back to my crate feeling really confident about our running plan, excited to run with me and looking forward to some fun agility with her best bud, I feel all that confidence and energy from her and am so ready to roll! I run faster, with more confidence, more energy and have lots and lots more fun.

And whether we Q or not, it doesn't matter, we always have a good time because we're together, both doing what we love. And if Mum messes up my run, she takes time to reflect, but always makes a plan for the next time to make it better and moves on.

Dogs can teach humans a lot about life and attitude in my opinion. We don't hang on to stuff, we always see the best in people, we always are looking for a fun time. And unless anything or anyone around us tries to alter our environment and consequently our feelings and behavior in a negative way, we will go on with life being the most full of life, happy dogs on the planet.

Life is about learning, experiencing and enjoying, moving on and not getting bogged down in those things that may bring us down. I fully believe that attitude directly effects how much you enjoy your life.

Take it from a dog, having a great attitude makes everything better in agility and in life!

For those of you who are visiting my blog for the first time, I'm Johann, the dog, a seven year old rescue and accomplished agility dog. My Mum, Leslie May, is my agility handler and trainer, pet business marketing consultant, co-host of my other blog Raise A Green Dog, best friend, constant companion, and has my heart through and through.

If you'd like to read about Attitude from other dog agility bloggers point of view visit the main group blog.


  1. Love your post, Johann! Very well thought out and well written! Attitude is everything!

  2. Great post! We played today too... our first time at Dog Agility Blog Action Day. Thanks for letting us know about it!
    Diane and Cosmo

  3. Great job, Johann. I have learned so much from dog dog in our few years together and I have no doubt she will teach me a lot more before we're through. Congratulations on all your success!

  4. Nice that your mom can always move on and make sure that you have a happy time. I'm sure that my dogs wish that their Human Mom was a bit more like that a bit more often. A good thing to think about, from the dog's perspective.

  5. Mum says that Gracie taught her a lot about moving on. Who would have thought that Gracie after 6 years of training would finally start to work through her stress and start Q'ing in some of her runs.

    And Gracie taught Mum a lot about that saying...'accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can.'

    But she doesn't think that accepting is the right word, she likes to embrace, instead of accept. And she says that I taught her a lot about that, going through all my injuries, and getting older, and maybe not having the opportunity to achieve some of the goals she wanted for me, especially in agility, like that ADCH!

    Lot of things happen in your life and some are really bad and hard to deal with, we've been there. Mum says it took her a long time to get to this place of being able to move on quickly. But both Gracie and I have taught her so much about how to do that.


Thanks for barking in!

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