Spring 2020 has been vastly different for the Agility Association of Canada. Normally we are all preparing for a return to competition after a long winter. AAC competitors are usually looking forward to their competition goals for the year and the opportunity to attend classes and trials and enjoy the company of their dogs and their friends. Judges are busy designing courses to challenge our development and training. Sadly, this pandemic has thrown us a huge curve ball!
The AAC Fun at Home League was started on May 1 to give all AAC members and competitors the opportunity to play at home with their dogs during this time of isolation. Judges and Board members have donated their time and talent to competitors to run their dogs for Fun At Home League Q’s. Each week, the League offers 2 courses at the 3 different levels of challenge. The courses are designed to work in a small space of 40’ X 40’ with minimal equipment of 3 jumps and one tunnel. Every week there are 2 bonus courses offered free of charge to highlight the new stream of Grand Prix Jumpers with Weaves which will be offered as a titling program. The GPJWW courses require more space and equipment and offer more challenge on a 60’ X 80’ layout.
Any competitor registered on the AAC website can purchase all the courses for the week for $20. The maps are sent out each week via a Constant Contact email early on Friday evening.
The rules and entry form are all posted to the AAC website https://www.aac.ca/en/node/951 and there are prizes each week for those who have signed up to have their runs judged. There is a new Facebook group created each week for those who have purchased courses. All competitors can post their runs for free although only those who purchased judging will have the opportunity to earn titles and prizes each week. You can buy judging for any number of runs; the most economical fee is to buy judging for all runs, member’s price is $10.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. All fees collected have helped the AAC remain fiscally solvent and provided many of our competitors with a fun and safe program to enjoy with their dogs. Although some of us can return to trialing this summer, many cannot, and the Fun at Home League is meeting a need. There are clubs and training facilities who are offering training space to those who do not have enough room or equipment at home but would like to purchase and run the courses. It provides a safe space where you can socially distance and brings some income to the training facility as well.
This a great opportunity for young and old dogs and people as well. Dogs must be 18 months old to have their runs judged but these courses do challenge all dogs’ skills and our human memory. Fun at Home League offers us what many of us what we need most, distraction from this exceedingly difficult year.
Fun at Home League Statistics as of July 9.
1958 Q’s earned!
What AAC competitors are saying about Fun At Home League:
Shuger (6 year old black Labrador) and I have been participating in the Fun at Home league since its inception although our first courses were done with weaves until I bought a tunnel.
I am so impressed with this program! It provides many challenges as a handler (especially memory!) and an opportunity to experience courses designed by judges we may never see in person.
Thank You AAC!!!
I've been participating in the Fun@Home League since its inception. In that short time I quickly decided it's definitely a lot of fun. With three skill levels offered, the courses appeal to (and challenge) handler teams of every level. The setup for all levels requires only a tunnel and 3 jumps - so you just need a wee bit of space. Many backyards will work.
As a bonus, for those with access to a larger space (approximately 60'x80'), there are 2 Jumpers With Weaves courses provided! These courses have been fast and provide great challenges! Highly recommended!
Skye, our young Sheltie, was set to enter her first trial in March. But COVID-19 prevented that from happening. Fun@Home has provided us with the opportunity to gain some "almost a trial" experience. And the courses give my Masters dog and me great challenges every week.
If you haven't tried Fun@Home yet, I strongly recommend you do! It really is fun! And it's a great way to support the AAC during the pandemic. (And there are often some wonderful draw prizes!)
Big Sky Dog Centre
Could you please give all the volunteers with the Fun at Home League my heartfelt thanks. Organizers, judges, scorekeepers--everyone involved. I left Canada six years ago to move back to Texas and there are so many names I don't recognize as well as a few I certainly do!. A lot of people are putting in a lot of work to provide people like me a lot of fun. Life got in the way of much agility down here in Texas. Then Covid-19 hit and there was no opportunities. I joined the League for the chance to play with my seasoned almost 10 year old dog, Cinch, and my little rescue poodlex, Lil'Bit, who is green as they come. It proved to be the best thing I could have done. The league matches have forced me to get serious about my training, and have gone a long way to refreshing my love of a game I have been involved in since 1995. I am having so much fun playing with these two dogs. I have even redone an area of my backyard so I can run the courses if I can't get time in the building I have been using. Dug out a whole flowerbed! I will be playing as long as you are offering the League.
Thanks again to all of you!
Shirley Ann Redl
I am really liking the Fun at home league, there are a few reasons why, I like the progression of the courses. Level one is a particularly good warm up for my brain and the dog and as the levels progress so does the challenge. I have memory problems, so it is good practice for me. It gives us something to do, a direction to follow and a sense of accomplishment when we get through a tough course. It helps me focus more on my dog’s line and how to manage her through some difficult lines and give her the room she needs. Sage is a big powerful girl so we need to be smart about how we work it, that can only help us in future.
I am learning a lot about my dog and our teamwork that I really didn’t see on big courses, I do like the JWW as well it shows you don’t have to have 8000 sq. feet to set up a course , working my young dog on some of it as well gives me a good understanding of where we are in our training.
I think that the judges and the league people who give up their time for us is outstanding. Thanks for that and the encouraging words really help people to keep trying. Thank very much for everything you do.
Cheers Kandy Sage Salem