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Agility with a Difference

By Morag Heirs

© Morag Heirs

There are many successful deaf dogs taking part in fun agility, weekly training sessions and competing at all levels. In most cases, spectators would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the deaf dog and the hearing dog…Says Gibbs: “Horus and I started agility within a couple of months of his adoption as a 2-year-old, solely because I thought it would help us communicate and bond. There was never any intention of competing. I thought it would be impossible with a highly reactive deaf dog. Entering an open field with no fences, and thousands of people and dogs around would be completely incomprehensible… I was astonished that the focus he needed for agility overrode his anxieties about everyone around us, and it really cemented our relationship. It also fine-tuned my body language to a very high level as he only ever made a mistake if I dropped a shoulder or turned too soon, never because he wasn’t watching. Read more.


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