Thursday, June 12, 2014

First Trial — Essential Stuff you will need

For first time handlers going to an agility trial can be daunting.  There are some specific things you will "need" and tons of options you might like to make your first trial more successful.  Some people prefer to work out of their cars.  This is practical at certain trial sites, but many trial sites working out of the car just isn't practical due to security issues and proximity.  Listed below are the supplies of you want to set up on site.

No matter the trial site, shade is a necessity.  Shade must be required for your dog (if not you as well).
Canopies are available at many places.  If you feel that you will be doing dog agility for a long time, I recommend going with a more durable canopy.  If you aren't sure, get a cheaper one available at many different stores including Costco.   Tents are also used by some.  I find air flow is not as good as with an open canopy, but they do work and are lightweight.

Umbrellas are a great alternative to a full canopy, or a supplement to provide movable shade throughout your day for your canopy.  There are times when I'm traveling to a show with only one dog that I bring an umbrella and an extra shade cloth.  Available at many places, my favorite are these solar umbrellas available at  Remember, you will need an umbrella holder that works with dirt.  Many of the umbrellas will screw into the sand, but none work alone at shows.  There are many different options, but I've really liked the ones I got from
Shade cloth is something you will need.  Whether you go with a full canopy or an umbrella, you should have at least one item that repels the sun and heat as the sun moves throughout the day.  There are different types.  The picture is a solid shade cloth that can double for when you want to keep the wind down on your dog or want to cover the crate to help with barking.
This photo is a shade cloth that has air flow for those really warm days when any breeze is helpful to keeping cool.
Dog Crate
You will want to bring an enclosure for your dog.  Crates or xpens are useful, but be careful with xpens.  If there is any possibility that your dog will jump out, cover the pen or use a crate.   
You will also want to bring something to cover the crate in case your dog starts barking.  Barking in the crating area is frowned upon and at some venues they will ask you to leave.
Make sure that you bring a water dish for your crate as well as water from home.  Some venues will not have water available.
If you want to sit during the day on something other then the ground, you will need a chair.  Most people get the inexpensive fold up chairs, but the most popular chair is the directors chairs.  Shop around as the prices of these vary from $30 to $70 depending on what you want.
Supplies for your Dog and Yourself
  • Your height card to get measured
  • Money in case there are vendors
  • Dog treats/toys
  • Dog water
  • leash/collar
  • Ice chest with your nibbles for the day and human water
  • Fan for dog if it is hot
Resources for Your Trial Supplies

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