The Run

The Run. Something every person who competes in agility wants. The amazing feeling of complete connection with your dog, a feeling that every team chases weekend after weekend.

So what is The Run?

The Run is a time where you feel completely connected to your dog, you are both so completely in sync that your don’t think about the course, your cues, or what you should do next, you just do it. Everything flows, your cues just happen, no thinking, just action.  And at the end of the course you wonder if you forgot a portion of it because it went by so fast. That is The Run. That is complete connection.

So how do you get there? How do you get to a place where The Run happens?

I have found after teaching for many years and traveling across the country, handlers want The Run to happen NOW. They want that connection and that feeling right out of the gate.

In my experience The Run usually doesn’t happen until the dog is around 5-7, for me it has happened with my dogs between 6-7. (this isn’t an exact timeframe, just a general range I have noticed)

Sometimes I think handlers try to rush that feeling, that connection with their dogs. In my experience  this leads to that connected feeling taking longer, the dog can feel that pressure as well as the handler and it can delay that connected feeling.

The Run with Nargles 

Getting to The Run is what creates that feeling, that connection. All the time spent training, and trialing, learning how your dog reacts to your movements and your cues, all of that together is what creates The Run.  It can’t be rushed, it can’t be forced. It is something that happens when you least expect it.

My Run with Try, bobble and all, this was it, The Run can have bobbles, it can have mistakes, none of that matters. It is about connection. 

Enjoy the journey that gets you to The Ride, don’t rush, don’t force, just let it happen and enjoy every second of it.

Amanda Nelson

Published by Amanda Nelson

Amanda Nelson is well known for her distance handling skills, and she has been traveling the country and teaching seminars for 20+ years. She has traveled around the world to Australia, Japan, Netherlands, England, Switzerland and the Philippines teaching all levels of agility, with nearly all dog breeds. Amanda focuses on teaching teamwork as well as how to create a strong connection between dog and handler. She works with all styles of handling, from running with your dog to distance handling. Amanda tailors each training session, large or small, to the dog and handler to help bring out the best in the team. Her training techniques consist of a large amounts of targeting, food rewards, and toy rewards. Creating a fun learning environment for the dog encourages a fast, fun, and motivated dog in the agility ring. Amanda uses a combination of Upper Body Cues, Lower Body Cues, and Verbal Cues. This system was derived from the natural cues that most dogs read and pick up quickly. Handlers are taught how to use all of these cues, together, to create a customized handling system that can be tailored to their unique dog. All of these techniques have resulted in Amanda earning numerous titles with her dogs including the MOD SQUAD award, Purple Achievement Cup, and over 40 NADAC Championship titles. She has won the NADAC Championships multiple times, including winning the Super Stakes and Starter Stakes division. She has also been Top Bonus Dog, Top Purple Dog, and Top Dog of the Year several times in NADAC.

One thought on “The Run

  1. OMG, Amanda, I still can’t watch that run with Try without tearing up. Your run with Nargles is brilliant. But, it’s the run with Try that gets to me. Totally inspiring.


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