a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: You're an agility addict if...

You're an agility addict if...

You know you're an agility addict when...

This list began on--and continues on--Facebook, which unfortunately isn't public; you have to join facebook to see it. Of course, I just recently read that 7 out of 10 Americans are now facebook members, which maybe makes it essentially public. I asked whether I could reproduce it in normal webland, and they said OK. Facebook members can visit the FB group here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=324939880832&v=info&ref=ts.

NOTES about the list's origin

  • I've organized and edited rather than having one huge list. Yeah, some things could go in 3 or 4 different topics; I've picked which one.
  • I've removed scads of nearly identical posts (e.g., more than 10 on buying a new car by figuring out whether crates will fit) and merged related ideas where appropriate.
  • (I've also removed those that are just dog-lovers/dog-people/dog-training in general (e.g., you always have treats in your pockets or people call you "the dog lady"). My choices as to what qualifies as really agility-related and what doesn't may seem arbitrary; sometimes the line isn't really clear-cut.
  • I've added a bunch more of my own that you won't see on the FB page--because [see Just addicted].
  • This list hereby diverges from the FB list. (September 20, 2010.)
  • Thanks to Marcella Ward for getting the list started and maintaining it on FB, and to the many, many creative (and addicted) contributors to the original list, whose names you can find by browsing the facebook wall history.


General lifestyle - Clubs - Other hobbies and pets - Training - House and yard - Vehicles - Work, career, job - Trials - Awards - Equipment - Weekends, holidays, and vacations - Time spent - Sleeping - Money - Clothing - Internet, computer, TV - Friends and family - Agility flavors - Shopping - Reading, writing, language, vocabulary - Health and medicine - Weather - Travel - Just addicted

General lifestyle

You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. Anything and everything agility related becomes part of your life.
  2. You buy your house, your car, your clothes, your shoes, and your dogs based on your agility addiction and, oh yeah, met your significant other at an agility trial.
  3. The only day you bother to go out to get the mail from your mailbox is the day your Clean Run Magazine comes in.
  4. After washing your clothes, you discover what happens when you leave dog cookies, poop bags, and course maps in your pants pockets.
  5. You shower and the water running off you is brown from all that dirt from the trial that you were at.
  6. You walk into a room and don't remember why, but can remember a course you ran 2 months ago.
  7. You're walking through the shopping mall, winding your way past other shoppers, thinking, "blind cross."
  8. You do front crosses at work when talking to coworkers because it has been drilled into you to NEVER blind cross.
  9. You are driving on the highway and the poles used to separate the lines resemble weave poles and wonder how fast your car can weave.
  10. Your first-ever attempt at sewing is a fleece dog jacket to keep your dog warm at a trial.
  11. You're a junior-high-school student who competes in agility and you do your school work BEFORE a weekend show so you won't be stressed.


You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You start a club--by yourself--so you can have trials close by.
  2. You join all the agility clubs within a 200-mile radius so you can have first dibs at trial jobs that offer free entries because, after all, you have 2/3/4/5 dogs to run.

Other hobbies and pets

You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You convert your horse ring into an agility field and convert your horses into large expensive pets because dog agility now takes all your leisure time.
  2. You start looking up "cat agility" on the web so that Fluffy doesn't have to miss out on all the fun.
  3. You have so much fun training your toy poodle that you start eyeing up your middle-aged lap-dog bichons, too.
  4. You try to convince your significant other that any dog that weighs under 10 pounds doesn't count towards the household total, so you can get one of those fast agility Papillions.
  5. Someone offers to give you a gorgeous registered well-bred herding dog that is well trained and has great manners, and you say not till I have the hips and elbows x-rayed.


You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You start clicker training your husband/child/coworker and try to figure out whether he's food or toy motivated.
  2. You think about how you're going to train your future pup differently when your current pup becomes a veteran (and fix all those problems you have with your current dog).
  3. You're on your fourth agility dog and you realize that you still have problems with contacts, bars, weaves, or start line stays, but you know that with just one more seminar, you can fix them.
  4. You practice "send and run" on the way to/from the printer at work - turning to the right or the left on alternate visits.
  5. You climb up the down side of the A-Frame and look over the top, so that your 9-year-old toy poodles will maybe think about climbing it to get to you on their first attempt at the full-height A-Frame.
  6. Every staircase, curb, and ramp has become a contact trainer.

House and yard

You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You bought your latest house based on the dimensions, flatness, and lack of trees in the backyard.
  2. You buy a crappy house instead of renting so that you have enough land for a flat yard for equipment and more for just running.
  3. You start tearing out your perennial gardens that took years to create so that you have room for your agility equipment.
  4. There is no green grass, just dirt from the constant running of dogs during practice.
  5. You keep the swimming pool operating all winter to exercise the dogs.
  6. There is barely room to move in the back yard because of all the agility equipment, some bought, some home-made.
  7. Your garage is used to store agility paraphernalia instead of your car.
  8. You move your car out of the snow shelter so that you can set up your weaves under cover.
  9. There is a teeter in your den.
  10. You practice hoops in your living room.
  11. You cut down a tree to protect the house and notice how it will open up the yard for more equipment.
  12. Although your dog isn't technically allowed on the wood furniture, for a moment you think that it would really be safer to sandpaint the furniture that your dog always gets on anyway.


You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. Buying a new car, you take a tape measure with you so you can make sure that your crates and canopy will fit.
  2. Your dream vehicle is an otherwise dorky minivan from which, when you finally get it, you remove all the rear seats and replace them with kennels.
  3. You can no longer park your car in your driveway because that big old RV you bought for the dogs takes up the whole thing.
  4. Your car consists of decals involving acronyms for titles and pawprints.
  5. Anyone driving behind you can tell what breed of dog you have, where you train, all dog sports you do, what titles you have, and maybe even a picture if they are lucky.
  6. Your vehicle is set up with all the agility needs...kennels, water pails, poop bags, leashes, tug toys, running shoes, treats, trial premiums, but no room for human friends.
  7. Your car is packed so full that you can barely see out the back.
  8. You ask for a car topper for Christmas to hold all your trial gear because you need the room inside your car for crates.
  9. Your car is broken into but nothing is taken because no one else wants crates, treats, 2x2 weaves, or jumps.

Work, career, job

You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You plan your semester of teaching around the days off you are taking to travel to trials.
  2. You retire so you can take three weeks to go to your favorite venue's Championships.
  3. You tell a staff member, "over".
  4. You quit your job and start a vending business so you can spend every weekend at an agility trial.
  5. You know how to do the score table paperwork better than you know how to do your day job.


You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You can still chuckle when your little rescue boy (the one who jumps and climbs with glee in practice) runs up to the judge mid-run, sits at his/her feet, and plainly proclaims, "My mother beats me and makes me do this!"
  2. You like being a gate steward because it helps you learn the names of the handlers. You already know all the dogs' names.
  3. Kissing the dirt becomes a regular thing because you can't keep up with your dog.
  4. You do a faceplant on a run you need to Q on and worry only about how many seconds it took you to pick yourself up and continue.
  5. You work every single class you can because that means one less meal you'll have to miss in order to make that entry fee.
  6. You analyze each run as if you could run it again, when in reality it's a Q or it's an NQ and you can't actually change the past.
  7. A really smooth connected run is all it takes to keep you floating on a cloud until the next trial.
  8. Your dog hasn't gotten a single Masters Jumpers Q in 40 tries but you still happily sign up for the next trial without even thinking about it.
  9. You get home from a four day show, and turn around 3 days later for another one.
  10. You stay up til 4:30 AM waiting for your turn to run a 40-second course. (Night agility, what an experience!)
  11. At the course briefings, you can recite the regular rules along with the judge.
  12. You've been to so many trials that all the judges know your name.
  13. You're an agility judge.
  14. After two years of trying to get out of Novice Jumpers (meanwhile you're all the way up in Excellent Standard), you finally get the leg and everyone wonders what the heck all the noise is about in the Novice ring.


  1. The first thing your friends say when they enter a room in your house is "Wow, do you have enough ribbons?"
  2. You stop picking up ribbons at trials except for the big events like Super-Qs, titles, and regional first places, and you still have run out of room in your house.
  3. Your mother is mystified as to why you display in your living room several grungy 4-foot PVC pipe sections with sharpie scribbles all over them.


You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. Three sets of weaves is not too many.
  2. You're using an ironing board as a contact and chairs for weave poles.
  3. You don't have a yard but you do have enough equipment to set up nearly a full course in the park.
  4. You learned how to cut and glue PVC just so you could make your own jumps.

Weekends, holidays, and vacations

You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You panic at the sight of an "empty" weekend on your calendar.
  2. You can't go out on the weekends because you're traveling to some God-forsaken place for a trial.
  3. Instead of counting down to holidays, you count down until your next trial.
  4. You can't stand being at home two weekends in a row.
  5. The only time you ask off of work is to go to a trial.
  6. You plan your vacation on going to Championships, not to compete but to work, and find out you never had a better vacation.
  7. You plan your vacation time in 2 or 3 day increments to coincide with trials you want to enter.
  8. Friends start giving up asking you to hang out on weekends because they know you'll be trialing.
  9. Friends ask "how was your trial?" instead of "how was your weekend?"
  10. Your friends give you weird looks because you have to be home at 8pm on a friday night because you have to wake up at 4am to go to a trial.

Time spent

You know you're a dog agility addict when...

  1. Driving 4 hours to a trial is nothing.
  2. You willingly get up at 3:30 AM to drive to an agility trial.
  3. You leave home at 2:30 and get home at 8:45 for one agility class.
  4. You have 3 hours to find a dress to wear the day of your daughter's wedding and you spend 30 minutes texting two of your friends to see if they earned their MACHs.
  5. There's no time to wash the dishes or vacuum, but you spend 20 minutes a day with each dog working on weave entries and rear crosses.


You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. Waking up for a show at 8am seems late.
  2. You move up from a tent to pop-up trailer to an RV so you and your dogs can stay on site.
  3. You burst into hysterical laughter when told that an agility friend's nonagility spouse asks to go to an away trial, saying, "We could stay in a really nice hotel..."
  4. You don't mind crawling out the bed before the crack of dawn to drive to a trial....but, on a work day....you have a problem getting up.
  5. You have bad dreams about the snooker course you have to run the next morning.


You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. All your tax return money goes to agility equipment.
  2. The first thing that comes to mind when you get a pay check is what trials you need to enter.
  3. You get your first job so that you can afford agility equipment rather than to afford a car.
  4. You do all you can to get those $30 you need to enter a trial then after your trial, you're already trying to come up with a way to get another $30.
  5. You don't have enough money for the movies or to go out to eat because you just signed up for the latest Derrett seminar.
  6. You only eat off of the "dollar menu" but you'll pay $10 for a 4 x 6 agility photo of your dog (that MAY or MAY NOT be in focus).
  7. You do not worry about motel or gas costs but ALWAYs order off the dollar menu.
  8. You eat mac n cheese 3 meals a day for a week so you can afford that trial at the end of the month.
  9. You spend hundreds of dollars each month in trial fees only to have the chance of possibly getting a Q that may or may not add up to a new title.
  10. Every financial transaction in your life revolves around the number of runs you could do at a trial instead.


You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You realize that all your t-shirts have some agility design or commemorate some trial.
  2. You own more DAM team shirts than nice shirts that you'd wear to work.
  3. You start wearing your DAM team shirts to work.
  4. Your "good" clothes to wear in public are any that don't have muddy dog foot prints on the front...on the side...on the back...
  5. You go to a trial and don't care how you look because everyone is dressed in raggedy shorts, wears no make-up, and has uncombed hair.
  6. You wear cammo pants the color of dirt to work so you can play agility at lunch and still come back to work looking somewhat respectable.

Internet, computer, TV

You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. All your browser bookmarks involve agility, trials, venues, clubs, training tips, or dog gear.
  2. The Agility Invitational is the only must-watch TV show all month.
  3. Your favorite part of the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge is Small and Large dog agility.
  4. You spend 90% of your time searching the internet for trial premiums that aren't even out yet.
  5. You order nothing online but dog or dog agility items.
  6. The majority of your facebook posts are either training updates, what you and your dog are doing, trial results, or what happened at agility class that night.
  7. You have spreadsheets to track dates when trial entries are due.
  8. You have company coming for supper and all you can do is read the agility comments thinking how appropriate they all are and just sit there waiting for something else to come across the screen.
  9. "House" looks like he's in jail because you're watching TV through the weave poles in your living room.
  10. Your picture on Facebook is your dog.
  11. You're watching something on the tv and comment on how flat the grass is and how you could get a few jumps out on that.
  12. In the last 18 months, you posted 503 blog entries under "agility," and one post under "uncategorized." That was the time you won $68 on a Fantasy Five lottery ticket. You realize you spent the money on a Susan Garrett DVD, so you update the post and its category to "agility," which brings the total agility posts to 504.
  13. You open a YouTube account so you can post every one of your runs. You look forward to putting them to music and reminiscing.
  14. You search facebook for 'dog agility.'
  15. You watch a weave training DVD instead of American Idol.
  16. Your non-agility FB friends have no idea what the majority of your posts mean.
  17. You own course-design software and use it regularly, and you're not even a judge or an instructor.
  18. You have 250 agility facebook friends, plus a few others whom you can't exactly remember who they are because you never see them any more, but you suspect they might be related to you.
  19. You text "Or" using predictive text and it comes up as "NQ".

Friends and family

You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You know people from all around the country thanks to agility.
  2. You get to know the dogs as well as their owners.
  3. You may not be able to remember all the people's names but you can always remember the dogs.
  4. You're good friends with people whose names you don't know.
  5. Your dog has her own fan club and dozens of people who follow her blog.
  6. Your agility friends are more family than your real family is.
  7. Knowing when you see your friends next involves knowing who's going to what trial and when.
  8. You discover after 5 years of classes and trialing together that a classmate is a 1995 Nobel Prize Laureate but you're still more impressed that they made the agility world team.
  9. You go to an Agility trial and not your family's important event.
  10. You get upset when a non-dog friend or relative schedules a wedding during a long holiday weekend, which is one of your favorite dog shows.
  11. You insist that the children schedule their weddings around agility trials.
  12. You go to an agility trial in another state on the same weekend as your daughter's first dance recital.
  13. You have more photos of your dog at an agility trial than you do of the rest of your family.
  14. You've had to use the sentence "You know, the thing you see on TV where the dogs go over jumps and through tunnels and stuff" when you're trying to explain to a non-agility person exactly what agility is.
  15. You're off doing some nonagility activity** and you mention dog agility (duh!) and some nonagility person says, "Oh, I know someone who does agility," and you ask who it is, and you recognize the name. (**One might argue that agility addicts don't do nonagility activites. But it is, in theory, possible for them to do so.)

Agility flavors

You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You heard about UKI coming to the US and signed up as soon as you could so you wouldn't miss any trials.
  2. You can expound at length on the rules for faults at different levels in 5 different organizations.
  3. You've served on trial committees for trials sanctioned by at least three different organizations.


You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You go Lowe's or Home Depot to purchase pvc and wood, and it's to build agility equipment with.
  2. Every picture/video of a trial is AWESOME and you debate whether to buy it or not.
  3. You spend more on your dog's agility videos than you spend on your kids.
  4. You've bought more PVC to make agility equipment than you did when you put in your sprinkler system.
  5. You buy paint by the gallon but it's canary yellow, bright blue, purple, and red and it's not for the house.
  6. You want to buy boots for your dog so you can practice in the snow.
  7. You know where to buy 4 colors of surveyor's tape and 6 colors of duct tape.

Reading, writing, language, vocabulary

You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You begin writing 'weave' instead of 'we've'.
  2. It is hard to write Trail- you always write Trial instead.
  3. A friend's facebook post is "working on course plans again. Classes start early--," and it takes you half a minute of disorientation to remember that he's still a school teacher, not an agility judge.
  4. Somebody asks you for your contact info, you say "2 on - 2 off" instead of your phone number.
  5. Explaining for the 5th time that day that "going to a trial" does not involve handcuffs, police, or a sentencing.
  6. AKC, USDAA, NADAC, UKI, DOCNA, ASCA, CPE, among other venues are so common to you that, when talking to nondog people, you forget to explain what they stand for.
  7. Having to explain what an ADCh, NATCh, MACh, C-ATCh etc is *AGAIN* is a hassle to you.
  8. You catch yourself explaining that WT means world team and it's the Olympics of agility.
  9. Getting up at 4:30 and driving to an agility trial is a blessing because you can actually have conversations with people who know what you are talking about when you use the terms lead out pivot, 2o2o, and front cross.
  10. You know what "gradual deterioration of criteria" means and when to apply it to contact performance.

Health and medicine

You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. Your dogs have a masseuse and a chiropractor but you don't.
  2. You schedule your departure for/return frrom a family funeral based on what time you can stop by your dog's massage therapists's house so your injured dog can get a massage each way.
  3. You're more worried about your dog getting to the vet than about you getting to the doctor when one of you is sick.
  4. You cough so hard from bronchitis that you pull some rib muscles but won't scratch a single class because who needs to breathe?
  5. You're sick or in pain but needed to brush up for the next agility trial.
  6. You schedule your knee surgery around your upcoming trials and compete even though the doctor tells you that you shouldn't.
  7. Your dogs eat better and are in much better shape than you.
  8. You have surgery on your leg and have the doctor use butterfly closures instead of stitches so you can run in agility class that night.


You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. While other people are hunkering down during a snow storm, you are driving to the mountains to a trial that you refuse to scratch, you spend the night in your car stranded on the interstate and when you finally get to your hotel at 6:45 am you sleep for half an hour and get to the trial by 7:30.
  2. You are at a trial in the middle of winter, outside. Your dog takes care of business. You eagerly reach for a poop bag. You are delighted to pick it up because it will warm your hand for a minute.
  3. You don't care if you run in a Nor'easter as long as you're having fun.
  4. You'll stay home from work when there are 3 inches of snow on the ground but you'll stay at an agility trial when there are 5 inches on the ground and it's still falling. Oh, and it's 10 degrees below freezing and you are trialing in an unheated horse arena.
  5. You think it's normal to train outside in 35 degree weather with brisk winds while wearing two pairs of pants, three sweaters and two coats.
  6. You're willing to run your dogs with a heat index of 108 F (42 C).


You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You can find your way to 20 different obscure rural towns that no one has ever heard of, without a map or GPS, in the dark, at 4 in the morning after only 4 hours of sleep.
  2. You purchase a GPS just to make sure you can get to all of your trials.
  3. No matter where you go, you're always keeping an eye out for huge open fields with grass and parking that could maybe work for an agility trial.

Just addicted...

You know you're a dog agility addict when...
  1. You read a list of 120 ways to recognize that "you're an agility addict when--" and realize that you could easily add 120 more.
  2. You boil the pot of water for spaghetti down to nothing but burned salt because you got so involved thinking of all the ways you know you're an agility addict.


  1. Oh that was too funny, thanks so much for collating them. For including my comment about my Bichon (who has an awesome weave and has now won his first ribbon) and for the comments under 'health/medicine' Ihave been nursing an injured back for the last couple of months, but no way will I consider resting lol Thats was codiene is for!

  2. Congrats on your Bichon's first ribbon! I hate the injured back thing--mine was so bad one year that I was on disability and could barely walk, let alone run. It was so bad that even with codeine I could not do agility with my dogs. It was quite depressing. But I got back to it eventually! Hope yours gets better soon, too.