ANIMALS IN MOTION, CONNECTING ON COURSE.
ABOUT: Nicki Gurr BSc BEd, owner/head instructor at AniMotion Agility
- 2020 Team Canada Coach World Agility Open - Netherlands
- 4X Canadian World Team Member
- FCI 2010, 2011 (Top 10 Midi 18")
- WAO 2012 (Bronze Biathlon), 2013
- 2X Canadian AAC National Champion 2012, 2017
- 5x BC AAC Regional Champion: 10Sp, 16Reg, 16Sp, 22Sp, 26Reg
- AAC Masters Judge, UKI Judge
The game of agility involves humans and dogs (animals) moving around an obstacle course together (in motion) as efficiently and accurately as possible. Efficiency requires mutual understanding between the two – a connectedness on course, and accuracy requires not only skill and understanding, but the ability to do it at speed.
It is breathtaking to watch a team running in perfect unison, speaking the same ‘language’ and completely understanding one another for those fleeting seconds. It is an experience all handlers strive for: ANIMOTION: animals in motion connecting on course.
Nicki’s handling philosophy emphasizes handling predominantly with naturally understood cues by her dogs; cues that require little or no translation time by the dog. Today's courses require a medley of skills - among them solid foundations that educate the dogs to understand their job on course and how to do it physically correctly and SAFELY, Verbals and other short cuts for handlers to keep ahead of their dogs and to commit the dogs to the obstacles, also play a bigger role with courses allowing more speed and ground to cover. Some handlers will ‘need it all’, while others can emphasize the physical more than the verbal. Finding the best choices for each team is key to getting around the course efficiently and confidently - for the human and the dog.
Nicki has been competing/teaching Agility for close to twenty years with 9 dogs: 7 Border Collies and 2 Shelties. She has over twenty First place championships in National Standards and Jumpers events, and has also excelled in distance work (Gamblers) with multiple wins at the National level, with her Shelties and BCs. She has had success in multiple associations: AAC, CKC, FCI, USDAA, UKI, AKC. Nicki is a Masters Judge with the AAC and UKI and has worked with MANY students world wide online, in seminar and in weekly lessons, with an equally diverse range of dog breeds. Her strengths as an instructor are in her eye for detail and her ability to guide a handler to the BEST handling choices for their partner. Dogs respond the same way to direction, speed, location to the equipment, shoulders, head and feet. Nicki understands the relationship of how dogs interpret Handler motion to the finest of degrees. She can always enlighten a handler as to why it works and why it doesn’t. Her background is Science and Music. She believes Agility is a natural combination of the two: Moving in rhythm with another species, and training for repeatable behaviour. She has worked with Novice beginners to experienced World Team Members, and has helped many discover what their dogs already knew!