Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Success? What is it anyway?

It's easy to recognise the outright success of champions... 

..... but in my view "success" is much less tangible than simply winning, and considerably more widespread than ribbons for places.

So what IS success? 

Perhaps it is simply a moment where some part of our dream is realised?

This is Patsy completing our first ever NOT ELIMINATED round!  A moment of success I will always cherish.

So it seems "success", is actually more to do with context, than with winning.  

In training, we aim to keep our dogs succeeding so that they are not discouraged. And, when a task is too difficult, we help them succeed by making the task simpler. Parents do the same for their children.

As handlers, I think we should be equally considerate to ourselves.

So, just like we do for our puppies, we need to set ourselves up for success.

This includes ensuring that, no matter what our dreams, our interim goals are attainable, achievable and constantly re-evaluated.

Viewed this way, "success" becomes a journey of many, ever-changing little successes, and not an ultimate destination!

Every dog, every show, every judge, presents different challenges - and the challenges we each face, to get our moment in the ring, are not equal either.

Likewise our perception of success is coloured by our own personal expectations and aspirations.

So whilst my "success" - as traditionally measured by ribbons - is confined to a few rare, and surprising, moments . . .

. . . I regard my agility journey as an adventure of many small achievements.

And success, however we define it, is born of all the little things that we do every time we play with our dogs . . .


Note: This post has been written as part of  the 

Dog Agility Bloggers Action Day on the topic of "Success".

Links to other posts on the same topic can be found here:


  1. Congratulations on your incredible successes! You have it down! :) Loved the photos too.

  2. Great attitude, and I think you have lots to feel successful at!

  3. I think what you wrote is very similar to what I wrote today - it's all about the context!

  4. Thank you all for your kind comments. I am enjoying reading all the other posts on the same subject. Inspirational reading all round I think. :D