This past weekend I played in a flyball tournament with one of my dogs. Flyball is a sport or game in which teams of four dogs compete against each other for speed and accuracy in a combination relay/drag race.
During a flyball tournament, or at a practice/training session, or even at a flyball club Christmas party, I often hear the human handlers say (in a snobbish or haughty voice), “I don’t care about competition. I only play flyball to have fun with my dog.” These people speak as if the idea of engaging in a competition with a dog was somehow negative, and “having fun with a dog” the only lofty goal.
Who are these people kidding? If they only want to have fun with their pet, why don’t they take him/her to a park or an open field somewhere and play fetch or frisbee flying disc? Alone – without anyone counting wins and losses?
I think you know why. The people that claim they don’t care generally do so right after their team has lost a race, or they have made a human handling error, or their dog isn’t properly trained and has made an error (or consistently makes errors). Instead of admitting, building on, and learning from their mistakes, though, these people choose to ignore them, pretending that the “competition” is somehow beneath them or irrelevant.
But if you are not going to try your best and work hard to succeed, why compete in the first place?
This is not my flyball club, but it’s a cool video, and at least I did compete at this tournament. Just in case you don’t have a clue (like most of the world), what flyball is.