In life there are and will always be poor losers and poor winners. It is just a sad fact. I am not sure which one is more irritating really, but they are both annoying. In agility, we all come across them. Win or lose, they walk around like they are cock of the walk. What is it about their personality that makes them behave so badly? Is it a genetic character flaw, a learned behavior, insecurity or a small d!c#?
You all know those people. When they win, they brag to all and when they lose, they always have an excuse and make sure everyone hears it, especially the winner. They know how to suck the joy out of anyone who beats them. They know how to pound those they beat into the ground. They shoot off their mouths like Mohamed Ali before a run. They NEED that limelight and hate anyone who takes it from them.
Sir Cussalot is one of the most gracious winners or losers I know. He would never go up to anyone and give an “IN YOUR FACE!” move to those he beats or make excuses to those who beat him. I SOOO admire him for that! He is very secure in who he is. I am never in a position to be the winner so it is all foreign to me, but I watch Sir C week in and week out, take it like a man, no matter how it ends up.
The video below says it all!
This past weekend, my sister Lizzie and her husband Dana came to visit us. Although dog people, they have had no firsthand experience with agility. It was quite an experience to sit with them and hear their observations at their first ever agility trial. I loved it! They were in awe at the fun the dogs had (and most of the people), but the thing that hit me most was when somebody walked by with their Border collie after a bad run. All the way this person was telling the dog that he was terrible and didn’t deserve anything for that run. My sister sat there listening. Then she got tears in her eyes. She had seen the run and thought the dog was amazing. She couldn’t believe that anyone would talk so poorly to their dog that had just tried his heart out. She turned to me and said, “Why is that person so mean to that poor dog? Why do they blame the dog? Isn’t it their job to train the dog?” Out of the mouths…
I also heard a woman berating her dog this weekend for his lackluster run. The dog gave it all he had to give but she didn’t think it was enough. I listened as she walked by our tent and all the way down the lane telling her dog he was terrible and he would NOT be getting any treats. I wanted to cry for that poor dog. Why don’t people understand that their dog messes up because of their training? I will go to my grave pondering that one! It is like blaming somebody for catching a cold or the flu! When our dogs go wrong, it is ALWAYS 100% OUR FAULT!!! People who say otherwise are foolish at best, and until they get it, their dog will never improve. When they say otherwise in front of others, don’t they know how ridiculously ignorant they sound?
My dog has terrible fear of the teeter. I tease her and tell her she is a big baby, but we have fun with it. I adore my Pankies. No matter what she does in the ring, I take full responsibility. If she runs slower than usual, as was the case this weekend, I know I am at fault. If she goes off course or has a refusal, I know it is my fault either as her handler or her trainer. She is not my tool to an end. She is my friend and I adore her and she deserves my respect, love and responsible training. It is my job to teach her that the teeter is as much fun as her weavins.
There are many forms of poor sportsmanship from the “IN YOUR FACE” winning move to “THE TIMER FAILED! NO WAY YOUR DOG IS THAT FAST” to “YOU ARE NOT GETTING ANY TREATS FOR THAT RUN!” to “THE ONLY REASON YOU BEAT US IS…” to…
The next time you hear some (insert my new favorite word. My friends know what it is) telling their dog they won’t get any treats for their poor performance, remind them that they are responsible for the dog’s training and it is NOT that poor dog’s fault that they SUCK as a trainer!
STOP THE INSANITY! STAND UP TO POOR SPORTS!
Helen Grinnell King