Interview with Han Yu
How long have you competed in AKC Agility? How did you discover the sport?
Han Yu: I have competed in AKC Agility for seven years. “Skye” is my second dog and my first, as people say, “Performance Dog.” My first dog is a Miniature Schnauzer named “Dates.” When I got Dates, I got her as a pet and had no idea that something like Agility even existed. When I brought Dates to Puppy Classes for socialization and Basic Obedience, I learned from a classmate that Agility is “a thing.” I was interested and took note.
When Dates was about 2.5 years old, I started her in Agility class. We were living in a small town in Kansas at the time, and I was so lucky to be able to find someone (Jocelyn Baker) who was teaching Agility out of her barn. It is the only Agility class that existed locally at the time. From the first class, I was in love.
Long story short, we started competing not long after that. Dates isn’t very fast and doesn’t have the most “drive” when it comes to Agility, but she does what I ask and actually achieved two MACHs before I retired her when COVID hit. Skye, compared to her sister, loves, loves the game. We have competed in AKC since she was two years old.
Did you have a strategy for competing with “Skye” at the AKC Agility Invitational this year?
Han Yu: Lol, I don’t know if you’d call it strategy. I know, coming in, that we are NOT the most consistent team. At the same time, I believe that we have all the skills needed to succeed in these courses, and I know that we have good speed. So, I just told myself take nothing for granted and perform one obstacle at a time.
Do you compete in other dog sports? If so, which sports appeal to you and why?
Han Yu: Agility is the only dog sport that I compete in. I’m a bit single-minded. I love Agility because it asks a lot of the human handler: form, timing, focus, athleticism, mental game—you name it. And if there’s anyone or anything that I like to push, it is myself. I also enjoy the close “dance” between the dog and the human in Agility, and the deep bonding that inevitably happens in that process.