Shadow Games is about the hunt and "agility" which covers quick and graceful physical movements and the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly.
Shadow Games is all about the cooperation between a human and a dog. The ability to hunt cooperatively has its roots in the evolution of canids of all sorts. There are many species that hunt cooperatively. Lions, wild dogs, hyenas, chimpanzees and wolves not only hunt together but are also social during non-hunting activities. Occassionally other canids such as coyotes, will cooperate in a hunt of larger game when the smaller pre they usually consume is scarce.
Cooperative hunting and social organization have been linked within a species and seems to happen when the gain is greater per animal then if they hunted and lived alone.
Dogs and humans have evolved together for the last at least 14,000 years. The relationship between our two species is as complex as it is ancient. Little is actually known about how dogs and humans began their journey together. What is known is that due to our history as partners, cooperation and social structure have evolved between us not only in day to day life but emotionally and hormonally.
Dogs are capable of learning many different behaviors from each other and from us. Dogs are also consumate problem solvers. Jagility creates a sport where dogs and human can hunt together, solving puzzles, navigating obstacles and searching for prey. This common hunting strengthens the bond between our dogs and us. Most dogs like to go hunting, it is innate to them, and the lack of it is, in our experience, the root of most behavior issues. Jagility is one answer to not only having a great time working with your dog, but helping him to maintain or regain a natural equilibrium of self and an understanding of his relationship with his human.
Shadow Games are:
Trust and Communication
Shadow Games Is a blend of agility, nosework and mobility with supporting obstacles such as sand traps, water holes, woodpiles and mazes. Somewhere on this obstacle course several "dummys" are hidden. These dummys are simulated prey and the object is to navigate the course and find the prey in cooperation. The obstacles in the course will be used in various ways, not always in the standard way, so that your dog never knows whether he is to jump over a bar or crawl under it.
The focus of Shadow Games is on the natural hunting instinct of the dog: Instead of taking a walk, cooperative hunting is done instead. The dog's food is used as the prey. This "prey" is served up in a canvas bag and several are hidden along the "path" of the hunt. Shadow Games gives the space and obstacles as close to the natural hunting environment of a canid as can be created. Dummys can also contain other objects imbued with scent, the key is whether the dog can find and retrieve the dummy.
The course would consist of the hidden dummys that can only be retrieved after overcoming the various obstacles. The obstacles include of tires, tubes, tunnels, bridges, barriers, different surfaces and other unknown objects. In contrast to Agility and Parkour, what is encouraged is not speed, but scenting, overcoming fears, dexterity, self-control, self-confidence, coordination and cooperation. It's not about competition but about teamwork.