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First time agility

Discussion in 'Dog Agility and Flyball' started by Daggre, May 4, 2010.


  1. Daggre

    Daggre PetForums Member

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    We have a 10month lab/poodle cross, and want to start taking her to classes when she's a year old (july), as we know it can be bad for their joints to do anything before then. Is a year still too young? Can we do any training to prepare for this? There are kennels a five minute walk away who offer agility classes, and we did the puppy classes there so we know they're okay.

    I was wondering could I start her on the poles/bits that din't involve jumping or climbing now, because I want to find something stimulating, and fun to do with her. However I don't want to teach her it 'wrong' only to have her relearn it when she starts classes.

    Also, out of interest, what is flyball?
     
  2. Nicky10

    Nicky10 PetForums VIP

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    The classes start at a year but you can do some basic stuff now get a good stay command, teach her to go left and right from vocal commands and hand signals. You could also teach her to walk along something like a plank on the ground so she's not as freaked out by the dog walk and see saw. I wouldn't recommend training the weaves, jumps or a-frame now. You could get a tunnel and teach her to go through that a lot of dogs have problems with the tunnels
     
  3. Daggre

    Daggre PetForums Member

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    The left and right commands are a good idea. She does Stay fairly well, she sometuimes gets bored and wanders off though so I'll work on that. A tunnel ould be a thing to start her on, she's quite big, so do i need a big tunnel, or does she perform some kind of 'crawl'? Is that a stupid question? I'll try walking her along planks too =)
     
  4. Nicky10

    Nicky10 PetForums VIP

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    She would be doing standard agility tunnels so if you get one and see if she'll have to learn to crouch down or not. There's a lot of labs do it and some might have to crouch down a bit but they do well
     
  5. Daggre

    Daggre PetForums Member

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    shes bigger then a lot of labs xD I'm sure she'll manage though, she's definately big but not giant.
     
  6. Nicky10

    Nicky10 PetForums VIP

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    There's standard poodles do it too and do well. They do have giant classes so maybe if she's too big for the large classes she might be able to do those but if a giant schnauzer/doberman mix can manage I'm sure she'll be fine.
     
  7. Daggre

    Daggre PetForums Member

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    She will, like I said, she isn't huge huge, she is just pretty big xD We were never sure how bg she'd be because of the cross. She's not a big as a standard poodle though, so she'll be fine
     
  8. Oenoke

    Oenoke PetForums VIP

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    As she's so big I probably wouldn't start agility with her until she's more like 18 months old. You really need to proof that wait because dogs that enjoy agility start self-rewarding by jumping the jump before their handlers are ready if they haven't been taught a really solid wait.

    I wouldn't start with a tunnel until she is old enough to start the other equipment as I've seen a lot of dogs that are tunnel happy and will go out of their way to do a tunnel. My boy that I taught a tunnel before he was old enough to do other equipment was a bit like this and the only way we cured it was to tie a rope around a tunnel that wasn't secured and when he went to go in it when he wasn't supposed to, someone pulled it away from him. My 2 girls that weren't taught a tunnel until the rest of the equipment don't seem to be like this, in fact they both prefer the a-frame and weaves!

    You can teach directions (left, right, go on, etc) and a target which can help with contacts, but it really depends on how the club you are going to be training at does things. Just make sure your dog is happy to do things with you and plays with you when there are other distractions as there are lots of distractions at agility.
     
    #8 Oenoke, May 4, 2010
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  9. Daggre

    Daggre PetForums Member

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    Yes, it's her joints that we're worried about, it says one year but my dad says we might want to wait longer because labs especially get hip problems.

    Okay, thanks.I'll make sure she has a really solid wait then =)
     
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