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Starting out in agility.

Discussion in 'Dog Agility and Flyball' started by Ponies78, Aug 24, 2013.


  1. Ponies78

    Ponies78 PetForums Junior

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    I'd love to have a go at agility, but all the classes I've seen give a min age of I yr. mine is 7 months. My understanding is to ensure fully grown/minimise damage. Anyone do agility earlier than a year?

    Also, I dabble in gundog training, are the two compatible or might it confuse pup?
     
  2. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    There's a very good reason why most responsible clubs insist the dogs are at least a year old - too much strain on the spine for starters.

    There are lots of basic training exercises you can do in the meantime - sit stay - an instant recall - recall to heel - etc. All these exercises will help you when you start agility classes.
     
  3. sueh83

    sueh83 PetForums Member

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    With my youngest, I wanted to have a shot at doing Gundog Working Tests (HPR) therefore took the decision to hang fire on the agility training until I was happy with the gundog work. Said dog won a puppy class at a GWT earlier this summer and was well on the way to grasping the tasks required for novice. I was happy with her progress so we started agility training in July aged 18 months.
    Gundog work you are asking the dog to be calm and steady where as agility you are asking them to be hyped up. Next summer will be the tell for my girl when she is competing in both GWT and Agility.
     
  4. Wiz201

    Wiz201 PetForums VIP

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    No actual jumping or attempting to weave until 1 year minimum. You've only got five months to wait anyway now, but you can do pre-agility classes where the dog gets to run through tunnels and through jump wings with poles on the ground, learning how to do turns with wing wraps etc.
     
  5. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    You can do channel weaves with the channel open so far the dog isn't wiggling at all to go through, but learning weave entries from all angles. You could also do contacts on the end of a board on the ground. There's a good DVD, Agility Foundation Training by Greg Derrett.

    I started training the basics, following directions around jump wings etc from 18 weeks with Kite, but she didn't jump until a year. I started wide-open channel weaves at 10 months, and would have done so sooner but Kite was 10 months before I got the weaves.

    It's worth pointing out, though, that I had already been doing agility with another dog for a good few years, and knew what I wanted to achieve, how to do it and what I wanted to avoid. If you're a complete beginner, as well as the puppy, it's worth leaving everything apart from the basics of the dog staying with you, and a good 'wait', until the equipment and handler moves can be taught safely and properly by someone who knows what they're doing.
     
  6. Wiz201

    Wiz201 PetForums VIP

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    I'm afraid anyone who did actually start jumping with their dog before 1 year old I'd brand as an irresponsible owner. Please do not do this with your dog :)
     
  7. Ponies78

    Ponies78 PetForums Junior

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    I thought it was to protect joints etc.

    Ill keep going to get a decent heel! Not there yet!
     
  8. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    It is to protect joints.

    Get your pup happy walking on either side of you, as your dog should be equally happy on your left or right at agility. And start teaching directional commands. The ones I use are go (go straight ahead), come (towards me), back (away from me), left (go left), turn (go right) and out (go to the obtacle that's further away); I also use cefn, from the Welsh, for take the obstacle from the far side - my dog is Welsh and her registered name is Cefn Kite. You can start using left or right when pavement walking, and you come to a junction. They soon pick it up.
     
  9. Kicksforkills

    Kicksforkills PetForums VIP

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    Hi there, Dexter did puppy agility until 10 months. He'll be doing Obiedence until he starts adult agility in January.

    Hope this helps, it's a great activity!

    EDIT; Here's Dexter being snobbish about a treat during his puppy agility;

    [​IMG]
     
    #9 Kicksforkills, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
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