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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few months ago I enquired about a local group that does agility classes. The woman on the phone has welcomed me to come down and have a look with George, and I'm considering going tonight. I've no idea about prices as of yet, I'd just like to see if this would be a suitable outlet for George to be mentally stimulated and a chance to socialise and bond - Seeing as I can't let him offlead very much in this area.

I just wondered if anyone knows if there is an age requirement for George to participate? He's almost 5 months. Even an estimation, it will be a beginners class anyway.

If he's too young than I'll just continue with regular training at home and leave the agility till later.

SJ
 

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You can't do proper agility until at least a year old sadly. I'm waiting til Jan/Feb til Kes can start as she'll be old enough then. In the meantime you can always look for puppy agility (none that I know of in Notts) or try looking things up to train him in preparation (touch command etc so you can weave easily, steady for the seesaw etc). :)
 

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You must not do agility with a dog under 12 months old, it can really harm their bones /joints etc, i am surprised a club is telling you to go there when your puppy is so young, my advice would be to concentrate on sit/stay/recall with your dog for at least another 5 months then look for a reliable agility club, agility is great for dog and owner but it must be done properly so it will not cause injuries etc to you and your dog.
 
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Yeah he's way too young. Clubs will usually take them between 12-18 months, unless they offer puppy agility. Have a look at Greg derrett's foundation training DVD for stuff you can do to get him ready for agility :)
 

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You must not do agility with a dog under 12 months old, it can really harm their bones /joints etc, i am surprised a club is telling you to go there when your puppy is so young, my advice would be to concentrate on sit/stay/recall with your dog for at least another 5 months then look for a reliable agility club, agility is great for dog and owner but it must be done properly so it will not cause injuries etc to you and your dog.
Not all the obstacles would cause injury, what harm can weaving and going through tunnels do? You can also use hoola hups placed on the floor just to get him used to going through them.
 

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I don't see a problem with going along to a taster session & chatting to people about what they cover. Rogue started puppy agility 3 weeks ago at 6 months old, so we are still very new to it but loving it, but we have friends in agility who told me to avoid classes that involve any jumping, weaving or off the ground work until the puppies are at least 12 months old:)
 

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You shouldn't do any jumping or weaves before a year old. Also, you really need a good recall to do agility , most clubs won't let you start until you do.

Saying that though, you need to find a good club now if you want to agility in the future as most good clubs have long waiting lists (I was on 1 for over 2 years).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone. Don't worry, we're just enquiring, not actually getting involved. I should mention he already jumps around like a kangaroo when he gets excited anyway :rolleyes:

I would like to take him to a class so that he can socialise, but they seem to be miles away and only 8 week programs?! The one I used to had levels and they went through all year round, you just went to the next level when you're dog was ready.

At this training group they have different levels of agility, so I'm assuming one could possibly be suitable for George. Obviously if they seem to be over the top, we'll wait till he's older.

SJ
 

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Thanks everyone. Don't worry, we're just enquiring, not actually getting involved. I should mention he already jumps around like a kangaroo when he gets excited anyway :rolleyes:

I would like to take him to a class so that he can socialise, but they seem to be miles away and only 8 week programs?! The one I used to had levels and they went through all year round, you just went to the next level when you're dog was ready.

At this training group they have different levels of agility, so I'm assuming one could possibly be suitable for George. Obviously if they seem to be over the top, we'll wait till he's older.

SJ
If you do end up going let me know what it's like, I haven't decided where to take Kes yet when she's old enough. :)
 

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There are plenty of things you can teach a dog whilst it's waiting to participate in agility classes. When you go along to the class to have a nosey, ask the trainer what kind of things you can teach that will be helpful. As has already been mentioned, a solid wait and a recall is a must but commands like left and right (those are the ones I use but I know some people use 'this' and 'back') are necessary as the dog progresses, so you might as well get a head start!

Out of curiosity, which club are you looking at?
 

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What's the reason for not weaving? :confused:
Weaving is 1 of the worst as the dog is bending their back and putting alot of stresses and strains on that & their legs, unless open channel weaves are used, then they shouldn't be closed until the dog is at least a year old. Here's a pic of 1 of my dogs showing what I mean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There are plenty of things you can teach a dog whilst it's waiting to participate in agility classes. When you go along to the class to have a nosey, ask the trainer what kind of things you can teach that will be helpful. As has already been mentioned, a solid wait and a recall is a must but commands like left and right (those are the ones I use but I know some people use 'this' and 'back') are necessary as the dog progresses, so you might as well get a head start!

Out of curiosity, which club are you looking at?
Nottingham Agility Dog Training Club - I believe it's in Selston.

SJ
 

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Weaving is 1 of the worst as the dog is bending their back and putting alot of stresses and strains on that & their legs, unless open channel weaves are used, then they shouldn't be closed until the dog is at least a year old. Here's a pic of 1 of my dogs showing what I mean.
Bad even at slow speeds? Is it worth teaching with very spaced out poles or does that confuse things when they do the real thing?
 

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Bad even at slow speeds? Is it worth teaching with very spaced out poles or does that confuse things when they do the real thing?
I think when they are young you need to use special opened out weaves where they basically start out running between 2 rows of poles with no change of direction needed, or that's the impression I got, I could be wrong. We've not tackled the weaves yet in the class I go to as there's another dog there who only 10 months so they need to get the starter weaves out.

For the OP it's definitely worth registering your interest and finding a club you like sooner rather than later, I started looking around in February and only just started in October so you might have to wait a while. The class I go to is only £2/class and it's on every week rather than a 8 week course which I much prefer! It may also be worth going to a local agility comp to watch and see what you think and ask around about some good clubs locally.
 
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Bad even at slow speeds? Is it worth teaching with very spaced out poles or does that confuse things when they do the real thing?
Yes even at slow speeds, it's pretty much one of the worst things a young dog can do. You can do 'channel weaves' (well that's what they're called here, not sure about there) where the weaves are set on an angle and the dog just runs through them, and then you move them closer and closer together (when the dog is old enough to weave) until they are straight. It doesn't seem to confuse them, but I didn't learn like that. I learnt by teaching the dog to just go through 2 poles first (as an entry) and then gradually adding more, and it worked really well for us. Certainly no harm in teaching a puppy to go through 2 poles, but you have to make sure you're teaching them to enter from the correct side.
 

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I think going to agility before the dog is old enough to train properly is a good way to socialise, and get them use to the equipment.

Dixie had never seen agility equipment really, when she stared out and she loved it but I do feel I pushed her a little.

My dog trainer has been taking her puppy since she was old enough to go walks, just for watching at first and then over poles and tunnels, only recently now that she has gone a year, is she taking her on the A frame etc. I will be doing the same with Chase.


Weaving I will be teaching him before he's a year to run through the open channel- just make sure you do not move the channels so close together that the dog has to bend their body. This means when Chase is old enough, he will already have the basics of weave (entering from different angles and making sure he runs all the way out the end), then closing the channels up should be easier :)
Have a look on youtube for channel weaves, I found it helpful and it was really helpful with Dixie.
 
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