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How to find a good place to learn agility

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Ok, we thought about getting into hearding but AZ is too hot and all of the big hats live too far away. Chris has always wanted to do agility with a dog so we figured this may be a more feesable "job" for Ceana. We still need to work on her fear/aggression issues before start anything, but I am still wanting to look for a place where, when we are ready, we can start learning. Chris's mom just bought ceana a tunnel so for the past two days we have been working on running through it on command in combination with her recall. She is very engaged when playing with us and I think it would be fun! How much would basic classes cost (aprox) and where would we find a good teacher? A local vet with a BC told us there were some great clubs in the area when we were ready... but i really am not sure what to look for. Thanks guys!

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There are no doubt LOTS of choices in your area (I'm jealous!).


My advice: go to a trial (more on that later), talk with folks (more too) and then decide.

1) Talk with novice folks who look good (however you define that!). Ask them where they train.

2) Talk with higher level folks, and ask what they'd recommend.


Check www.usdaa.com and www.nadac.com and if you must, www.akc.org; each org has a calendar of events, most you can search by state.


AND in early November, USDAA Nationals will be held at WestWorld in Scottsdale. You MUST come!!! It is a fantastic event, with literally the world's best teams and more vendors than you can shake a stick at! Check their web site for details.


Truly I don't know anyone in your area; but do beware that there are many folks out there (in the world at large) "teaching" agility who have no business doing so (yep, flame suit on...). Personal recommendations, particularly from someone who knows your situation, would be best.


Have fun! And do watch out - it IS addicting!

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Yep, you are pretty much at ground zero for agility. These folks were pretty friendly when I visited, and their website has links to the other local clubs:


Good Dog Agility


Go watch a practice and see what you think.


And, as Diane says, you must go check out the Cynosport World Games in Scottsdale this fall.

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There is a club called Jumping Chollas for agility. Herding instructors in the valley area that I know of are Molly Wisecarver in Mayer and Dawna Sims in Dewey. There is a NADAC agility trial in Tucson at the fairgrounds over the Labor Day weekend that we are going to. Lots of info from the folks there. Hope you can come; it would be good to meet. Our herding instructor is in Benson and is very good also. Good luck. Narita

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We are definetly going in November! I will try to go to Tuscon too! I had no idea agility was so big out here?! Hooray! Can I bring Ceana to the trials.... if she is able to handle it at that point of course (probably not, but we have made big strides lately)?

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Agility people won't mind a well-behaved spectator dog, as long as you know the agility trial etiquette -

1. Don't let the dog within a few feet of the ring, especially if it makes her excited

2. Don't let your dog just randomly greet other dogs walking around (I doubt you'd do this!)

3. Don't EVER put your untrained dog on the practice jumps. Those are for competitors.

4. Be nice :rolleyes:


Agility people are usually pretty friendly, IF you don't catch them after a bad run! My advice is to watch somebody you like run, memorize what they look like, then try to track them down without their dog later so they won't be rushing off in a hurry somewhere. Personally I really don't like it when I've just finished a run and I'm hot, my dog's hot, and here some newbie without a clue is trying to quiz me on training info! But when I'm sitting around watching I'm a BIT friendlier (I'm a bit aloof myself:-)


I will be at WestWorld in November along with the rest of the mobs! Driving all the way from PA this year! (36 hours)

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And ...


1) don't let your dog wander into people's shade tents

2) don't stand at the entrance and exits to the rings

3) don't let your dog stand at the ringside and bark bark bark


And honestly - if your dog is fear aggressive, please just don't bring her. The last thing a competitor needs is to be lunged at or attacked by a fear aggressive dog right before they run. Just go by yourself and visit without the dog.


Once your dog is at a level where she is competing, you'll be better equipped to handle her at these events, plus you will be a competitor yourself :rolleyes:



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And you probably won't want to bring her to the Cynosport Games. It is quite hot; you can't leave her in the car; and there are literally hundreds and hundreds of dogs, people, kids, food, etc. etc. etc.


OTOH, sometimes they have an agility "you can try it out" ring - though I'm not really sure it's good for much.


See y'all there, I hope!


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It's good for nothing, really. They've been doing that for a while but it's more to give a Mr. John Doe who sort of kinda has a dog a chance to touch the equipment. It's NOT training or advice or anything.


Scottsdale was UNUSUALLY hot last year. Usually it's high 70's to mid-80's when we're there (not that I'm an expert on AZ weather, but 3 years in a row it about that) and last year was 90's. The heat is so dry it's ridiculous. You don't sweat, it just evaporates and then suddenly you realize you're dehydrated. . . ick. . . I don't know how people live there all year!


But yeah, it's a pretty warm place to be trampling all over with your dog from ring to ring watching agility/flyball/disc dog etc.

I actually wouldn't mind if they toned down some of those other things. Everybody knows the Agility is the most important thing there :rolleyes:

Seriously though, some disc dog competition's loudspeaker was drowning out ours - DURING the Grand Prix Finals!!!! That's just poor etiquette!




But as far as finding a trainer, hit a local trial, you said yourself your dog's probably not ready to go so just go on your own for now. Talk to people (but don't ambush them coming out of the ring!). Then go to the training place and observe a class or two to see if the instructors are actually TEACHING things not just running dogs over equipment, and how all the dogs' and owners' attitudes are, etc etc.

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Unless something just short of miraculous happens, Ceana will be home. I have seen a class by the dog park... maybe I will go take a peek one day while Chris and the pup are working on socialization.


It better not be in the 90's in November! This is my first summer here and it is hot! Even ceana doesn't want to go outside sometimes!

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