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New here, dunno how to start this off so I guess I'll start by introducing my dog.

 

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Her names Marla, shes about 5 months old we believe, got her from a humane society about a month and a half ago, started taking her to a puppy class ect. Oh, and shes a shorthair :rolleyes:

 

So anyways, I have 2 questions.

 

Is it good to start Agility as soon as possible, or would there be a certain age that would be best for her to start learning at?

 

Also, I've heard about Rally O, and its something like a mix between obedience and agility? From what I've heard, could anyone shed some light on this?

 

Thanks, looking forward to being able to contribute here.

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Welcome! She is REALLY cute :D

 

I'm not that familiar with Rally-O. I've been told it's a lot more fun version of obedience though. Youtube has videos of people and their dogs competing in it, if you want to watch some of it.

 

Agility is what I compete and train in. I really love the sport and will push it because I'm partial to it :rolleyes: Marla is a bit young to do full on agility training. Most dogs should wait until they are between a year and 14 months to train at full height, but even then it should be gradual so the dog can gain endurance and strength. With that being said though, you can start her foundation training now and build up to full training gradually. I have an 11th month old I've had in puppy agility training classes since he was 7 months. He started out doing no height on the jumps, the dog walk only 12" off the floor, A-frame was only a few feet tall in the center, etc. The class teaches all the foundation skills and lots of training exercises that will be transfered to actual agility training later on. The obedience and handling skills are as important as the dogs ability to do the obstical. It's a fun way to bond with your pup!

 

Either way, have fun training. There is nothing more rewarding than being a working team :D

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My dog and I compete in APDT Rally. Check out the APDT website for lots more information. It's not really a combination of obedience and agility. It's kind of a more casual version of competive obedience with a wider variety of exercises. You heel your dog through a course with like 15-20 stations and at each one do the exercise on the sign. There are lots of different signs, using the traditional obedience exercises of sits, down, stands, stays and heeling exercises in different patterns. I think it's great fun! AKC and UKC have rally competitions also, but I don't compete in those--I think they're pretty similar though.

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Marla is a doll! She's too young to train or compete in agility but certainly old enough for agility foundation exercises. I don't compete in Rally but it does look like more fun than regular obedience (and from what I could see at the one event I attended), it looks like the Q rate is much higher!

Barb S

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Is it good to start Agility as soon as possible, or would there be a certain age that would be best for her to start learning at?

 

This depends a lot on what kind of classes are offered in your area.

 

It's good to start foundation work as soon as possible, but it would be better to wait than to enter a class where due consideration is not going to be made for your dog's age.

 

You wouldn't want to start your dog jumping or weaving or running across full height contacts until she is at least a year old (sometimes older). But if your instructor were willing to let you use jumps with no bars, skip weaving, and do very low contact work, it could be beneficial.

 

It's not absolutely necessary to start a dog super young. I didn't start my current Agility dog at all until she was 5 years old! And she's pretty good. In a way I think she has a benefit because at 8 years old she does not have the wear and tear on her body that she would have if she had started Agility as a puppy and done it her whole life.

 

That said, if you can find someone to help give your dog an appropriate foundation (ground work, skills off the equipment, etc), then that is a very good thing!

 

Also, I've heard about Rally O, and its something like a mix between obedience and agility? From what I've heard, could anyone shed some light on this?

 

The only real similarity between Rally and Agility is that both consist of a course that the judge designs and you get to walk and plan for before you do your "run".

 

The Rally course is made up of obedience exercises - some fun ones and some challenging ones (what is challenging depends on the dog!). In Rally there are sits, downs, stays, heeling patterns around pylons, obedience-type jump exercises, pivots, etc.

 

The Agility course is made up of Agility equipment.

 

The dog heels through the Rally course on your left side.

 

The dog runs through the Agility course on whichever side is appropriate for the course.

 

I've trained both and competed in both and enjoyed both. If this is the first dog you are training, you might want to go with Rally first. Get a good working relationship going and then move to Agility if you are inclined to try something else, or to do both.

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Thanks for the responses, I'm glad I asked because I wasn't even going to bother with the age question.

 

So I guess until shes older we'll just work on her being a good dog, possibly a rally class :rolleyes:

That's not quite was advised; if you want to do agility start to work on Foundation Training now.

Barb S

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Hi Rallim! Marla looks eerily like my puppy Bandit, and Bandit is five months as well :rolleyes: I am planning to do both Agility and Rally with him-in fact, he is entering in a 4-H basic Rally competition in just three weeks. Rally is a fun, more light-hearted type of obedience competition. There are signs telling you what to do and when. In lower levels of Rally you are allowed to talk to your dog in "happy voice", clap your hands, etc. Whereas in a formal obedience competition this is frowned upon, or against the rules. Rally was created as a sort of stepping stone between a dogs "home manners" and a strict obedience competition. You do heeling patterns, downs, sits, stays etc.

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