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When should I start training?

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I think it's okay to start training on things that aren't extremely physical, like jumps. Your BC is still growing, and thier bones aren't fully developed, and you could cause irreversible damage on the legs. I am not an expert though, and I'm new to the Border Collie world, so please correct me if I'm wrong.



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I'm certainly no expert on puppies either, but 12 weeks is AWFULLY young to do very much. You say she "knows obedience." Again, I'm not a puppy expert, but my guess is, she's at that age, when she'll do ANYTHING you ask, because you ARE her world. Obedience is certainly necessary for agility, but there are also many "stages" of it, and something you need to continue working on forever. (Believe me, this IS the voice of experience....a 4 month old puppy almost always comes when you call....then a few months later, discovers the "other" world, which isn't you, and that recall becomes less reliable by the day!) Have you gone to obedience puppy classes? That's another good way to socialize the dog, as well as helping you learn how to teach her things.


You can certainly introduce her to lots of physical things - whether they're agility obstacles or just everyday things. You mentioned confidence - that's a HUGE part of a good dog, agility or otherwise. Expose her to as many types of environments as possible - safely, of course. Take her on a walk around a construction site, so she'll hear and see big equipment, loud noises, etc. Take her somewhere there are shopping carts, bicycles, lawn mowers (stay away from these!), back-up beepers on trucks, whistles (a biggie in agility!), etc. etc. - let your imagination go! Obviously, don't just let your puppy go - safety should be paramount. And don't scare her - make sure she's always acting interested, not afraid or even shy. If she shys away from something, distract her and try again from a farther-away distance; don't coddle, or say, "That's OK, sweetie." That'll just teach her that it's OK to be afraid, Mom will always rescue you!


Try to find a book on agility - there are a number of good ones out there. They can explain in detail how to introduce a dog to the various obstacles, and even things to do before you get to obstacles.


One of my favorite activities for puppies (or adult dogs new to agility) is to put a ladder on the ground; put the dog on a short lead; have someone else walk on the other side of the ladder, you on one side; and just WALK slowly down through the rungs. It helps teach the pup where her back feet are - usually they don't like to hit them on the rungs. Walk a few, stop and treat and/or praise, walk a few more. Don't let her run through it. Just an example!)


There are several web sites that also have great information: www.dogpatch.com www.usdaa.com (this is the US Dog Agility Association) www.nadac.com (this is North American Dog Agility Council)


These last two also list local clubs that have classes, sponsor competitions, etc. I'm sure there are some near you, and they'd be GREAT help in training. Check 'em out!


Sorry I don't have time for more details. Obviously don't be having the pup jump or climb much of anything at this stage; otherwise, have fun!




[This message has been edited by diane allen (edited 04-18-2001).]

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Yes she is in training classes she just had her 3rd class tuesday.....thanks for the links! she will be doing agility and flyball as soon as she is old enough too my dad will be building me the courses! i have a site on how to build them it is a really neat site





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