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question about agility

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Hi, I rescued a border collie 6 weeks ago..He is absolutley adorable....

He loves to go. My question is, What basic commands must he know before I sign him up for agility classes.. I think he would love to do it... He knows some basic commands... I live southeast of dallas texas. I have been searching for a good beginner trainer for awhile. I cant seem to find anything really close to me. dallas is about 50 miles.

But I am still searching........does anyone have any advice on how much your dog must know before he is accepted in agility training?

He is really a well behaved bc...He is 4..I would like to know from someone maybe who has been through early agility training....thanks

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We have Oreo in beginning agility classes. In fact, he was actually the "guinea pig" class as our training facility put together their agility program.


He had good grasp of sit, wait, freeze, flat, "with me" and "quick" (which means come to me right now as fast as you can no matter what) before we started the initial classes.


Before his official training began we took a class that perfected his skills that included what I understand to be some obediance-type positioning. This requires him to circle behind us along our right side or to circle in front of us on our left side. In both cases he is to sit and wait until he receives another cue. He does those two things beautifully with visual cues only and it's a joy to watch, really!


However, I would say the all time most important thing would be the ability to work off-leash and to be able to ignore distractions. Oreo got distracted initially by the other dogs, by wanting to do the various obstacles, (he used to get tunnel-sucked all the time) and when we were training in the park - he was distracted by everything.


He is much better now and maintains pretty good control of himself and his focus is much improved. I still wouldn't trust him if a squirrel happened by, though.


Have fun!

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Lisa, it really depends on the training school/class requirements and what's offered. Check with each training school on that. For my beginner students, I like to see a solid recall and a stay as a minumum. Sit and Down are good to know too. I care less about the actual commands and more about the relationship the owner has with the dog.


Good luck with your agility classes.



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This is a neat thread... I am hoping to start agility with Tess this fall, so this is handy to know. We have a ways to go yet, looks like! (: She knows sit, down, stay, and has a pretty good recall. We have to work around more distractions, I'd say. (: I hope to take an agility prep class and then we can repeat it if necessary!! (:


Allie & Tess

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We offer 2 beginner agility classes. One is called "puppy agility" - (now no one start going off on how we shouldn't jump young dogs - we don't.) and one is beginner agility.


The puppy class is all about getting them used to obstacles. Getting them used to being around lots and lots of BIG things with dogs running EVERYWHERE and getting them calm and secure with what's happening. We have made little dog walks (just a plank of wood on the ground that's painted with little "gripper" strips. We made a little table (another piece of wood on the ground that the sit on or lie on.) We put out weave poles with chicken wire and do fun re-calls through them while they are spaced apart. Of course we do lots and lots of tunnel play and we put a little pole on the ground that they run over (no jumps) just to get used to the standards. All of this is on leash except the recalls and those are in a fenced area.


The beginner class is a step up from this and the dogs must be over 1 year in age. They usually want them to have had beginner obedience and if not - they will check them to see if it will work. It's all about the recalls. But this class does most of the stuff on leash. We have an "advanced beginner" where they can go off leash and work on more lead outs. The beginner class is more about contacts, table, dog walk, teeter, small A-frame and weaves etc. As well as teaching the commands for side, etc. Not so much on jumps, tunnel or tires.


I think the best thing to do is find an agility club and get their specs first - then start training your dog. It's all different by class and/or club.



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