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Starting Agility

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since we're new to Agility, we were fortunate, I think, in finding a trainer who believes in a strong foundation for agility--both for the dog and the handler.


That strong foundation for the dog (and handler) includes an "Obedience for Agility" class before ever exposing the dog to obstacles. And in the following beginning agility classes, she spends a lot of time on handler moves, crosses, and so on, while teaching the dogs the obstacles, contact zones, etc, that are safe for puppies and youngsters.


And obstacles are all low in the beginning classes--low jumps, low dog walk, low A-frame, weave poles in a channel configuration.


I've even asked her if we can just have a handler class with an "invisible dog" to build on the handler skills!


all of these things can be done with a puppy, without having to start working on the obstacles that aren't good for young bones, like full sized jumps or straight weave poles.


I've talked to other people who are also just starting out in agility with other trainers, who just get right into teaching the obstacles and never do any agility-focused obedience training or much about how you as the handler should move and work to be successful in Agility.


So in starting out with a puppy, I would look for a trainer or training facility that focuses on the fundamentals, and then you can start training a young pup without worrying about physical damage to your pup.



Deanna in OR

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