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Agility Foundation ideas?

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I am doing beginner agility training with my BC (Dublin is 15mo).


Some things that I have learned are very important: a very solid off-leash recall, esp around distractions (I am still working on this one!) and having a dog that is very comfortable walking over different surfaces. Another thing that is really useful is having a dog that loves to play tug! It is a great tool for getting them to focus on you and is very useful in training.


As I said, I am a beginner and have only been training on equip for ~ 4 months or so, but these are some of the things I have noticed.

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Along with the Clean Run issue mentioned, there is lots to be found in the AgilityAction magazine...lots of foundation and puppy work scattered throughout all of the issues. If you subscribe, you'll get access to ALL of the back issues since it's an online magazine.



(this is done by the woman who does Laughing Dog Press...you know, the Church of the Diving Border Collie)



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Obedience skills are the foundations to a good agility dog and thats what I always tell my classes. Work on getting that recall and to getting sits and downs in. 10 weeks is very young to be doing much yet but recalls will be the one thing that you can work on. Always reward your dog with a tidbit and buckets of praise when he comes to you.


As he grows you can then start teaching him to "go" to a target like a treat or a ball, as well as left and right turn. Working on the bond at this age is the most important thing you can do and you can achieve this by lots of one on one time playing with your puppy.


When he is a few months old you can teach him the tunnel and to walk over flat planks of wood on the ground which will get him used to walking over the contacts used in agility.


Formal training however including jumping even at a low height shouldn't be started until the dog is around 8 months of age to allow the hips and joints a chance to fully form.

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I guess I have a differing opinion. I feel that when they are this young they learn things faster and with less fear. This is my 12 week old shetland sheepdog learning agility obstacles - I also taught how to go through the uprights of single bar jumps on command with no bars on them. I do not teach the teeter or weavepoles until a dog is physically mature and I do not introduce any jump height higher than a dog's elbows until physical maturity as well. I am very near by in these pictures and he had been training for a full 3 weeks by this photo shoot.



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Thanks everyone for the replies. She knows sit, down, come, stay, up, stand, spin, twist, and target. So right now we are just playing games and shes been on wobbly boards and tunnels and little things like that. I will be looking into getting the book and magazines you all suggested. Thanks again.

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