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Trying to start agility

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Well, I am on my last obedience class with Riven, and I am feeling she's beginning to grow bored with our every day routines. I really wanted to do agility when I got her, and I figure what better time to start than now!


I cant find an agility trainer in my area, so I guess I'll have to train on my own. I have no clue what to do to start it. The vet has looked her over and said she's good to go. She's a year old, so I understand thats a decent age to start -am I right, or do I need to wait longer? Can someone advise me what to do, like what to teach her, how to set stuff up from home, and anything else I may not know. Thanks a lot! :rolleyes:

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My understanding of 'when it's okay' to start is around a year old when the growth plates have close. As far as I know, the only way to tell that is by an xray from a vet. So if your vet says it's okay, I'd say you're being as safe as possible.


As far as getting started, I have no idea either. I'm looking forward to everyone's answers, so I can archive them and look back on them in 8 months when Sadie's over a year old.

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12 months is probably OK, but keep jumps small for a few months. It's much harder to do it on your own, but a good way to start would be to have a look on the net, and maybe, to see if you can get a couple of good books and/or videos. Clean Run has several, and Dogwise will have plenty too.


Here are a couple of links to give you some ideas. I'm sure others will chime in with more info.


Clean Run


Some other links

Nancy Gyes articles


Basic principles are keep it safe and most importantly, keep it fun!

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A year old is OK - but no high jumps yet.


There is WAY to much you need to know to say here.


Doing this on your own is really hard - there is just so much you need to know. A book/video would help out a LOT (although I myself would much rather have a Trainer first time though).


For a start, jumps and tunnels. I like to start training Agility with some jumps and tunnels first. Very easy stuff for the dog to do and it gets them really enjoying it. Later, start taking the dog across planks (and doing "contacts" if you want - I like to do 2o/2o). Once the dog is going over planks I introduce the low teeter totter, low aframe and mini dogwalk. About that time I start to train the weave poles too.


That is my usual timeline for training. As for HOW to train all of the stuff I could tell you - but, it would take a very long time. If you want to know how to train one thing or another I can help but for the basics I suggest you get a book. I like "Agility Training" by Jane Simmons-Moake - really good book!


Feel free to ask if you have any trouble.

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You must teach your dog to come to either side of your body, go on get outs and drectionals all this can be done without equipment. Remeber to be consistant dogs love cosistancy. you can run with your dog clockwize and counter clock wize you need stays downs ,sits and a recall, you can make a tippy board so your dog can get use to SeeSaw . teach your dog to target to your hands and to atarget on the ground teach your dog to tug , it is good to have a dog that is both toy and food motivated , remember that place ment of reward is important . I would teach Front crosses rear crosses prior to teaching equipment .You can teach rear end awareness by doing perch work,

Lol do get some resources but remeber to go slow your dog is young and has a long life ahead of him.



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I am a huge fan of Cyberagility . The course focuses on the foundation training that bobh describes, which are much more important at this point than playing on obstacles. Many people don't take the time to build those foundation skills, and it's quite a drag to go back and work on them later. The course is perfect for folks trying to learn agility on their own.


The foundation skills taught in Cyberagility are roughly equivalent to what Greg Derrett teaches in his widely acclaimed Agility Foundation Training video. You could just buy the Greg Derrett video and work from that, but the advantage of Cyberagility is you have a real instructor just an email's distance away. She's very responsive and quite a good trainer.

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