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Low Cost Agility - Looking for Suggestions

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Hi! Does anyone have any recommendations on getting started with agility without the hefty cost?


Panda is now about 8 months and we'd like to start some of the safe activities like weave poles, low jumps, and working on her tight turns. She's a natural already, zooming through the house. But we're not in a position financially to enroll her in some of the cool agility classes around.


Can anyone suggest YouTube videos or books? Or even just tips in general? She's incredibly motivated by...well, everything. Treats, pets, just the existence of the universe and her ability to sniff it all.


She's a psycho dog, we need to run off that energy! My BC/Lab is a couch potato by comparison and Panda does not currently have a future as a therapy dog like her sister, she's just too much dog.

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Enrollment for this class is still open through 2/15: http://fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/courses/11124


It's only $65 for the "audit" level, and there are a lot of foundational skills that I'm sure would be helpful. I think it's a reworking of a class I took with Livi last year (it was "puppy genius" then and specifically targeted for future agility dogs, but a lot of the syllabus looks the same or similar).


Or there's this one, which I wanted to take but decided to skip since we're moving next week and I didn't figure I'd have time to keep up: http://fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/courses/7438

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Wait another 4-6 months before starting weave poles, and at this age, you don't need to set up elevated jumps. You can set up the jump standards and place a bar on the ground for the foundation handling exercises. Look online for "cheap agility jumps" or similar to find directions for building low-cost jumps and other equipment..


On-line training is a good value. Most on-line courses I have seen have working spots (usually limited #) and auditing spots (usually unlimited). Auditing is much less, but you can not post videos to receive feedback from the instructors, but you can ask questions about your own experiences in training and the videos that the working students post.


Don't forget to focus on impulse control exercises - specifically train a rock-solid sit/stay or down/stay for that all important start line stay.

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Check out Daisy Peels online classroom http://classroom.daisypeel.com/courses/mjs-foundation-flatwork/ she is a great teacher, another online course is http://www.qme-agility.co.uk/training.php.

The best way to start agility is "on the flat" which both these courses would get you started well with. My puppy is almost 11 months and will not see weave poles until I am sure his growth plates are closed, and has not jumped anything higher than 15cm and won't till those growth plates close. The only reason we even have the bar up is so he can start to understand the concepts he is now learning.

Learning agility from a book is hard if you have never done it before, but "agility right from the start" is good, it is the book I used for my older dogs foundation.

There are no real good YouTube resources that provide a reliable guide for training, most of the videos you see are videos people have shot for online courses!

If you can't go to in person class then online classes especially if you audit are really good value for money and will help you understand the concepts involved.

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Awesome, I'll check these out.


Is the warning against weave poles for the same reason as we warn folks not to run with pups, the growth plates need to close and mature?

My understanding is that since weaving is such a repetitive jerking kind of motion it can damage a young dog's shoulders

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