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I tried agility with my bc's at a facility in Atlanta. The instructors were good, and we moved up the chain a little. But the lessons were held once a week, and it didn't take long to realize that, if you want to get good, you've got to do this more than once a week. So, my question is, how do you get good at agility, and get some serious 4-7 days a week training in? Do you guys form clubs or agility training groups and train free of charge together? Is anybody in the Atlanta area out there who would like to figure out how we can do this together? I'd buy some equipment for my yard, but would be interested in working together with some other people. Anybody got any thoughts?

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Hey! I can't answer many of the questions, but I would be very interested in forming something. Where do you live in Atlanta? I live out in Ball Ground, which is 50 miles away in the northwest. Jack and I did some agility at a place here in Ball Ground (Atlanta Dogworks) and I would love to do more because you do need to do it more often than once a week. I was looking for something that is indoors because of the darkness factor in the winter and because my dog trainer's facility is not fenced in and Kavin needs it to be fenced in. So one, if you are not too terribly far away and two we can get a group together to work on it I would be very interested with two bc's and a schipperkee.

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I have a lot of my own equipment (bought or built) but REALLY all you need in terms of equipment in some jumps (for handling work) and a plank of some kind for contacts. The rest can be done in the class - a lot of people do this and have won nationals, so it can be done. However, the more independent you want to be (I like to train things my own way personally) the more equipment you would need. And for just moving quicker in the training process, things like weave poles, jumps, and a teeter, and a tunnel are pretty essential.


Sometimes the people within my training center will set up a place to meet and train - a lot of training centers are willing to do that if they don't already, if not, a lot of the students are happy to meet at a local park with some equipment on their own. A lot of group training tends to be people all from the same training center - because they know eachother already. But you could also see if there are any email lists or boards for Agility in your area and set up some agility training times with people from there.


Training in a group is a great way to do it (the more eyes on your handling and your dog the better!) but other then just asking people from your training center, I don't really know how you would ever find people.....

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If you are thinking about competing, you do want to train at least a few times a week. You can do a lot of training at home with just a few jumps and weave poles. I'd say those were the two essential things to have as you start out. I've added on over the years and now also have a tunnel, practice chute, contact trainer, table, tire, broad jump. A lot of it you can make yourself. In Clean Run Magazine, they have Backyard Dog sequences every month that are great to work on various skills. In fact, Clean Run's online store is a wonderful source of great things to buy. They have a new 2 DVD set out by Susan Garrett on training with just one jump. I've only watched a little of it and have been very impressed so far. That is going to be a big part of my Winter Project


Having people to train with is wonderful, but I highly recommend that you find a really qualified instructor. I belong to a club where classes are taught by enthusiastic members and after the beginning levels with my first dogs, I made so many training and handling mistakes because I lacked expert guidance. Currently, I drive 150 miles round trip each week to train with someone who really knows her stuff. She is invaluable for helping me learn how to handle Quinn effectively. If you can't find an instructor to take classes or monthly privates with, then I encourage you to attend seminars if you can. Clubs and schools often offer workshops with top class handlers from around the country. I've been to those also and have found them very worthwhile.


I came to realize that training with friends and club members was great for encouragement and comraderie. I still do that of course. But a highly skilled and talented instructor can coach, push and help me in ways my friends simply are unable to.

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Well said Liz!


I want to add that on the Clean Run website, they also have some drills for here:




plus of course all the good stuff in the magazine! (they have the Backyard Dogs, but also Beyond the Backyard, and distance challange, and City Dog stuff....)

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