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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Excited about the prospect

Hi Everyone, been a while since I posted, but I thought this was the place to come for pre-visit advice. I just found out there is an agility group in our little town that has everything from beginner to advanced. I think I would like to go and check it out to see if Ollie might enjoy it. Is there anything I should know before going to talk to the powers that be? What questions should I be asking? What should I be looking for? I have never done anything like this before, so I am completely ignorant and have no idea what is involved, but Ollie loves his training with his tricks, has great energy and loves to learn and use his brain, it sounds like this would be a great fit. All advice very welcome.







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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 01:21 PM
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What a great idea! How old is Ollie? Most agility training centers want a dog to be at least a year old or has finished growing. This ensures that the dog has the strength and co-ordination to perform the equipment competently and the stamina to last through a class. It also minimizes the risk of injury.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 02:56 PM
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Jeanne is right. There is a real risk of long term injury starting a puppy in agility before their growth plates have closed. (10-12 months for a small-medium breed, which makes a year a safe bet) Weave training or repetitive jumping before that can cause serious problems that may not show up for years… or can even show up as a bent foreleg if a growth plate is damaged. Then the breeder often gets blamed, even if it is no fault of theirs.

There are SOME "puppy agility" classes that are OK, that focus on hind-end awareness and handling skills. IF THEY ARE WELL RUN, by some one with really agility knowledge and experience… NOT a "pet agility" program.

But the truth of the matter is, that if you look at two agility dogs at 18-24 months, one started at one year and the other started in "puppy agility", they will both have the same skill level, assuming reasonable handler skills. You are MUCH better off spending the first year really focusing on basic obedience and off-leash control so that your dog has the skills to really LEARN when you start agility training in earnest.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:11 PM
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Another skill to work on is your puppy learning to settle in a crate with you nearby or not. At the agility center, there will be times when the instructor is giving a lesson or you're walking a course so having your dog hang out in his crate alone (and at ease) is a big plus.

Jeanne and Emmie

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:45 PM
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Another skill to work on is your puppy learning to settle in a crate with you nearby or not. At the agility center, there will be times when the instructor is giving a lesson or you're walking a course so having your dog hang out in his crate alone (and at ease) is a big plus.
VERY good point!!! (one of MANY good reasons to have a dog who will settle happily in a crate!)


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, I would never have thought of any of these things, thank you. Ollie turns 1 year old on March 18th. Do you think he is too young. He loves his crate, but it is a large crate, I think a travel sized crate would be more fitting to use, so getting him used to that is something I should do. I have one, so I will start on that. I think it would be good for him to like that one anyway in case we take him on a plane, or stay in hotels,etc.







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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 09:42 PM
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Wow, I would never have thought of any of these things, thank you. Ollie turns 1 year old on March 18th. Do you think he is too young. He loves his crate, but it is a large crate, I think a travel sized crate would be more fitting to use, so getting him used to that is something I should do. I have one, so I will start on that. I think it would be good for him to like that one anyway in case we take him on a plane, or stay in hotels,etc.
He's close enough to a year that I wouldn't worry about it. Good luck and have fun!!! An airline approved carrier is probably a little small for him to be comfortable in for hours at a trial or over night in a hotel unless he's a VERY small Hav. Either a plastic Vari-kennel or a collapsible soft sided crate is what most people use. Both of those options also have better air flow in a warm trial or clas setting with lots of other crates. Another option is this one, which several of my friends have and like:




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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 10:14 PM
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I also took Wags to his introductory agility class when he was about 10 months old. I knew next to nothing about agility, but had read that the class was "the most fun a dog could have" and "a great confidence builder". The trainer was great and made individual adjustments for each dog in the class. Since Wags was young, all of the jump poles were left on the ground and weave poles weren't included until later classes. It was the best decision I could have made! Wags learned so many new things and absolutely loved the class. It not only made him a more confident dog but it also taught both of us how to work as a team.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Karen that portable kennel looks great. Very compact, yet more spacious than a small carrier, thanks for the heads up. So glad to hear Wags loves it, that was my reaction when I heard about it, Ollie would love this. He may make a liar out of me, but I think I need to give him the opportunity in case he turns out to be just like Wags and really enjoys it. They have taken a two week break and are starting up again on the 17th of March, the day before Ollie's birthday, so I think we will go and check it out. I will let you all know how it goes.







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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 11:47 PM
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I have a few crates for Emmie. The largest one is in the bedroom, I have a plastic Vari-Kennel that's a little bit smaller that's in the main living area, and then her airline travel crate is in the car, and is what I use during 1-2 hour training classes. But if she needs to be in a crate longer than that then I use one of the hard plastic ones.

Jeanne and Emmie

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