Can you use a harness? I do have a nylon collar that passes through a ring, but I am afraid this might hurt my throat if Popi accidentally gets two vigorous. Anyway to get a picture of the competition collar you use? I'll share mi bully stick with you.
No, you cannot EVER use a harness in AKC competition. BUT, since the dog should ALWAYS be working on a loose lead, there is very little danger of hurting their neck. Pixel is already heeling quite well, and has not done ANY heel work with a lead on. The goal should be to have the dog in the same position that they will be in for all other heeling in obedience with the leash just as a "safety net". Even in Novice level, only the initial heeling pattern and figure 8 are done on lead. Then you need to do the heeling pattern off lead. If you can't maintain a loose lead on leash, you aren't going to be able to keep your dog with you on the heel free. And above Novice level, the leash comes off as soon as the dog goes through the in gate. ALL exercises are done off leash.
I would not use a "choke" type collar on a Havanese, even if it is nylon rather than chain. Actually, chain releases its tension faster, so is kinder than a nylon choke. (But I wouldn't use that type of collar on any dog
) i use plain buckle collars. I don't care if they are clip type buckles or regular buckles, and i have a "selection" of collars and leads depending on what Kodi and I decide to wear that day.
I'll post a photo of a couple of Kodi's collars. The red one is just a cheap rolled leather collar from Petco. The gold and black braided leather is from this company:
This company is very popular with obedience people, and for good reason. The leather is VERY soft and flexible, comfortable in the hand, and can be made in a huge number of colors and combinations. We have red and black, silver and black and gold and black. But they are custom work, so not cheap. Fair warning... SOME people's black and white Havanese (we won't name names) find that they are irresistable to chew, if left lying around.
Popi contacted an Agility training facility near us. They told Popi that all doggies must know basic commands - heal, sit, stay, stand, don't poop on course
(jus joking!) - before they will be accepted into their training program, and they will be tested first. They don't care where the basic obedience was learned, you just have to know it. You may find that other facilities have different requirements.
Sounds like a "serious" agility training place, and that's good. I get frustrated when people are paying good money to learn agility, and I see posts of them going around "courses" with the dog on a leash. If the dog is on leash, it is NOT the "sport" of agility. It might be fun for both parties, and if thats what they enjoy, fine. But for people to think they can go from there to competing... They will have to start over from scratch, learning real skills.
It appears two mi that it is an easier progression to go from obedience comp to rally comp before going into agility. Take a look at some of mi amigo Kodi obedience and rally videos on YouTube, MUY instructional!
Not really. Novice level in both agility and rally have an easier "entry point" than formal obedience. There is NO reason for a dog who is targeted toward serious agility to ever set foot in a formal obedience (competition) class, let alone to compete in either rally or obedience. There are actually rather few agility dogs who ever do formal obedience or rally. Likewise, Rally is considered a "gateway" sport to formal obedience, at least in AKC. WCRL rally, at the higher levels is MUCH harder than AKC rally, and there are certainly exercises that a dog who could only do novice level formal obedience would not be prepared for. But over all, formal obedience is much harder than rally.
Agility is all over the map. There are some forms of agility where, especially the lowest levels, are quite easy, and a dog that will follow you around, and has been exposed to all the equipment can do quite well. (Weaves are the only really "hard" obstacle in agility... It DOES take time and PRACTICE to teach a dog to consistently find his entry and to weave well) at the higher levels of agility, though, it's all about team work and handling and being able to work at a distance from the handler and discriminate between obstacles. It get's really hard at the higher levels. A different KIND of hard than the higher levels of obedience, but both are very, VERY challenging!
And... You usually are training quite a bit higher than you are competing. Kodiis cometing at Opne in obedience and training Utility (the highest level) in agility, we are in a Masters level handling class, but he doesn't even have his open titles yet. He has achieved the highest titles possible in rally.