Anyone do agility? - Page 2

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Anyone do agility?

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  • Horse forum agility
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    12-14-2012, 02:02 PM
They all look so happy doing it! What are the basic commands that a dog should? I know that they should know sit, down, heel, stay, and wait. How do one of those/all of those play a part in agility? Please feel free to share anything (or everything) if want!
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    12-14-2012, 03:30 PM
Green Broke
Above all, your dog has to listen to any command you give, and must respond immediately. For example, we teach our dogs to wait at the contact zones on the A frame, see - saw and dog walk. If they don't touch the zones on both sides, then its not counted as completed, and you can be disqualified. So what we do is imprint the words "touch" and "wait". The more experienced dogs run up the obstacle (touching the first zone), pause extremely briefly at the top until their handler says "touch", at which point they go down to the zone.

Then it depends on where the next obstacle is. If its close, we let them off straight away, if its not, we say "wait", go ahead to gain time, and then loose them.

We teach a lot of words. For example - the tunnel. The dog may be required to go in on the right or left, so we teach "right" and "left", so the dogs know which way to enter.

We teach our dogs the name of the obstacles, so a jump is "jump, A frame is "A frame" etc. Because, as we can demonstrate with the advanced dogs, by all rights, the handler should be able to stand in one spot, and direct the dog over the course simply by voice commands. My pap is still learning this - She has a love affair with the tunnel lol.

On the see - saw, we teach them "tip", as we don't like them to just run to the end and have it slam down, as it can hurt them, they can become fearful, or they could miss the contact zone on their way off. So what we do is we teach them to go up to the middle, tell them "tip" which allows them to tip it themselves, so they're prepared for it and it gives us time to go ahead. This does waste time, but we would rather have those few seconds off to prepare ourselves and them for the quick run to the next, than injure our dogs or risk missing the contact.

We teach them "Go!" "Around" and "Freeze". We teach freeze for the cloth tunnel, so that if it twists and the dog gets stuck, we can yell "Freeze!", the dog will do so, and we can get them out. We teach "Go!" To release them from a contact, to set them off at the start of a course, or to send them ahead to the next obstacle. We also use "Go" with "Around", which we use if the dog must turn around and do the same obstacle from the other way (it happens, its tough lol). We train this over a line of jumps mostly, we send them out - "Jump! Go go go! Around! Jump! Go go go!" Exactly like that.

You can choose your own commands for the obstacles, but you do need to stick to it so your dog imprints on what its for.

So like I said, all you basically need to do is to make sure your dog listens to you at all times. :)

Wow I typed a lot, that was fun lol.

Anything else? Anything? This is so nice to talk agility with someone!
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    12-14-2012, 05:16 PM
Thanks! Please feel free to talk about it all you want! I love it to! I can't wait to get started! I'm so excited and can't wait to find a dog who will be as excited as I am about! How often do you practice? Do the dogs ever get tired of doing the same obstacles?
    12-15-2012, 03:01 PM
Green Broke
Its great fun, it really is. I practise with my dog every day for 10 minutes max, I weave once or twice, do a couple jumps, run the tunnel, then get her to sit, do a stay, down, another stay, then I throw her the ball and tell her "free" which is my cue that she's all done.

We train with my instructor 3 times a week - Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On Tuesdays we do agility for an hour - a full course, or we focus on elements we need to work on, such as sharp turns, turn arounds, weave poles etc. On Thursdays and Saturdays we do the same, along with an hours obedience where we practise heel, sit, down, stay, in circle, out circle, and on the command.

You would think that the dogs would get bored, but they don't. They soon learn how fun it is, especially if you make it more "play time" rather than "work". They adore it, I actually have to resort to yelling at my dog to get her away from an obstacle when we aren't training lol.
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    12-15-2012, 04:50 PM
I have a question! :)

I have a Min Pin/Manchester Terrier who LOVES to jump! He simply adores it, and height and depth of the jumps doesn't bother him. I've even jumped him over oxers and ramp oxers! Right now, on a regular basis, he is jumping about two to three feet. He stands 13 inches at the withers. What's strange is that he jumps cleaner and more efficient when I raise the jumps up! My question is this: After jumping this high, even though he adores it, will it strain or damage his joints in any way? Do they make support wraps for dogs like they do for horses???

I just don't want to stop him from having fun, but, of course, I want him to be safe.
    12-15-2012, 04:57 PM
Green Broke
I wish they did, but no. There's nothing at all wrong with height every now and then (I hike the jumps up quite high once a week for my 2), but I really wouldn't recommend it on a regular basis. Rather teach him to focus and jump cleaner on the lows (use treats or a favourite ball)

Its great though that your dog can go so high! I wish mine could
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    12-22-2012, 01:03 PM
I have a question. I just got a 7-week-old aussie/border collie and I want to do agility with her. Other than a good foundation in basic obedience, what else can I do with her to prepare her and make agility training easier when the time comes? Also, what age can I start her agility training?
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    12-22-2012, 01:15 PM
Green Broke
Oh wow your dog is like the PERFECT breed! One of the main things is that your dog HAS to learn to stick with you off lead, and come back to you the moment you call, so you can start teaching that from an early age (treats really help). The right time to start training your dog is after 9 months, but I started my shetland sheepdog at just over 6 months - only very small jumps, the A Frame etc, and only about 20 - 30 minutes maximum. :)
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    12-22-2012, 01:47 PM
She's super smart. She literally learned her name (Abby) and to come to it in just a couple of hours and learned "outside" and "inside" within 24 hours. So, training her to stay with me should be a snap. Lol.
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