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Author Topic: When did you start training?  (Read 8450 times)
Wolfgirl
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« on: December 02, 2012, 08:48:06 AM »

9 years ago, I started training Jinx for agility when she was about 6 months old, but when she was about a year she got a limp now and then after some classes.  I think it was training her too early for it, because even now in her elderly years she does not limp or have any hip problems.  Rocky, well, Rocky is my good boy, and I trained him at the same time as Jinx, but never as seriously because he was very much afraid of heights and he never really "wanted" to do it.  But we had fun Smile

Anyway, Storm is 18 months now, safely developed to start training, but I really don't trust her off lead.  She'll recall when in the middle of training for obedience, but when it comes to real-world situations, like running out the door, I have to chase her down.  She is super fast though, but I have a feeling Miss Independent will be like a Jinx repeat--she'll do great in class, super fast, super smart...and when it's time for a trial she ran off to do whatever SHE wanted to do.  And with her fear of some strange dogs, I really am afraid if she's off lead she'll go after a spectator.  She's just fine at conformation shows, because it's neutral territory and the other dogs don't act all crazy.  I'm afraid the excitement at agility will trigger her fear.

Barkley, on the other hand, has the potential keep with me in the ring (he basically worships the ground I walk on, like Rocky, and will do ANYTHING to please...).  He seems to have the mix of speed and concentration and the desire to please.  Has the confidence to not be afraid of obstacles.  BUT, I don't want to hurt him trying to agility train him too young.  He's only 7 months. 

When's the best time to start training a puppy for agility?  When did you guys get your eskies started?
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Kathy
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 12:07:26 PM »

You can start training him right now!  But NOT on agility equipment. There are many many things he needs to learn that will help him in agility.  I would suggest a good book or DVD on Foundation training.

At 7 months, you don't want to do any jumping or climbing or anything with height.  But he can learn motivation, drive, balance, coordination, directionals, confidence, etc.  Here are some of the things that puppies work on in Foundations:

Walk along a ladder that is laying on the ground. (Helps with where they place their paws. As they grow, they don't know where their back paws are so this helps.)

Slam around on a wobble board (you can make one by gluing half a foam ball to the bottom of a square of plywood. Walk over the board, tug on the board, balance on the board, etc.

Walk along a board that is raised on ONE cement block (or similar). They learn to walk on the board, turn around on the board, be comfortable on the board. No speed or height.

Get up on a low table (reeeeealy low, like a platform). Tug on the table, Down on the table, treats on the table, send to the table, don't get off the table until released, etc.

Send out around an object. I use a wastebasket. Send from greater and greater distances. Send from the right. Send from the left.

Teach a moving wait. This is where you tell the dog to wait while you keep moving. This will happen at the bottom of the Dog Wak and A-Frame so it's good to teach on the flat.

Teach attention and focus. His name means look and come toward you. Reward attention and focus--looking at your, build duration.

Teach a release word and bahavior.

Do crate games. This is a DVD that's pretty expensive.

Perch work. Have him put his fron feet on a low stool or upturned flower pot or something. Get him to move his rear feet to turn in your direction. Try to do complete circles in both directions.

Teach him to back up. Again, this is good for his perception of where his feet are and how they work.

There are lots more things to do but that'w what I can think of right now. I don't know how much money you have to spend on this, but you could get a balance ball or balance disk and do work with that to build core strength. There are alos lots of DVD's and books.

If you look for a class, be sure it's "Foundations" and not beginner agility. You don't want him doing any equipment until he's older. Sprite is 17 months and still hasn't jumped his full height yet.

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Kathy and the Snowpups
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BanaerEskies
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 01:30:13 AM »

I start training as soon as they can eat solid food.  Presley turned 1 last Sunday...she can run courses at a lower jump height than she will do at trial and I have not started weaves...maybe that will be my Christmas project.

Kathy's list is fantastic. I start my training with targeting for contacts on the flat.  it is an on going project to get the criteria I want.  I also do alot with cues for collection, extension, and turning. 
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Wolfgirl
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 06:27:19 AM »

Thank you!  And Kathy, that list is excellent Smile  We'll get started!

What's that DVD called?  Is it on Amazon or just a private website?

This gives me a ton of ideas Smile
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Kathy
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 10:44:30 AM »

Here is the best source for agility DVD's and books.

http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?currentpage=1&fuseaction=category.display&category_id=227&displaycount=12

The 3 pages that are on this link are the Foundation or beginner ones.  Crate Games is on the bottom of the first page. And on the second page is the one I used and is highly recommended--"Foundation Training for Agility".  If you only get one, that's the one I'd recommend.
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Kathy and the Snowpups
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