my dog do agility?
Baby steps in training
Basic Do's and
of the obstacles
Tips for each obstacle
What to Call Each Obstacle
dogs that are slow, scared, stubborn and crazy!
Entering a competition
Groups, discussion boards etc.
Joining a class
kinds, what to expect, and how to find them
The different kinds.
Agility classes are popping up all over. There are simple groups that
practice together in backyards, and more organized classes that advertise. Often
the organized groups call themselves by a "club" name, and as they
become bigger they may even host agility matches and trials. Many obedience
trainers and clubs also train agility. For the young people, there are junior
handler classes, and more and more 4-H groups are starting agility training. If
not, they are most likely looking for volunteers to help get something started!
The fact is, agility is spreading and there aren't enough classes to keep up
with the demand.
What to expect.
be afraid of joining a class. You will meet plenty of "newbies" just
like yourself, with zany dogs that do unexpected things just like yours. You do
not need to have any prior practice. Most people do not have obstacles at home
until they start training. Then they go crazy! Usually classes are small, maybe
6-10 people, so the trainers can offer more personalized service. If there are
more, there might be another instructor or helper to break them into smaller
groups. They last about an hour, once or twice a week, and can go 4-8 weeks per
"level" (beginner, advanced, etc). Expect to pay anywhere from
$40-$90 for all the classes (most trainers do not allow a per-day payment plan).
You will need to keep your dog on a leash for
the beginning classes. Later the instructor might recommend using a short leash
called a "tab" that won't get hung up on an obstacle. Bring water and
lots of treats if your dog is food motivated. It also helps if your dog is a
little hungry. If your dog is motivated by toys, bring a favorite. Tug toys work
great. It's always best to bring a toy that you might reserve for agility
training only. It makes the toy more special (and desirable). The same goes for
the treats. Finally, walk your dog in a designated area to allow him to relieve
himself before entering the yard or building. Eliminating around the obstacles
is a no-no, and if you can help it, try to be watchful of this area.
How to find them in your area.
There are some websites that have searchable databases of trainers and clubs that
might be in your area. Try www.dogpatch.org/agility
. To make sure you aren't missing out on one that is right in your own
neighborhood, however, you may want to also ask around. One of the best
people to ask is a local obedience trainer. They are easier to find and often
train agility as well as obedience. You can find them advertised on bulletin
boards of vets and pet stores, or in the phone book.
back to top ^
Article feedback: email: firstname.lastname@example.org