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  • Results 1 to 9 of 9
    1. #1
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      annkie's Avatar
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      Talk to me about agility

      I'm watching Archie as he grows and becomes fearless when it comes to his physical abilities. I don't know much about agility so I'm looking for some good resources to educate myself. On his last day of kindergarten puppy class they had a course for all the pups. He went through everything with zero hesitation. It was awesome. He loves leaping through the air and climbing under/through tight spaces. So I have it at the back of my mind that we may embark on that some day. My main concern is injury. How often or how likely is it that dogs get injured while doing agility?

    2. #2
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      I don’t do Agility myself, but have many friends who do. When dogs are properly trained and conditioned (including things like not letting them jump full height until their growth plates are closed, teaching them to take their time on the contacts, etc), I have not really heard of many if any injuries to the dogs. Handlers, yes, I’ve known quite a few who’ve injured a knee or the like ;-) , but again, I think that has to do with proper conditioning.

      If you are at all interested in it, I would find a good trainer - someone who competes and trains people who compete and talk to them about it. Most require that the dog’s basic obedience be fairly solid though, so you would want to start with that.
      Annette

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    4. #3
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      At a puppy level, I wouldn't worry about injury. I went through the same thing with my Griff. She loved the baby agility things in puppy class so I enrolled her in an intro agility class. They had to be over 10 months, and by the time I got in she was over a year. Initial training was so slow, there really wasn't much risk of injury. Low jumps, the table, tunnels. When I got her to a more advanced class, even though she learned all the equipment, it was one dog at a time, with the instructor and myself making sure she did it safely. Not until the next level did we start going for speed and linking obstacles together. We had to stop because Wrigley's medication makes her a bit uncoordinated, and I can't risk her racing over the dog walk when she isn't 100% anymore.
      Jen & Tickle!
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    5. #4
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      Snowshoe's Avatar
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      Love agility. Jet and I competed and Oban took lessons. Unfortunately Oban's early inclination to overcome any obstacle in his path from A to B did not translate to agility as I thought it might. In agility there are corners. LOL

      There is a lot you can do at the puppy stage and these days you may be able to find puppy classes that work on building confidence on low structures, like wobble boards, and reinforcing obedience. It's fun, most dogs in our classes liked it.

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    7. #5
      Senior Dog
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      I loved agility. For injury the big factors I think are:
      - proper ground work/foundation in training. This is the boring stuff they often skip in pet agility classes. The key is to not have a dog blowing on any obstacle they want full tilt. This includes doing age appropriate things (puppy "jumps").
      - physicial conditionning. a dog in good physical shape, good muscle mass, not tense... no weekend warrior type of thing.

      It's tons of fun and super complicated (for the human).

    8. #6
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      It all starts with foundations -- contacts, motivation, confidence, more contacts, some control, etc. -- which lasts about a year or more. My biggest piece of advice is to make sure your instructor does not have you jumping too soon. You'll also want an instructor who is not pushing either of you to take on certain equipment before you are ready. Injury does happen and you'll want to go through preventative measures like massage and conditioning. Keep weight low. This all goes for you, too, with the injuries and the conditioning so you don't hurt yourself. Don't worry about WHEN you compete. Just take it slow and easy, have fun and learn. It's usually the dogs that are pushed too far too fast that usually have the career-ending injuries. FDSA has foundations classes that you can do at home online if you don't have trainers in your area. If you listen to podcasts, Bad Dog Agility is really good. I think they also have online classes, but they are pretty high level.

      I had a ton of fun with it, but Linus is a big dog and he goes all out, so I am very nervous about injury with him. He is fearless with the equipment; he thinks he is a lithe Border Collie. I decided to focus on obedience and for his active side, field, when I can, and when he is older do tame sports like nosework. He would just DIE if he couldn't work, and I know he would drive me CRAZY, so I decided to be extra careful as to keep him as healthy as possible so he's able to work and get his fix through old age (with any luck and fingers crossed!).

    9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Labradorks For This Useful Post:

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    10. #7
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      I say do your research on training school's for this, good instruction goes a very long way. And don't be in a hurry to get to the equipment level and jumping level .... building drive and focus is absolutely key, and that does not come from working on equipment for the most part. Yes to keeping the dogs weight down, and don't be shy to jump your dog at the lower jump heights when the time come's if they are a heavier build.
      Last edited by fidgetyknees; 06-16-2017 at 07:43 AM.

    11. #8
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      Kimber and I tried all kinds of dog sports, and agility was my favorite. It was a sport we worked on *together*. I had to learn as much- no, probably more- than she did, particularly about cueing. So much of it was about communication between us. I think it's a great sport for human-dog bonding. (It was also really challenging mentally for her. She had a really strong drive, and it was great to find a positive outlet for all that energy.)
      Miss Kimber, CGC, birthdate 6/15/2005

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    12. #9
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      Talk to me about agility

      Thanks guys for they info. The training school we attend now has agility classes. I didn't know how early they start. I think Archie would enjoy it. The other day he took a 10 ft leap off the 5th step my husband told me about it. I think if I would've seen it then I would've had a heart attack. But seeing him and how he flies through the air and loves to be by me... Agility comes to mind. Maybe after we're done with this class I'll check out the agility one. I think I would like it too. I'm pretty active and am in the gym 6 days a week. So I'm ready!


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