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    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      shellbell's Avatar
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      How do you know if you are ready to enter an agility trial?

      We aren't quite yet, but I've been doing agility with Cabo since over the summer. We had a couple months break while our trainer changed facilities. We have been doing it off leash for quite awhile now. I feel like I need the training more than Cabo, as we start to do longer sequences I have to work to remember where I am going, lol. He enjoys it and as long as I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, he will go where I tell him. He does really look to me for direction, and that is what we really need to work on is just my being in synch with him and us both going where we are supposed to in the order we are supposed to. I'll ask my trainer about this too at some point, but was just wondering what the experience of others was, as far as when you felt like you were ready for a trial.

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      Snowshoe's Avatar
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      I felt like I was ready months after our trainer said we were. Since I could not "See" ourselves it really took her to convince me to enter a trial. It probably didn't help that everyone else in our class was more advanced than us and I could see them. Do ask your trainer.

    3. #3
      Senior Dog
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      When you can successfully do the weaves after a really fast and exciting sequence, you are probably at least very close to being ready. AKC has gotten more and more challenging over the years, and surfaces on equipment (and some equip like the break away tire) have changed too. Every time there was a change (rubberizing the contact equip etc), was a new "feel" for the dogs. The teeters will all vary it seems on how hard of a push it takes to tip it etc. I'd say the more different trainers and equip you can get on BEFORE you trial, the better, since at AKC events, the 4 paw rule prevails and you may never get across the dog walk or whatever. The dog needs to understand the textural differences between practice and regulation equip (if that's a problem w/ your current instructor) ime. I no longer do agility because of all the changes and the difficulty of finding high quality equipment to work on.
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    4. #4
      Senior Dog
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      We would probably start out with a CPE trial...I'm not entirely sure of the difference, but our trainer compared it to being junior varsity, and AKC being varsity. But thank you for the advice! That is probably why my trainer recommends starting with CPE, lol.

    5. #5
      Senior Dog
      Tanya's Avatar
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      are there any fun runs? they have fun runs which are not competitions but sorta "practice runs" for competition around here.

      I talked to my trainer last year. We did agility classes once a week from Mayish until October. We are taking a break for the summer. She said most students would be ready for fun runs and such after another spring/summer. Depends how much you do as well, we have one student in the class doing more training beyond our once class a week. Penny needs a lot of work so I am not sure we'll do much this year but we'll see what she looks like. We spent last year learning the equipement and some basic things (2o2o and all turns and all that jazz).

      But what do I know. I have never competed in agility. And if I think there is a shot in the dark we could title in Rally I would do that too (there is a rally-o trial here in Feb but I"d have to practice with great intensity so I will pass on it and wait for another).

    6. #6
      Senior Dog
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
      are there any fun runs? they have fun runs which are not competitions but sorta "practice runs" for competition around here.
      This what I was going to suggest, too. I don't do agility, but my decision about when to start competing in a new Obedience class depends on how we are doing in fun runs or matches. I know they do have them for agility too, at least around here.
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    7. #7
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      I will have to see if there are any fun runs, that would be perfect! I did two with Tux for Barn Hunt before we did our first trial, it was really nice. I honestly don't know if they do them around here for agility, but will ask!

    8. #8
      Senior Dog
      Jeff's Avatar
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      Also see if there is like a local agility club. We have one here in GR they set up a complete course once a month where the AKC trials are held here and open all evening during the week agility member are welcome. It costs money to join the club but it cost money to rent the spot every month as it is an indoor soccer field.

    9. #9
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      Have you been to watch an agility trial yet? For me, it's amazing how simple the novice or beginner runs are compared to what we do in class. The other group to look into is NADAC. They have trials here in KC and are an easier place to start rather than AKC. I started training last summer...was going to enter a competition in December but chickened out when I had a training session 2 weeks before and Murphy basically refused to do any jumps. Later as I thought about it, I think he just had to poop! If you go to the training/agility section of this forum - look at a post I made back in Nov/Dec. Many people commented on it and basically what I learned is to just give it a try! You really won't know if he's ready until you try. There's a competition in my area on Feb 12-14. I have to work on Feb 12 and 13, but I'm going to see if I can just enter the runs on Feb 14.

    10. #10
      Senior Dog
      Labradorks's Avatar
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      Definitely talk to your trainer. And fun runs x100!!! By the time I went to trial I felt comfortable with myself, my dogs, my routine, etc.

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