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Dog games - agility / training exercises

January 24th, 2006, 07:12 PM
One of my current fosters is a young, very energetic, very smart boarder collie that I think would make a fantastic agility dog (she can jump straight up from a standing position & look me in the eyes & is VERY drivey) .....there's only one problem -I know very few 'agility training' exercises to play/teach her....

She is a foster, so there's no money for classes or equipment, and she's not the greatest w/ other dogs - so taking her to the dog park is iffy (the other dogs just don't appreciate her 'herding instincts' :D, not to mention, by the time I get home on w/days, its still dark :( )
But the runs & walks just aren't enough to get the doggy yaya's out!

My old lab loved playing retrieving type games.....she could play 'hide & seek' (I would put her in one room, tell her 'wait', go hide & tell her to 'come find me') or "find it" all night! (I would let her sniff a specific toy, get her to wait, I'd hide the toy, and when I was ready, tell her to "find it".) She loved it!

So....for those of you with the very smart and/or agility type dogs - what indoor games have you taught your dogs?


January 24th, 2006, 10:03 PM
How much training have you done with and what commands does she know so far!? She need to know alot of normal/general obedience commands before you can move onto agility terms...

Hand signals are also very important in agility so you can also start teaching her those! Directional work is really important in agility so you need to be able to send her out using voice or body language...

How old is she?

You can easily make some of your own agility obstacles...Depending on how old she is, you can start her just walking over poles on the ground or have her jump a couple of inches... You can by a hoola-hoop at a dollar store as a tire jump; if you have a wide enough plank of wood, you can balance it on bricks or milk crates as a dog walk...

BC are fast and do have a very high prey drive...they excel at doing something...which is why, I always suggest that you train what they aren't really good at...which is doing nothing, in other words the "stay"...I have seen a lot of BC who can't hold a stay for a few seconds, let alone a few minutes (which you need to do for the CGN/CGC, at obedience trials etc...)

Training takes as much out of dogs as physical exercise...I do a lot of trick training and have also started to explore assistant/service dog training...

You should also consider flyball...alot of teams are willing to coach you for free during their preactice sessions... There's lots involved - again directional work is important and you also need to train the dog to do a tight turn around (which only requires a simple traffic cone!)

January 24th, 2006, 10:51 PM
Thanks Lissa,

We think she's about 2 yrs old (stray), just under 30lbs.
She's been with me since the beginning of Dec. She knows sit, down, shake a paw, leave it, and come. She's pretty good at doing as she's told when she's in "training mode". (She has incredible focus!) But, she's still learning to respond when there's more distractions. She's picking up on wait, stay, and drop....but has a way to go....
Her ability to walk well on the leash is directly proportional to movement around her - she pulls slightly if it's just us walking down the street or path....but if anyone/thing/car goes by, it's a whole new ballgame......but we're working on that one :D (It's almost scary....she lunges at cars to chase while on leash! I'm terrified if she ever get out!)
With all the nice weather recently there's been a ton of people out jogging on the paths near my place (normally dead this time of year!)......rollerbladers are the worst! She is determined to chase & nothing can get her attention to stop :evil: (Little does she know I'm just as determined to get her to stop this, as she is to get them......then again, I think I'm losing the battle right now :p )

She is currently being taught hand signals, as my other foster is deaf (1 yr old catahoula leopard). So, that's not a problem.
I have the two of them doing their 'homework' together :)

Right now, I'm starting at the basics - so very easy, simple games & training With two young herding dogs, there's a bit too much crazy energy in the house....and if I can combine that with training - all the better...

Two tired dogs = two happy dogs + 3 grateful cats + one relaxed foster mom :p

Thanks again for your help.....I'll have to hunt down my childhood holahoop next w/end when I'm at my parents...


January 25th, 2006, 09:32 AM
My agility instructor said she started teaching her dog how to weave with a couple of pairs of ski poles stuck in the ground in the back yard. :) Making your own agility equipment is fairly inexpensive. You'll find all the supplies at your local Home Depot. Just google "agility plans" and you'll find lots of info. Someone else on this site (I forget who, sorry) mentioned that they taught their dog how to "herd" a soccer ball. My Phoebe actually plays by herself when I'm too busy - she'll toss her rope toy or her Kong down the stairs and then go chasing after it. :D

doggy lover
January 25th, 2006, 12:19 PM
With my BC we have taught him to jump through a hula hoop, he loves playing on the slides at the local parks. I get him to jump over my kids on the floor when they are on all fours, get him to hop up onto different jungle gym equipment at the park. He has always loved playing ball and the new thing I have bought him is a "chuck it" its like an extension of your arm so it makes the ball go further, its great it makes him run further to get the ball to bring it back to me. Tucker is still working on distractions, he is great until another dog shows up or something like that and then you have to work hard to get his attenshion back, sometimes nothing works. As for stopping him from herding things that I don't want him to herd the word "leave it" works wonders for many things, also to get his attenshion on me I say look at mummy and he will normally turn and look at me and then I go on from there. I hope some of this helps, thanks for taking in fosters that need a home until they find forever homes.

January 25th, 2006, 08:56 PM
she started teaching her dog how to weave with a couple of pairs of ski poles stuck in the ground in the back yard.

Heehee...well, I may as well get *some* use out them this year......I think Old Man Winter has gone on vacation & forgotten about those of us who like to x-country....

One of the "games" my sister in-law played w/ her lab while he was recovering from surgery was "guess what cup the cookie's under". She would put a cookie under 1 of 3 big plastic cups and then move them around. Carter would have to 'figure out' which one had the cookie. He was actually pretty good w/ it (not sure if he went by scent, or could actually "follow" the cup w/ the cookie....)

Either way, I tried teaching my BC it last night....apparently forgetting that big plastic movie style cups were the enemy & must be killed! Didn't even get through a few 'practice rounds' before she ran off w/ the cup! :eek:

Guess I'll try to enlist the help of the kids next door to act as hurdles....OMG those guys would luv it!!

Thnxs for the ideas, everyone!