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Agility training--has anyone here done it?

LM1313
August 29th, 2006, 06:03 PM
This is something I'd really like to get into eventually. :) Does anyone here do agility? Can you recommend some good books? Also, is there a place where you can buy things like A-frames for practicing on?

Also, can someone show me what a "clicker" looks like? :confused:

Puppyluv
August 29th, 2006, 06:09 PM
MafiaPrincess is big into agility with Cider right now. She even makes her own stuff.

Golden Girls
August 29th, 2006, 06:10 PM
I know many who do agility and they can't say enough about it. Not me though sorry but I sure hope Lissa sees this thread ... she's the clicker/agility specialist :fingerscr

Puppyluv
August 29th, 2006, 06:11 PM
http://www.problempets.co.uk/images/clicker.jpg
http://www.petbehaviourcentre.com/images/clickers.jpg

Prin
August 29th, 2006, 06:11 PM
A few people... Here are some posts related to it, but without enough info to answer your question... ;)

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=18729&highlight=agility (Good one about flyball)
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=30070&highlight=agility (Byrd's pics and descriptions of agility things)
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=28869&highlight=agility (mafiaprincess made her own equipment)
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=28026&highlight=agility (more equipment she made)
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=27554&highlight=agility (this is more for Ontario agility places)
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=27047&highlight=agility (buying equip across the border)
:shrug: :o

Byrd
August 29th, 2006, 06:20 PM
We are on level 3 of agility right now. We will hopefully start competing next year. It's sooooo much fun, we both love it!!!

I don't know where to buy equipment though.

Golden Girls
August 29th, 2006, 06:34 PM
I know many who do agility and they can't say enough about it. Not me though sorry but I sure hope Lissa sees this thread ... she's the clicker/agility specialist :fingerscrI meant to say Lissa AND Associates :o

Writing4Fun
August 29th, 2006, 07:03 PM
We did two levels of agility before the money ran out. :sad: We looooved it! This guy shows you how to make your own equipment: http://futuremach.baka.com/equip.html I like this guy's site because he shows diagrams as well as gives the parts lists (and because his dog looks so much like my Phoebe :D ).

jessi76
August 29th, 2006, 09:50 PM
I started w/ Tucker. we took a pre-agility course, to learn the techniques, commands, and equipment. we had a GREAT time. I would of continued on, but decided to focus on manners instead of fun w/ hoops/jumps/tunnels for the amount of $ I was spending on a class. (now that he has his manners, we may get back into agility someday soon)

I can't recall using my clicker often though - it was more hand targeting/following.

any agility training center should have contacts/resources for equipment if you would rather buy than build.

Byrd
August 29th, 2006, 10:18 PM
I see it as a hobby, fun every week. Plus I plan to compete, and do the performances. I don't go to movies, or casinos, so, I figure spending $20 or so a week on a nice healthy hobby is worth it. Do I have the money? Not in the slightest. Is it worth it though? Most definitely, Willow is such a different dog now.

I don't use my clicker... I train with a facilty that totally supports clicker training, but I prefer the vocal, the 'yes' instead. With agility, any sport really, it's impossible to use a clicker. I save it for obedience.

Lissa
September 1st, 2006, 01:02 AM
Dodger and I have gone to agility fun matches but won't compete until our handling and distance "control" is better! :D I tend to be a perfectionist so I do have to be careful that it is ALWAYS fun and never too competitive... Dodger loves agility (actually my cat does too:p) and its one of the best doggy sports to strengthen your bond and communication skills!

Hmmm, good agility books - I enjoyed "Introduction to Dog Agility" by Margaret H Bonham... Also, I would recommend any of the Derrett's books, videos or articles! Although their abilities and style is highly competitive, which is not for everyone!

"Clean Run" and "Dog Sports" are excellent magazines for finding new and fun drills and ways to improve etc... And of course, there's tons of agility groups on the net that hold a wealth of information as well.

There are lots of places online where you can buy both for fun and regulation agility equipment... If you are lucky, you can find good deals on ebay (although you have to watch for customs and s&h costs) - but there is often local agility clubs that can either order equipment for you, can give you tips on do-it-yourself agility or offer green fees (my prefered option:)) where you pay a set annual fee to use their agility facilities.

Also, if agility is just for fun - you can always throw together random "obstacles" with practically anything around the house. For instance, a broom handle on cans, bricks or chairs can be a jump, stairs can be where you practice contacts (2 paws on, 2 paws off), a heavy board on a brick can be a teeter, a sheet attached to a hoolahoop can be a chute etc.... Just use your imagination! At one time, I used sticks for weave poles and a mini-trampoline as a table!

With agility, any sport really, it's impossible to use a clicker. I save it for obedience.

I disagree - a clicker can be used in virtually every situation. You shouldn't need to click when there is so much going on that you can't juggle a clicker. A clicker is usually only used at the beginning stages of learning, when the behaviour is most basic - making it easy for you to click and treat. EX: when first teaching contacts, you shouldn't be sequencing beforehand, you will either send out or call your dog over the ONE contact obstacle and click when they wait and are in a bow-like position (you wouldn't be running through a few jumps with a clicker and treats and then to a contact until your dog knows what is expected at contacts)....

http://img10.picsplace.to/15/weaves2.jpg (http://picsplace.to/)
http://img10.picsplace.to/15/teeter2.jpg (http://picsplace.to/)
http://img10.picsplace.to/15/table_000.jpg (http://picsplace.to/)

PetFriendly
September 1st, 2006, 06:00 PM
I have a book called 'Introduction to Dog Agility' and it covers almost everything including heights and specs for all obstacles. Its writen by Margaret H. Bonham and is published by Barron's.

I got a started set up for my birthday (that I think my mom bought at one of the big box pet stores) that has basic weave poles, jumps, a pause box outline and a tunnel. We started with that and when I was sure it was something both I and the dog would like, I started looking up schools. We start class on Monday at a facility that isn't all that close by (30 minute drive) but came highly recomended.

Byrd
September 1st, 2006, 07:30 PM
I disagree - a clicker can be used in virtually every situation. You shouldn't need to click when there is so much going on that you can't juggle a clicker. A clicker is usually only used at the beginning stages of learning, when the behaviour is most basic - making it easy for you to click and treat.

I agree there, we did use the clicker in level 1, but now (level 3) it's just about impossible. Willow is sooo fast that I would definitely be fumbling around for the clicker.

downloader
September 2nd, 2006, 07:42 PM
agilty rocks:thumbs up :thumbs up
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b19/Harrytruman/dreamfield_tire.jpg


link with lots of pics and 2 movies
http://www.bluewhippet.net/blog/

LM1313
September 2nd, 2006, 08:50 PM
It certainly sounds like fun! :D I'm pretty sure there is a dog agility club here in town, I'll have to check them out. :thumbs up

I love all the great pictures, especially this one:

http://img10.picsplace.to/15/table_000.jpg

:D

MaryAndDobes
September 3rd, 2006, 01:02 AM
This is something I'd really like to get into eventually. :) Does anyone here do agility? Can you recommend some good books? Also, is there a place where you can buy things like A-frames for practicing on?



I've been taking agility for 6 weeks, and am really enjoying it. My dog is a total natural at it, and the instructor says we should be trialing within a year. We only spent 2 weeks in the beginner's class before getting moved to a more advanced class.

The classes I take are $100 for 10 classes. I do have to drive for 40 minutes - oh well.

My dog already had earned his CD (novice obedience title) before we started agility so that helps him in the control department. I am taking open obedience class, and since starting agility I am having some trouble with certain aspects of obedience. I think simply because agility is more fun that he is blowing me off a bit when it comes to obedience class. Let's face it, sitting and staying for 3-5 minutes is just not as fun as jumping things. :)

mafiaprincess
September 3rd, 2006, 08:30 PM
People already linked some of my threads..

If you want to make your own equipment at some point give a shout. I've made a teeter, varying single jumps, hoop jump, a pause table, and have plans for a few types of every type of equipment in agility.

Cygnet
September 4th, 2006, 12:34 PM
MaryAndDobes made a great point about the importance of obedience in agility. A lot of people get seduced by the fun of jumping and tunnelling and think that because their dog quickly learns the obstacles, they have trained their dog enough to compete. It isn't so. The BIG part of agility competition (and the fun part, actually) is the teamwork and that comes from lots and lots of training, including obedience training and attention training.

I wouldn't personally go out and build an A-frame for the backyard if I wasn't sure that agility was something I wanted to do seriously. (I am pretty serious about agility and I dont' personally own any contact obstacles). You can buy some tomato stakes and start to teach weaves, and make a few jumps out of poles and chairs and start to teach your dog. I think that dogs who are trained on makeshift equipment are not at any disadvantage when it comes to competing, because they have learned that no matter how odd it looks, they are going to jump it....

MaryAndDobes
September 4th, 2006, 01:22 PM
MaryAndDobes made a great point about the importance of obedience in agility. A lot of people get seduced by the fun of jumping and tunnelling and think that because their dog quickly learns the obstacles, they have trained their dog enough to compete. It isn't so. The BIG part of agility competition (and the fun part, actually) is the teamwork and that comes from lots and lots of training, including obedience training and attention training.



Yes, obedience is a large part of agility. The dog has to be under control, has to listen to your commands on course, has to watch for your body / hand gestures, has to know "sit" (on the pause table), has to know "down" (on the pause table), has to understand "wait" and/or "stay". "Stand / stay" is also very helpful when learning contacts. In the same breath, though, strict obedience training hurts in agility to a degree as well, I'm finding, because my dog doesn't want to work on my right - he's used to only working on my left. In the future, when I'm obedience training other dogs I will now think to do some work on my right, especially with dogs that show an aptitude for agility.

Speaking of which, the dog I'm working in agility now was raised as a puppy with mini agility-type stuff from the time he was 4 weeks old. I build a puppy playland for my litters which includes tunnels, ramps, short dog walks, teeters, tiny a-frame, etc. It totally paid off with this dog.

mafiaprincess
September 4th, 2006, 10:07 PM
MaryAndDobes made a great point about the importance of obedience in agility. A lot of people get seduced by the fun of jumping and tunnelling and think that because their dog quickly learns the obstacles, they have trained their dog enough to compete. It isn't so. The BIG part of agility competition (and the fun part, actually) is the teamwork and that comes from lots and lots of training, including obedience training and attention training.

I wouldn't personally go out and build an A-frame for the backyard if I wasn't sure that agility was something I wanted to do seriously.

We have 2 levels of OB and one of agility.. and it wasn't enough. Distractions were too great, and while she learned obstacles well enough, it made everything frustrating.

We've taken 3 months to work on distance handling with distractions, listening better, and doing some agility at home. And it was more beneficial than any class has been.

Only now do I think we could go back to see how classes work. Agility is now a team thing, versus before it was out of control at the best of times.

And it bugs me to read about people with zero ob background taking up agility and such, because all I can picture is that dog being the world's biggest distraction in class, because people want to do something fun, and for many people the thought of OB is not. (ranty not directed to you folk.. just something I read too often on other forums)

I wouldn't suggest going and building obstacles for the heck of it.. But I'm pretty decent when it comes to working with tools, and got together a small selection of equipment fairly fast. While I'd like an A frame. I'd also like to see that agility is something my dog and I would like to keep doing before I invest the time or materials in it.

Bensonk
September 5th, 2006, 03:41 PM
I'm assuming you mean specifically for dogs? Karen Pryor's books and website have a lot of information on clicker training dogs and cats, including agility.

I'm working on clicker training my kittens, and want to get to agility, but we have a ways to go (they've mastered "come" and we're working on "go to..."). Does anyone here work with clicker training cats?

Lissa
September 5th, 2006, 06:21 PM
I'm working on clicker training my kittens, and want to get to agility, but we have a ways to go (they've mastered "come" and we're working on "go to..."). Does anyone here work with clicker training cats?

That's adorable!:love:

I don't clicker train with Minnow. I wish I could be she isn't food or toy motivated!! She comes when called, "heel's" (when she wants to go outside), sit's pretty and follows Dodger around the agility course! Her favorite obstacles are the tunnel, chute and teeter.
I hope that the next cat I get will be food motivated so that I can try clicker training with felines as well!!

PetFriendly
September 7th, 2006, 05:56 PM
I started agility on Monday and the trainer was telling me that Charley might also be a natural. It was her opinion that he had already mastered the first three classes, but that I should attend anyway because dogs, like kids like doing things better if they are good at it.
His obediences classes have certainly helped in that department, the only command he hesitated on, and once, was come and its because we were playing a recall game with one of the jumps and while I had treats, the trainer on the otherside of the jump had better ones!

Byrd
September 7th, 2006, 06:53 PM
We graduated level 3 last night!!!! :D

PetFriendly
September 7th, 2006, 07:14 PM
:thumbs up

Any cool pictures of the pup flying through the air?

Byrd
September 7th, 2006, 07:23 PM
No, unfortunately I don't have anyone to bring with me to be photographer, and I think she's too fast to catch a good shot of anyway.

Lissa
September 8th, 2006, 12:30 PM
YAY!! It's great to hear about other people progressing in agility! I can't wait to see pictures or videos!

Dodger and I have a fun match on Sunday - I will let you know how it goes:) ...It's our first at that location and they have horses so I think Dodger will be a little distracted!

I have a few new pictures:
http://img7.picsplace.to/img7/26/agile_000.jpg (http://picsplace.to/)
http://img7.picsplace.to/img7/26/agile2.jpg (http://picsplace.to/)
http://img7.picsplace.to/img7/26/agile3.jpg (http://picsplace.to/)

Byrd
September 8th, 2006, 05:29 PM
Niiiice.

We have performances at Orono Fair tomorrow. We aren't ready for competition yet, but she does well in the performances.... not that we do much. :o