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Buster started Agility Classes today!!!

BusterBoo
October 14th, 2007, 02:33 PM
Buster started taking Agility Classes today and we had a BALL!!!!! It was supposed to be 3 beginner dogs from 11:00 -12:00 and then 3 advanced would show up for 12:00 - 12:30. Well........it ended up that everyone showed up, plus a few extras wanted to watch (with their doggies) so there were 11 dogs all together! Buster was not the bravest of the bunch for sure, he is so timid around other dogs.

Anyways, it took a couple of tries but by noon he was doing the "course" (albeit with my help). He even came in first in the short course (jump, short tunnel both ways, jump and weave pools all in 27 seconds!!!!)

He had to go through a short tunnel, over a jump, through a long tunnel, weave through the poles, up the teeter-totter (sp??) and down, over another little jump, 5 more weave poles and then sit. We keep the dogs on a leash and are allowed to motivate them with treats. The trainer is very into "praise" and making silly fools of ourselves, but we had a great time. By the end of the class Buster was actually allowing a beautiful bulldog to say hello.

The variety of dogs was amazing......2 yorkies (weighing 2.5 lbs each) to a HUGE german shepard and everything in between!

The classes go until the first Saturday in December and I am sooooooo looking forward to it. I didn't bring my camera this class but will eventually get some pictures.

allymack
October 14th, 2007, 02:44 PM
sounds like its alot of fun! i hope to join soon :thumbs up

growler~GateKeeper
October 14th, 2007, 11:11 PM
Great way to boost Busters' confidence too :thumbs up He'll be making lots of doggie friends in no time :highfive:

TeriM
October 15th, 2007, 12:31 AM
I agree, sounds like a great confidence booster for Buster :thumbs up. Congrats on such a great first day!

crazydays
October 15th, 2007, 06:01 AM
Buster boo

I am so excited for you. It must be a rush to see your dog do that!!
I have a 7month old Springer. She would love that for sure. I think I have to wait until she is over a year before I start...if I am wrong let me know.
I really want to see photos!

BusterBoo
October 15th, 2007, 07:06 AM
Not sure on the age limits, but there was a 5 month old puppy who participated. I think the idea is that the dog must have ALL it's shots before it can join. (Buster is 1.5 yrs old so he is OK).

Except for a couple of people who couldn't control their dogs (loose collar, dog kept getting away and one dog that was just plain grumpy, snarling, growling etc), all the others were very well behaved. I guess the two problem dogs were actually "problem owners".

I am hoping that Buster will learn that he doesn't have to hide under my chair if other dogs are around. :shrug:

crazydays
October 15th, 2007, 07:44 AM
I had read that the bones of the pup have to mature to handle the stress on joints etc. I will have to do some more research on this.

mafiaprincess
October 15th, 2007, 11:27 AM
Depends what you are teaching, and if the instructor is good enough to be cautious of young dogs bodies. Smudge at 5 months started to learn basic flatwork. He "jumped" over the jump standard with no bar.. so like 2" tall (and still does). Learned to go through tunnels, and got an introduction to a 'teeter' dog walk plank lying on a jump bar, enough to tip a little, but no height at all to play on.

Many people who teach agility should be teaching fundamental flatwork and handling skills to all dogs along with single pieces of equipment, not pushing to get dogs sequencing on equipment as fast as possible. Sadly, many forums I'm on, all the brags are how long a sequence a dog can do even though the dog and handler lack handling skills to do more than run it side by side.

BusterBoo
October 15th, 2007, 01:57 PM
Depends what you are teaching, and if the instructor is good enough to be cautious of young dogs bodies. Smudge at 5 months started to learn basic flatwork. He "jumped" over the jump standard with no bar.. so like 2" tall (and still does). Learned to go through tunnels, and got an introduction to a 'teeter' dog walk plank lying on a jump bar, enough to tip a little, but no height at all to play on.

Many people who teach agility should be teaching fundamental flatwork and handling skills to all dogs along with single pieces of equipment, not pushing to get dogs sequencing on equipment as fast as possible. Sadly, many forums I'm on, all the brags are how long a sequence a dog can do even though the dog and handler lack handling skills to do more than run it side by side.


I am sorry if you got the impression that Buster was leaping over 2 foot high jumps. As you said, the "jump" was only about 2 inches high (the yorkie had no problems hopping over it), the teeter was raised approx 2 inches and technique was encouraged. Safety was the first issue for the dogs, not to have them injure themselves.

It was a FUN time for all :)

Ford Girl
October 15th, 2007, 02:07 PM
Hey, sounds like you had a blast!! It's fun isn't it? We go tonight for class #2 beginner agility, Dazy's nervous with the equipment too, so that's pretty normal for them at first. In the last 2 weeks we have been practicing on park benches, with hoola hoops, etc...around the yard and community on our walks, it's obviously not the same at the agility course, but it helps build their confidence to jump up on wood and thru a hoop.

The jumps we do, for Dazy, who is larger then Buster, is less then a foot high, it's beginner, so they only do 4 pieces of equipment per week, right now, we are just lureing them with treats....it's certainly not a sequence, it's more about foot placement and how I am to position my body in relation to the equipment, and getting her use to each piece.

Keep us updated, and have fun!!!! Good luck Buster!!! :thumbs up

mafiaprincess
October 15th, 2007, 03:07 PM
That was in reference to what puppies can do.. And finding someone suitable and knowledgeable to teach them. Many classes out there aren't. And do go flying through equipment because people who took a few classes think they are suddenly suitable to teach and advertise on the web and it's hard to distinguish good from not if you don't know what you are looking for.. especially for a young dog. That was all.

Dekka
October 15th, 2007, 06:03 PM
For young dogs..and older dogs alike, and all owners who want to do agility with the idea of maybe competing some day..and or the people who just want the thrill of really being a team should have a solid foundation. I start my pups at 3 months, but there is no jumping, weaving etc etc. I teach contact behaviours, send outs, lateral moves, crosses etc etc. The equip is the easy stuff :D

So if you want to do agility, don't wait, go find a good class that has fun foundation classes. Yes a dog should be mature before you push them, and you don't want them practicing any agility in a slow fashion, but there is loads of agility stuff you can (should) teach when they are young.

BusterBoo
October 15th, 2007, 06:19 PM
Yes, the key word is FUN! That's what we are trying to do, have a nice Sunday morning, nothing too strenuous and just to meet and greet others. :goodvibes:

No dreams of competing in agility, just out to get some exercise and socialize Buster since Harley is gone.