|Barked: Sun Apr 29, '12 4:39pm PST |
|What's the rush?
Your instructors are right - it is never a good idea to trial before you are ready and there is no way 8 weeks of classes will prepare you or your dog for competition, no matter how well training is going. In the classes at my training club, dogs are barely even being introduced to equipment after 8 weeks, never mind being proficient enough at anything to even think about entering a trial.
Some of the things your dog should know before you enter a trial:
Profient on all equipment including weaves and contacts. This means your dog should be able to perform each piece of equipment with you sending them over (without you moving), you recalling them over, and with you running by.
You and your dog should be able to work together as a team. Do you both know backsides of jumps? Serps? Threadles? Push throughs? Pull throughs? Directional cues? Can you do all of these at full speed?
Can you successfully run a course of 20 obstacles? This means at full speed with your dog maintaining criteria for every obstacle?
I have never seen anything good come from entering a dog in a trial before he is ready. It does nothing to help build confidence in your dog and can set back your training huge. Right now I would concentrate on building a good working relationship with your dog and teaching him the agility foundation skills that are so important to being successful in agility
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