|Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 11:31pm PST |
|I'm one of those professional agility trainers in Oklahoma who won't let you use my equipment without taking classes from me. The reason is simple. Agility is a dangerous sport.
It takes my students six months of training minimum before I allow them on the equipment. Their dogs must first know how to have a safe "contact," in other words, run safely into the yellow. We train that on low boards first. We also teach the dogs hind end awareness and even how to safely jump off of equipment if they stumble.
Anyone who has been in agility any time at all as seen very bad falls on equipment. If trained properly, it is fairly safe. If not trained properly, it is not.
Even training a dog to jump takes months. Using the Salo or Mecklenberg methods (I use a combo of both), you must teach the dog the proper take off placement and method. This isn't done by just saying, "Hey. Jump this dog."
It takes a year to even begin to scratch the safety issues you have to train with your dog. Everything from pre cues, lead changes, lateral distance turning cues, etc. are all safety measures for your dog. This takes years to develop.
Because of the risk of injury to your dog, I would never allow someone who hasn't had the proper training to put their dog on my equipment. I care too much about your dog, and I know too much about how dangerous agility is to a dog that hasn't had exact, detailed, proper training. Training in a back yard and on play ground equipment is NOT proper training.
If you want to do agility, pay for classes. They will be well worth your time and money.
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