oklahoma agility?

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!


Happy and HYPER!
Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 1:35pm PST 
okay Harmony has been training in agility for awhile. just self teaching right now, at playgrounds and stuff. but now we want to move her up to ACTUAL agility equipment. the problem i havent been able to find a place to practice without paying a trainer to "teach" us on the equipment. she already knows what to do, we have traveled to dallas before and they have a agility course you can rent out with other people to practice on a real course. but now, how do we get a real course without having a trainer tell us how to do it in conformation we all we do it for is exercise and bonding?
MACH4 PACH2- Aslan

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. smile

If you want to do agility, pay for classes. They will be well worth your time and money. smile
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Fri Sep 14, '12 4:44am PST 
Aslan applauseapplauseapplauseapplause


More Bored- Collies
Barked: Fri Sep 14, '12 10:43am PST 
You mention that you haven't used actual equipment, but rather playground obstacles.
Real agility equipment has a different material, weight, and feel.
And as Aslan said, it can be dangerous to use such equipment without the advisory of a professional trainer.
Believe me when I say I've seen my fair share of dogs who supposedly "know what they're doing" fall off equipment.
If I were to own an agility field/arena I sure as heck wouldn't want to take on that sort of liability.

Paying for a class, even just an intro to equipment class is well worth the money.

Member Since
Barked: Tue Sep 18, '12 6:53am PST 
I will second what has already been said. Agility can be a dangerous sport for the dog and for the handler. Proper training is essential not only for your dog, but for all the other dogs that might be on the field or in or near the ring.
As one who struggled through training for months, I can assure you it isn't as simple as saying, "Jump over that bar!" Although that really is what I had initially thought. Further, as a handler, if you allow your dog to become injured or even spooked by certain pieces of equipment (teeter, for example) your dog may never work on that piece of equipment again or it will take many months of slow and tedious work to rebuild their confidence. Inappropriate training and/or handling can end your agility career before it starts.
If you value your dog and really want to participate in agility, find a good trainer and shell out the bucks. It really is so much fun and worth every penny you will spend.

I love Agility
Barked: Thu Sep 20, '12 12:49pm PST 
We have a real problem in our area with people putting on "Agility" classes without knowing what they are doing. Their argument is that they are just doing it "for fun". I have seen so many dogs falling off the dog walk at the full heighth, leaping off the teeter when it is still up in the air and being soured on going through tunnels as they have it out full length with a curve in it.

The people putting on the classes have never competed,know nothing about handling or safety. There is one class starting next Thursday and I shudder to think what it is going to be like. They had a 4 month old Border Collie in their class last year, trying to do all the equipment, even the weaves. I tried to talk to them but since their "friend" has said it was fine they would not listen to me. Wish there was some sort of Certification they would have to provide before putting on classes. That applies to Obedience classes as well.
Maggie,- Tika, &- Porter

Aussie-tastic- Trio
Barked: Thu Sep 20, '12 1:33pm PST 
I self trained with Maggie as there were no classes in the area that I was comfortable with. The intro class I went to was just that...an intro, there was no further training. I wasn't comfortable with the other three trainers in the area that I spoke with as they either had less knowledge than me, or used methods that really made me uncomfortable. I did a lot on my own and I was successful, with Maggie...almost any other dog it could have been an abysmal failure. I will admit that some of what I have taught my new girl, Tika, was on my own, but I still go to classes as a real (good) trainer is worth their weight in gold. I was able to scoot my way through the classes as I have proved myself able. I also drive 80+ miles a week to classes. Agility is so much more than a dog performing equipment, the majority is ground work and body language...which honestly is super hard to do yourself. I would suggest finding a class and watching and talking with the trainers. Self trained is hard, you will make a lot of mistakes that can either cost you in injuries, or your dog's confidence.

I also help out with the 4H dog project. No dog gets to come out and do agility with me until they have a solid obedience foundation. A working recall, sits, downs, and an ability to focus on the kids is essential. I also am slowly incorporating foundations into the program as I don't have the authority to overhaul the whole system...but foundations are essential.