What to do?

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


Future agility- star!
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 6:31pm PST 
Rain is still pretty young (5 months) but I really want to get her into some sports when she is a bit older. I super want to get her into dock diving (I think she'd love it!) but at the daycare she goes to (I know all the people who work there) said she'd be good at agility. Ever since she was super young, she's also been VERY interested in frisbee, I just can't get her to catch it, she's been close though.

Any suggestions on what we should do? What are the pros and cons of each?

The Monster
Barked: Thu Aug 2, '12 7:50am PST 
You can do all of them, eventually. Right now you'd do best to focus on basic obedience, focus around distractions and drive for work & play.

For agility, the bulk of the game is done "on the flat" which means it mostly involves the running and direction between each obstacle in a highly arousing environment. Basic obedience is key before you start encouraging some of the craziness that agility fosters.

For frisbee, you can get him started by getting him excited when the frisbee comes out. You can feed him his meals in it to get him to love the sight of it. You can roll it along the ground and encourage him to grab it before it falls onto its side, and you can play tug with it. Jumping and grabbing it out of the air shouldn't be done until he's probably about 18-24 months old - it's too tough on his joints.
Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
Barked: Thu Aug 2, '12 7:55am PST 
We dock jump and do agility... Charka loves both. Charka will never set the world on fire with her dock jumping ability. However, she is... enthusiastic. She is a jumping nut. She came into the sport with a good water retrieve and loves swimming so it was trivial to get her to jump from the dock. Your experience may vary. Oh, and dock jumping is a sport I do FOR Charka rather than WITH Charka. It requires almost nothing from me... she'll even jump without me throwing the tug ahead of her... she assumes it will be coming soon wink

Agility... is fun and something we do as a team. Charka has not met an obstacle she doesn't like. Communication is critical... particularly since Charks is fast. And communication is two-way. I have to be reading what she's asking and telling me; I have to clearly communicate where we are going... at a time appropriate to give her the best chance to react. We talk through our postures and positions, direction and speed of movement, hand signals and words. It is definitely a dance with your dog... and the choreography is up to you.

Your pup is young. Easy on those joints! I would assume you could start swimming and water retrieves...

If you want to pursue agility, you want to start with a solid set of obedience skills. If you like THAT, you can title there too. In any case, you should not be doing jumps before a minimum of 1 y.o. (I started Charks at 2 because I wanted to be more sure, with larger dog). You would start your agility training with foundation... which, depending on the instructors/techniques, will be focused on methods and skills rather than obstacles... so you MIGHT be able to do this with a younger dog... talk to instructor.

OK... frisbee... go easy on anything where you want/expect your pup to jump. I know it's sooo tempting... but, future success depends on those healthy joints. _I_ would hold off on the frisbee until about 1 - 2 y.o.

Edited by author Thu Aug 2, '12 7:59am PST



Beauty and- Brains
Barked: Thu Aug 2, '12 12:32pm PST 
We just started doing dock dogs with Stinger. It is so fun and is not as punishing on their joints as they are jumping into water instead of onto the hard ground. I would start working on water retrieves and maybe find a dock dogs club close to you that you can contact and they can help you out with training for that specific event.

Basic obedience is very important, at dock dog events all the dogs are very excited and there are usually some barkers so having a dog that is able to pay attention to you and not the barking dogs is key. However, all the events I have been to have gates that can be closed so the dog cannot run off the dock.

As for agility, I have only done that for fun...Maggie is the only one who likes it and being a 7 lb doxie, she is NEVER fast enough to do anything but that's okay. I would not jump her unless on something soft because of her age and you don't want to mess up her joints. I would however try and find a club where you can go and learn how to handle a dog in an agility course as it is very difficult. Also, you might want to ask if they have a piece of equipment that can get her used to things moving under her feet (prep for the teeter). I use a simple square board that has a smaller square on one side that a large tennis ball can fit in, this way the board rocks around and the puppy can run across it and get used to things moving so the teeter is not such a big shock.
Its alot like the one on the link except I made it myself using some wood and a large tennis ball
http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Produ ct_ID=3019&ParentCat=124

I also like to take some boards from the dog walk and place them on the ground and teach the puppy to walk across them and teach the puppy contact, this way she cannot fall off and hurt herself but gets to start training.

Good luck and have fun