Getting started?

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

Buster Brown

One can never- have too much- cuddling.
Barked: Sat Aug 4, '12 3:41pm PST 
My Buster is a JR X Pug mix. He was meant to be one of those designer breeds. I don’t buy into that whole back yard breeding crap but I'm his 2nd owner and he is a great little dog. He has all the energy of a Jack and the lap dog love in the house of a Pug.

When I first got him from his other owners he didn't even know how to play like a dog. He'd never even seen a dog toy I don’t think.

In my quest to teach him how to be a dog I think agility would be a perfect fit for him. He loves to run and can jump short things. He wouldn't be able to compete because when he was a puppy his shoulder was broken and never fixed. So his jumping isn't what it could have been.

Now that his recall is what it should be. I want to start out with some kind of things that we could have fun with in our back yard. We have lots of space.

So my question is where and how do I start? Can I just make some of his things? I'm a little more handy than most ladies with a hammer and drill. Is there a book that I could read that isn't filled with all the competition stuff I don’t need? Is there a website that maybe has some DIY stuff?

Help please,

Do you even- lift?
Barked: Sat Aug 4, '12 6:46pm PST 
You can definitely make your own own obstacles. Instant Agility has directions for building many of them, or a Google search can bring up lots of results.

Agility Right from the Start is a great book. I've also heard good things about Control Unleashed, although I haven't read it yet myself.
Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
Barked: Sat Aug 4, '12 10:42pm PST 
joining a group and getting some instruction is usually helpful too- some of the equipment is specialized and expensive or difficult to DIY, so it's better to just join a group where you can get some barn time on their equipment. Plus the instruction really helps you avoid making novice mistakes, and it's nice to have help if you dog refuses an obstacle or you just can't figure out how to teach something. (A lot of dogs hate the teeter at first, for example.)

I promise you will not be the only person with a middle-aged, less-than-perfectly trained dog in your class, and beginning level classes aren't usually about making a dog ready for competition, but about building confidence and having fun with your dog.

You do want to work on that recall though. Being able to call your dog to you is pretty essential in agility, since the dogs work off-leash past the initial introductory stage of training. It's never good when a dog decides to blow off their owner and do zoomies around the arena during class or practice with other dogs around, maybe doors open.

Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
Barked: Sun Aug 5, '12 9:00am PST 
I'm going to second Bruno's response... Oh, you can DIY everything, or buy it... but there are some safety issues to be aware of. Almost everything has some caveats... either for dog or human. You want to run safe.

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Sun Aug 5, '12 11:18am PST 
Another vote for finding a local group!
It has the potential to make the entire learning experience so much easier for you both.

Rexy and I will likely never compete, but that doesn't stop us from going to classes and partipating in fun matches.

And because we don't do agility competitively and I see no need to put undue stress on her joints, the height I jump her at is much lower than the rules call for. smile