When Should Suka start Agility?

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


Barked: Wed Sep 12, '12 10:18am PST 
I'm not quite sure where this post should go, probably in Health. But I will try here first. So Suka just turned 6 months and she is getting huge. We start 4-H dog training in May and this will be Suka's first year and Faith's 5th. And Faith does Agility but she is getting older and slowing down a bit. But Faith can't get past the Beginner agility class because of the pause table and this year she didnt go up the A-frame. But she does excellent in Jumpers. Got a blue in the County Fair this year so we will just be doing jumpers (as well as other things) this year in training. But I want Suka to start Agility because she has the energy to do so, but I'm worried because she is still growing and will be 15 months once 4-H starts and 18 months by the time the fair is.
Should I train Suka in agility at that age or wait?

The Monster
Barked: Wed Sep 12, '12 11:03am PST 
For a Great Dane you don't want to be doing actual jumping or speedy/tight turns until he's at least 2 years old. However there's loads more to agility than putting the dog over obstacles.

Work on basic obedience to start and focus around distractions. Work on following you (shadow handling) with some direction changes/crosses thrown in. Work on a target behaviour, gos/get outs, and a bombproof start line stay. Work on proprioception (body awareness) and lots and lots of tricks. Work on play drive and a love of tug.

Basically, these are all critically important skills which you'll need going forward, and you can begin working on them all now.