Agility with your SD?

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Charlie- Chaplin

A day without- laughter is a- day wasted
Barked: Thu Aug 8, '13 10:06am PST 
I want to do agility with Chaplin one, because it's fun, and two I think it'd also be good for his confidence. I don't plan on going past basic levels simply because I'm worried he may get hurt as the courses get tougher.

My trainer didn't seem fond of the idea, she said it will encourage him to work away from me.

What do you all think? Doesn't agility teach your pup to focus on you even at a distance? Would it dampen our bond?

Just thought I'd get others' opinions.
Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
Barked: Thu Aug 8, '13 10:36am PST 
I think that any activity that has you and your dog working together as a team strengthens the bond.

And agility is fun.

SD (retired)
Barked: Sat Aug 10, '13 9:23pm PST 
i do agility with zoey and i think its great fun! also greatly strengthens the bond, go for it cheer


The Boy Wonder
Barked: Sun Aug 11, '13 7:36am PST 
I want my service dog to be able to work near me, away from me or where ever I need them to go. I think agility is great for building confidence, and that the obstacles teach the dog to be comfortable on all sorts of surfaces. It's great for building a closer bond with your dog, they learn that they need to listen for you even if they're amped up and having fun. Happy was actually my trial dog before I started training him for service work, and the skills he learned not only in agility but in other sports made it very easy to transition over to public access training. Loki's not got enough self control yet for something like agility but I'm still working on the basic's with him because it's good for building self control.

True Grit in a- harness
Barked: Thu Aug 15, '13 4:35pm PST 
It sounds like it'd be a fun thing to do. Though i don't know if it'd be good for my guide dog but, for other service work it'd probably do great. I would love to increase listening abilities with Mattie though especially when she's amped up but, i don't know how it'd impact guide work. Especially since she's supposed to stop at surface changes and what not. Though it'd probably be something i'd ask my trainer about if i decided to try it especially considering the advantages. Though i probably wouldn't be safe on a agility course lol. She'd be the one to do everything successful then i'd be the one to end up in trouble. I don't think we have any agility courses anyways in our area though but it makes me think about it. I imagine agility would also help with stamina. (Since my dog spent all of June in a kennel for the most part except when she was taken out with some of the dogs I've had to build it up. She just did 2 miles with only one break going full steam the other day where we had been doing just a mile and a half before.)
I might get Mattie into Rally though. It doesn't seem like it'd effect her working ability since its all obedience though the course is always different. Now typing this has gotten me thinking about both i might have to ask when my trainer is back in town.

Barked: Tue Aug 27, '13 9:53am PST 
Not to be a wet blanket, but I would be concerned about doing agility or any other high-drive, trained activity with dogs who are required on a daily basis to suppress their drives and tend to business of being a service dog or a therapy dog. Playing is one thing, and is great to relieve tension and promote fitness, but a training program like agility that requires to dog to display a high level of drive to complete a course under time limitations, is entirely different. I have gone to a lot of effort training my Therapy Dog to ignore outside distractions and enticements so she can concentrate on being calm and friendly to all who approach her.
Charlie- Chaplin

A day without- laughter is a- day wasted
Barked: Tue Aug 27, '13 9:59am PST 
My intention was never to do more than an a basic class or two and to do it chill. I never even thought to compete with Chaplin; I was thinking a nice senior class hahaha.

Doesn't matter now though anyways, Chaplin's washed out.

More Bored- Collies
Barked: Thu Aug 29, '13 9:08am PST 
Though he never ended up being an SD, years ago there was speculation that Cobain may have become one for myself.
Because of this, he was trained in such a way that he would act appropriately in public and stay in tune to the "episodes." However, he was also trained extensively in agility.

In the ring he is a different dog.
He will stay by my side and nearly sleep when we are in line for our agility runs. Yet once he hears the word "go" he's on. Getting some of the best times at the trials too I might add.

My point being that I feel it is possible for a well balanced dog - especially those that are highly trained as Service Dogs - to be able to distinguish the difference between SD work and Agility.
It's a lot of fun and continues to reenforce the bond between handler and dog.

Barked: Fri Aug 30, '13 9:13am PST 
To me, a SD isn't trained to ignore drives; a SD is trained to channel his or her drives into SD behavior. Agility is another really fun, mentally stimulating way to channel the drive and have fun with your dog. Obviously, if the dog isn't having fun, don't do it. As a guide dog raiser, we were allowed and even encouraged to do some agility (age-appropriate and consistent with our method of training, of course). It builds confidence, the ability to follow directions from a distance, problem-solving ability, and body awareness. And the search and rescue K9 group I am affiliated with also encourages it. I think the only type of work you do together that would be inappropriate for a SD would be any aggression type of work like schuzhund (sp?) or guarding.

And I agree that it only strengthens the bond.

I say, go for it and have fun!
Charlie- Chaplin

A day without- laughter is a- day wasted
Barked: Fri Aug 30, '13 9:47am PST 
Nova -- I sent you a pawmail (been looking around for you for a while!

Thank you all for the responses

Well since Chaplin is essentially washed out I guess it doesn't matter haha. Though I do hope maybe he will gain some confidence and will be... well... more suitable (a girl can dream can't she?)
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