When is it best to introduce a puppy to agility, rally, etc? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums

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Old 11-15-2012, 10:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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When is it best to introduce a puppy to agility, rally, etc?

And does your dog NEED to be AKC registered. At 5 months, Rou is not registered with AKC. Although I don't feel it is necessary for him, I was just curious if it is essential that he be registered.

Also, the main question of the thread- When is the optimal time to introduce agility, schutzhund and the like?

I made a thread not too long ago regarding what personalities best fit what your dog will be best at, but it only told me what I had already known rather than any personal insight to answer my question.

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Old 11-15-2012, 10:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you want to compete in AKC events, your dog need to either a) be a registered with the AKC; b) have a PAL (Purebred Alternative Listing) from the AKC; c) be listed in the AKC's FSS (Foundation Stock Service); or d) be listed with the AKC's Canine Partners mixed breed program.

As for starting training, the sooner the better. Dogs can compete in AKC obedience, rally and tracking starting at 6 months of age.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There are many foundation exercises and training activities you can do for obedience and agility at a super young age. I can not speak to the foundation work for Schutzhund but I do remember other DT members starting their working dogs at a very young age with obedience. My feeling is start them young (be sure to focus on age appropriate activities that will not stress their joints, etc) and keep it positive and make it fun.

I have a new 9 week old puppy and am already starting the most very basic of foundation training with her related to both obedience and agility, with the goal of eventual competition.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can start immediately on focus. If I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn't show until Em was 2. I feel Dobermans mature later and the "pay attention" is so much better later on. Depends on you and your dog mostly. Good Luck!
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Please explain PAL. I have never heard of this. What info do I need to provide. Is this on the AKC website or is PAL different?
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rouleaux View Post
Please explain PAL. I have never heard of this. What info do I need to provide. Is this on the AKC website or is PAL different?
This website should be able to explain everything including how to apply for one for your dog.

Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You should start doing foundation work as soon as possible. The biggest problem is getting a really good instructor. You don't need any sort of registration to take classes. Getting the pup properly socialized and focused is so important for all these venues. It takes a long time to successfully train dogs for all you want to do, but do try to make sure that any classes you take emphasize positive training, and that agility in particular should not involve raised jump bars or standard height contact equipment. They can learn to do sequences, front crosses, rear crosses, contacts while very young, if they understand some of the come and get it games, toy games, etc. lots can be done...
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you want to compete in AKC events you will need some form of an AKC registration to be eligible, but you can always address that later once you are close to ready to compete. Plus there are many other organizations that offer events that you may want to register with. Don't worry about being registered if you are just training or just want to have fun.

If he can't be registered as a normal pedigreed dog with the AKC (aka no papers), it would be very easy for you to go the PAL (Purebred Alternative Listing) route with him. The PAL is great as it recognizes dogs who are members of their respective breed, but didn't come with papers for some reason or another. It is how many rescue dogs get registered to be able to compete in AKC events. You fill out the form and attach a couple pictures so they can verify that your dog does look like the breed you claim it to be and they will issue you a registration #.

My dog Draco was a rescue and he is registered with a PAL number.

Here is the AKC page on the PAL/ILP: Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege

A good foundation will help your dog be the best they can be. You can really never start to early - but things should always be fun positive and engaging. If it's not you are doing more harm then good. Puppies are like sponges they are just waiting to soak up all the information. I do lots of fun games with my puppies, work on impulse control, play with toys, work on different surfaces and more. The one caveat I have is this breed matures so slowly sometimes that you have to be careful not to push them to fast and I think sometimes we rush are dogs.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Engagement, desire to work with you, and focus focus focus. I agree with everyone else. This breed IMO matures very slowly, and many people make it too serious too soon. No reason for a 4 month old puppy to understand sit means sit and down means down. Play play play gives you the best foundation for when your dog is mature and ready for pressure. Building the drive and a working relationship is IMO the most important thing for a puppy to do with their owner.p

As to the schutzhund part, you should start finding a club near you, attending some sessions and having your puppy evaluated. Schutzhund dogs are generally raised differently than most.

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Old 11-16-2012, 11:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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As has already been said, you need to start working with your puppy as soon as he/she comes home with you. The foundation of general obedience, focus, interest, drive, desire to please, attentiveness, and understanding that you 2 are partners and a team begins right away, and is invaluable in laying the groundwork for all your future endeavors. Socialization, as well. And there are non-competitive versions of many activities to familiarize yourself and your puppy (and depending on your situation, you can also create your own little agility course for practice - my DH built our equipment, and Willie loves to do his thing every day)... and also plenty of more competitive versions that aren't sanctioned by AKC, but are still lots of fun.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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