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Old 11-12-2012, 06:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Our Agility Equipment arrives tomorrow!!

I'm so very excited! I order Gemma a bunch of agility stuff for us to train together on and it will be here tomorrow. It's been a long 2 weeks!

We are getting:
a 15' tunnel
a 6' chute
a table
a dog walk (just the board, to pratice on the ground)
a 2 rail jump
a 3 rail jump
a tire jump
and a whole lot of fun!

I'm new to agility and this is my first doberman. We have done the tunnel in obedience class and she loves it, so I'm hoping she enjoys the rest as well

Since I'm new to agility I was hoping for any good training points or fun games to play with her.

I do know she is still to young to "jump". That the jumps can not be higher then her "wrist" right now.

We have been doing some "pre-agility" training.
Dancing - teaching her backward and foward on command
foot work - having her watch her foot placement walking between the rungs on a ladder laying flat on the ground
basic obedience
weaving - between my stretched out legs while we walk forward.

I live in New England, so snow will be here soon, we have a large open basement and I plan on working with her in there, but she wouldn't be able to get a full out run.

We will be taking an actual agility class in the spring of 2013, i was just hoping to give her a headstart.

Anyone have any suggestions or tips?
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Keep your pause table low for now.

The tire jump you can have low on the ground like your bar jumps. Just stepping over is good enough for now.

You can take your long plank and put it up against a long wall and have her walk over it. Being along the wall helps her stay on the plank a little better.

HAVE FUN!!!!!
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Keep your pause table low for now.

The tire jump you can have low on the ground like your bar jumps. Just stepping over is good enough for now.

You can take your long plank and put it up against a long wall and have her walk over it. Being along the wall helps her stay on the plank a little better.

HAVE FUN!!!!!
Thank you so much for the excellent advice! I never even thought of the wall to keep her on the board, that's great!
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here are some of the things I work on in my puppy agility classes I teach. Most of the puppies are between 4 and 12 months of age.

We work on table position. Using a low table we reward for them offering to jump on the table, then we next work towards getting a down on the table, followed by increasing the time slightly. You want the puppy happily offering up a down on the table. If the down isn't good we work on it away from the equipment and start to transition it to the table by trying it on rugs, towels, couch cushions etc.

Another thing that maybe you could get or make is a wobble board. This works on balance and body awareness. We play LOTS of games with our wobble boards. The puppies should be happy to jump on it, turn around, back up, spin, go side to side etc. This really helps with things like the teeter and instills confidence in the puppies. If I can't reduce the "wobble" of the board I will have some hold it at first as I introduce it, gradually increasing the amount the board is allowed to move as the dog gets used to it. At first it's mark/treat for one foot, then 2 feet, then 3, then 4, then mark/treat for board shifting. Eventually the dogs are doing everything they can to make the board move.

The dog walk board is great for working on a 2 on 2 off on the end of the board. You first reward for the puppy climbing on the board and then mark/treat for getting close to 2o/2o and progress till they will offer a 2o/2o. You can prop the board up on your table to give it a slight slope to work on the 2o/2o. You can also play box games and do the same thing. Have a sturdy box the puppy can stand on. At first you reward for interaction with the box and then progress towards them standing on the box with just their rear feet. I don't know how well I explained that, but you are working to shape a behavior - you break it down into small increments and take it step by step slowly upping the criteria as the puppy learns the behavior.

For the chute - if you have a hand have someone hold it wide open and start by calling the puppy through. As you go you can start running with them and then have the helper drop/close the chute bit by bit. Alternatively if you don't have a hand - bunch up all of the chute fabric on the barrel and pull it out bit by bit as the puppy becomes more familiar with the chute.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgileDobe View Post
Here are some of the things I work on in my puppy agility classes I teach. Most of the puppies are between 4 and 12 months of age.

We work on table position. Using a low table we reward for them offering to jump on the table, then we next work towards getting a down on the table, followed by increasing the time slightly. You want the puppy happily offering up a down on the table. If the down isn't good we work on it away from the equipment and start to transition it to the table by trying it on rugs, towels, couch cushions etc.

Another thing that maybe you could get or make is a wobble board. This works on balance and body awareness. We play LOTS of games with our wobble boards. The puppies should be happy to jump on it, turn around, back up, spin, go side to side etc. This really helps with things like the teeter and instills confidence in the puppies. If I can't reduce the "wobble" of the board I will have some hold it at first as I introduce it, gradually increasing the amount the board is allowed to move as the dog gets used to it. At first it's mark/treat for one foot, then 2 feet, then 3, then 4, then mark/treat for board shifting. Eventually the dogs are doing everything they can to make the board move.

The dog walk board is great for working on a 2 on 2 off on the end of the board. You first reward for the puppy climbing on the board and then mark/treat for getting close to 2o/2o and progress till they will offer a 2o/2o. You can prop the board up on your table to give it a slight slope to work on the 2o/2o. You can also play box games and do the same thing. Have a sturdy box the puppy can stand on. At first you reward for interaction with the box and then progress towards them standing on the box with just their rear feet. I don't know how well I explained that, but you are working to shape a behavior - you break it down into small increments and take it step by step slowly upping the criteria as the puppy learns the behavior.

For the chute - if you have a hand have someone hold it wide open and start by calling the puppy through. As you go you can start running with them and then have the helper drop/close the chute bit by bit. Alternatively if you don't have a hand - bunch up all of the chute fabric on the barrel and pull it out bit by bit as the puppy becomes more familiar with the chute.
Wow! Thank you very much for all the useful info. I wish we lived closer so we could attend your classes!
I will definitely look into get the wobble board, I'd never even heard of it before, but it makes perfect sense.

by 2 on 2 off - I took it to mean (after the interaction stage) have her hop up on the box, reward, come off with only her rear feet still on the box and hold that position with her butt in the air. Correct?
* should i do this reverse as well, have her put only her front feet on before she hops up?

thank you again for all the wonderful information
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your welcome! One word of caution with the wobble boards- don't let your fingers (or other body parts) get caught underneath. I was working with a rather exuberant GSD in class and I was sitting on the floor by the board. I didn't realize my knee was under the board, until the GSD nearly broke my knee cap. Lesson learned

2o/2o - Yes, after the dog will willingly interact with the board, the end goal is to have a dog who is straight off the end of the board, with their rear feet planted on the board, and their front feet on the ground. Ideally the dog should start picking up on it, and run to the board to assume the position. As they start to figure it out, you will also see that they will start reaching backwards with their rear legs to find the board. This indicates good rear end awareness which is very important. 2o/2o is used at the ends of all of the contacts to ensure the dog hits the contact and executes the obstacle safely. There are other variations of end contact behaviors including 1 rear-toe on, 4 on the floor, 4 on the board, running and more. 2o/2o is a great place to start and is very easy for the dogs to understand.

You could certainly work the same with front end if you want (I would do it on a box though), this is part of what I do in some of my perch work stuff, but it is less important, as dogs usually know where the front legs are, but you can do some fun games with this. One box game we do is four in the box. We get the dogs to put all 4 feet in a box, and move towards smaller and smaller boxes. This requires good coordination and balance from the dogs.
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Last edited by AgileDobe; 11-12-2012 at 07:54 PM.. Reason: Grammar
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgileDobe View Post
Your welcome! One word of caution with the wobble boards- don't let your fingers (or other body parts) get caught underneath I was working with a rather exuberant GSD in class and I was sitting on the floor by the board. I didn't realize my knee was under the board, until the GSD nearly broke my knee cap. Lesson learned

2o/2o - Yes, after the dog will willingly interact with the board, the end goal is to have a dog who is straight off the end of the board, with their rear feet planted on the board, and their front feet on the ground. Ideally the dog should start picking up on it, and run to the board to assume the position. As they start to figure it out, you will also see that they will start reaching backwards with their rear legs to find the board. This indicates good rear end awareness which is very important. 2o/2o are used at the ends of all of the contacts to ensure the dog hits the contact and executes the obstacle safely. Their are other variations of end contact behaviors including 1 rear-toe on, 4 on the floor, 4 on the board, running and more. 2o/2o of a great place to start and is very easy for the dogs to understand.

You could certainly work the same with front end if you want (I would do it on a box though), this part of what I do in some of my perch work stuff, but it is less important, as dogs usually know where the front legs are, but you can do some fun games with this. One box game we do is four in the box. We get the dogs to put all 4 feet in a box, and move towards smaller and smaller boxes. This requires good coordination and balance from the dogs.
Love it! thank you! and i'm glad your kneecap remained in one piece in the same place it belongs
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great informative thread, thks all.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Gemma is one spoiled Dobergirl!
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Gemma is one spoiled Dobergirl!
haha, and doesn't she know it!
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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here's some photo's

the mess before I set it up


all set up in the yard


jumping



tunnel


zoomies
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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zoomies video

CA027405-64D5-4534-A118-2AE4BD89A5AF-50868-000005B4FCB9F1C9.mp4 video by Shelby_Frye | Photobucket
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Very cool! Great advice given! I highly recommend you fine tune her obedience, especially sit/stays from a distance, especially around a lot of distractions.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ZeldaRules View Post
Very cool! Great advice given! I highly recommend you fine tune her obedience, especially sit/stays from a distance, especially around a lot of distractions.
Thank you!

We are working in obedience level 2 now to fine tune better obedience, for me and her, and I'm trying to just get her use to the movement and the sound of things like the chute. And also to let her zoom around them and play and to let her see they are not scary, they equal fun. Right now I'm using them as a reward after our inside obedience training. Although I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm new to agility so seasoned veterans correct me if i'm wrong, but for competition I know you definitely do not want your dog to get the zoomies and bounce around all the equipment in a trial. Would allowing the dog to do that during training possibly have a bad effect later on when it's time to get serious? When I'm training with prime, it's all work with the equipment. He is also an adult dog though and has already been introduced to the equipment and used to it. I reward him between obstacles with a tug toy or lots of praise and let him chase me backwards. I've never allowed him to zoom around the obstacles as a reward. In our class there is a spoo that constantly disobeys her owner when its her turn and zoomies around the course, jumping all over obstacles and acting a fool, it's annoying because we always have to stop and wait.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ZeldaRules View Post
I'm new to agility so seasoned veterans correct me if i'm wrong, but for competition I know you definitely do not want your dog to get the zoomies and bounce around all the equipment in a trial. Would allowing the dog to do that during training possibly have a bad effect later on when it's time to get serious? When I'm training with prime, it's all work with the equipment. He is also an adult dog though and has already been introduced to the equipment and used to it. I reward him between obstacles with a tug toy or lots of praise and let him chase me backwards. I've never allowed him to zoom around the obstacles as a reward. In our class there is a spoo that constantly disobeys her owner when its her turn and zoomies around the course, jumping all over obstacles and acting a fool, it's annoying because we always have to stop and wait.
ah, yes, excellent point. thank you. As you see I'm new to this too
I think you're right, and I'll air on the side of caution and only focus her on me and the activity. Not let her zoom freely around the equipment.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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ah, yes, excellent point. thank you. As you see I'm new to this too
I think you're right, and I'll air on the side of caution and only focus her on me and the activity. Not let her zoom freely around the equipment.
Prime has a very high food and toy drive so utilizing that as a reward during training really helps to keep him happy, focused, and in the game. I wear a nail apron to training and will usually have kibble(he works great for any food so I kill 2 birds with one stone by giving him his dinner as a reward) and a small tug toy in the pockets and while we are waiting for other people to take their turn I will practice sit/stays with him, watch me, and let him play tug.

We have been training since the summer and have come a long ways already, you two will get there and it's fun with a Doberman one of my instructors told me that a lot of dobermans are great at agility and have a lot of drive, but the handlers don't always have great control of that drive. They are all impressed with primes obedience and it greatly helped us, they say prime is an honor student, lol. I bet your girl will be one too!
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ZeldaRules View Post
Prime has a very high food and toy drive so utilizing that as a reward during training really helps to keep him happy, focused, and in the game. I wear a nail apron to training and will usually have kibble(he works great for any food so I kill 2 birds with one stone by giving him his dinner as a reward) and a small tug toy in the pockets and while we are waiting for other people to take their turn I will practice sit/stays with him, watch me, and let him play tug.

We have been training since the summer and have come a long ways already, you two will get there and it's fun with a Doberman one of my instructors told me that a lot of dobermans are great at agility and have a lot of drive, but the handlers don't always have great control of that drive. They are all impressed with primes obedience and it greatly helped us, they say prime is an honor student, lol. I bet your girl will be one too!
Thank you for all the excellent tips and encouragement! Her toy drive is low right now but I'm working on that with her, teaching her tug with me which shes starting to enjoy. Her food drive is good. I use string cheese and keep it in my mouth to try to keep her focused on my face. I was using her "lunch" but she started focusing on my pockets instead of my eyes, lol! She's a lot less distracted inside rather than out so i use her lunch then. But I'm trying to work on that too. It's nice to hear from people who were once beginners and are doing great with their dobies and themselves! Thank you! It's very encouraging


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Old 11-15-2012, 09:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Touch on Zoomies around equipment....

When Jones first started, I very much so discouraged running around like a fool around equipment... Now that we have been doing it a while I don't care if he runs around after we are done doing sequences...

Jones is driven by his bite wedge, so at the end of a sequence if he does the sequence correct he gets to go grab the wedge and run around with it. If he does it incorrectly we try it twice over (if it takes that... no more than twice though because Jones shuts down very quickly)... If he still doesn't do it right after trying it twice he gets no wedge and no zoomies... just back on the leash and let the next person run.

That is how I do it. Whether it is correct or not I am not sure, but I think it works
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