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post #376 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 02:40 PM
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Thank you all for the helpful tips! Can't wait to report back how our first class goes. I have gotten Prime used to playing on agility equipment at dog parks and daycare, he really has fun with it and has been very confident..even with the teeters. He's done some touch/wobble board work in obedience classes and has shown no hesitation. I hope he continues to enjoy it in a class setting.
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post #377 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 03:23 PM
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What we did....

A flat buckle collar. Some run commando but I needed to be able to grab him and I used a 6' cotton leash. At the trials I use a large diameter noose/leash. Easy on the hands and easy to get on after the run.
Treats are good to bring as rewards. We couldn't use a toy because all he wanted to do was play. We did our normal routine as far as walking/playing/running the day of the class. I fed him breakfast and no dinner until well after we got home. Bacchus has and does get joint supplements.

You are going to have so much fun. Remember to breathe.
OOOps too late to edit but what I meant was I used the 6' leash to get him somewhere then when going in/out of the ring I used the soft noose. I would never run him with a leash on.
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post #378 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 06:17 PM
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1. What type of collar/lead do you suggest bringing him to class with, based on your experiences? I assume it wouldn't be a prong.
Flat collar (no tags) and nylon lead. No correction collars ever. When you get to the point that collars/leads are coming off constantly I really like the two in one slip collar/leads as they are super easy to get on and off... Like this one > Clean Run: Biothane Martingale-style Agility Slip Lead

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2. The class is at 8:30 pm, should I not feed him the whole day until we get home from class?
I always feed Elsie breakfast, we are at agility 6.30-9pm (we walk there so takes awhile lol), so she gets dinner when she gets home. I feed breakfast on days we're competing in obedience too, as I don't like the idea of her trying to work on an empty stomach (I know I can't be enthusiastic all day if I'm starving!). Really depends on your dog, Elsie will work for treats even if she has eaten, doesn't need to be hungry lol.

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3. Should he be crated for most of the day on training days or should he be exercised prior to going to class?
Really depends on your dog I think. Elsie has boundless energy so I usually give her a morning walk, and use the walk to club/training as her PM walk. She is very focused regardless of what I do, but some of my friends that have real nutter dogs give them a really good run before class. I personally wouldn't crate a dog all day before training, if you need to do that to get enthusiasm from your dog something is wrong lol

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4. Did you bring treats to your first class?
Always!! Bring heaps!! Bring his favourite toy too


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post #379 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 10:35 AM
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First class was a success! I really had a lot of fun and went home feeling that this is what Prime is supposed to be doing because even though it was our first class, I felt like he was proud, he was in his element, and he really shined.

There were 4 instructors and 11 dogs. Some border collies, a vizsla(I thought of adara), bouvier, Aussie, chessie, standard poodle, and my friend with her husky, We were split into two groups. My group started with an A Frame, jumps, and a plank first, then we switched to the chutes, tunnels, and ended with the weave poles. This beginner class is all on lead(all other classes are off lead)and everything is low to the ground to get them comfortable and used to it. You were right about no correction collars, they said that we would not want our dogs to be corrected for doing something we want them to.

Prime charged the A Frame like there was no tomorrow. I said FRAME! Then TOUCH as he hit the top and he had to stop at the bottom with two paws on the frame and two paws on
the ground and was treated at the ground to get him used to that spot.


They showed us the different types of jumps and we practiced the send away and call over(I think that's what they called it, can't remember). Prime tried to go around once but got the hang of it after that and enjoyed jumping. The bars were kept very low so they could practically walk over.

Prime's back legs fell off the plank twice but he did great on it for the most part. He wants to go fast.

The chutes and tunnels were fun. Prime tried to jump over the chute at first but quickly got the hang of it. He started getting really confident with the tunnels and tried zooming through so I had to be fast to lure him to me upon exiting.

The last thing we were introduced to were the weave poles. The instructors gave us a stick/wand with a treat at the tip and we directed them through the weaves with it. The instructor told me to hold the lead closer to Prime's neck and it helped when guiding him through. When Prime and I were done with that, one instructor complimented Prime a lot and said he has natural drive. I have a feeling that Prime will be a natural and I'll be the one making the majority of the mistakes with handling. I had to keep remembering to lead Prime off the a frame straight ahead instead of veering off to the side when prime was off.


Since this facility is an hour from my house and it's at 8:30 pm so I have to kill a lot of time after I leave work before class starts, ill probably just spend Thursday nights at Sean's house as he's closer. So much driving!

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post #380 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 10:42 AM
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Glad you guys had fun.
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post #381 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 06:00 PM
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I don't think Vader was on any equipment or jumps until he went through 2 or 3 sessions of foundation. Obstacles are the easy part. It the foundation that's tricky. I am so glad that we did a ton of foundation work in our classes (still do) it really pays off.

Glad you had fun though. Make sure all contact equipment is super low and moved up really slowly.
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post #382 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 06:09 PM
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Yeah there were a lot of eager dogs, all were adults, but they said we will be starting out slow. The plank was pretty much right on the ground. I'm confident that this is a reputable facility. Flash Paws in Houston, have you heard of them?
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post #383 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 06:38 PM
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I don't think Vader was on any equipment or jumps until he went through 2 or 3 sessions of foundation. Obstacles are the easy part. It the foundation that's tricky. I am so glad that we did a ton of foundation work in our classes (still do) it really pays off.

Glad you had fun though. Make sure all contact equipment is super low and moved up really slowly.
That is how we start too. My dogs don't get on a plank until I've taught the end behavior. I want my dogs to stop 2 on 2 off. I teach that first. Then we tach some balance rear end awareness then finally get to the plank.


I googled the facility and saw:
Our staff consists of top-winning masters-level agility trainers/competitors and agility judges, directed by Jane Simmons-Moake

Jane Simmons-Moake is supposed to be brilliant If I had to bet money, I'd bet on it being a pretty good facility.

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Havoc, BISS GCh HRQ Guess Who's In Trouble, JH, OA, OAJ, CL2-H, CL2-S, CL2-F Vizsla, National AOM winner
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post #384 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 06:55 PM
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I was told by mutliple people that it was the best in houston so we'll see what the future holds for Prime!
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post #385 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 09:51 PM
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Jane Simmons-Moake has written some pretty good agility books


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post #386 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 10:37 PM
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Our trainer doesn't allow to use any correction collars. I take private lessons for Asha and Gino. They are mostly off-leash when we are working.

I could not believe Gino run on a teeter on his first attempt... no fears at all. He wanted a piece of chicken so much . It took at least 10 times for my confident Asha to get comfortable there.

My babies enjoy lessons a lot. I am glad we decided to switch to agility after long lasting Schutzund dreams.


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post #387 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 10:56 PM
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If he was nervous and uncomfortable with the equipment then I would definitely be doing private lessons, I think he is fine with the group class though, just my gut instinct of knowing my dog. He already has a lot of obedience training under his belt so I have no problem having him train with a lot of other dogs. We train outside too and he is doing great under distractions, he is very focused.


I have dreams of SchH for Prime too, but unfortunately my schedule doesn't match up with my SchH trainer's schedule so that's on hold for a long while since he's very busy with clients. That's why I went ahead and signed up for agility.
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post #388 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 01:30 AM
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What vz & adara are talking about I believe is that foundation work...work which is done with working the dog to learn ground work...following your moves...kinda like dance moves...building value in your hands/you even for that matter...learning to send away...push out...those kind of things. learning to jump over a jump or walk across a board is simple compared to teaching the dog to follow your moves; a turn of the shoulder, what way your feet are facing, how fast are you going to push your dog or slow your dog, is your arm up or down pushing or pulling your dog from/to you. Kyrah in our 4th class or so got a new instructor who did lots of foundation type exercises. I really thought at that point thats where I really should have started. I wish I had known that in the begining. So I do agree foundation work is something I would prefer to work on first...our club does the same thing tho ...they show them the equipment first and there really isnt much said about foundation work. I did lots of OB with Kyrah and believed it helped so definately agree all you have done with Prime will be valuable. I built a strong bond and did some OB with Dexter and started some foundation work here and there since he was young still not near as much as I should have done. He is also a pigs fly dog. So he is going to be a new challenge. Anyway you guys are going to have a blast!


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post #389 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 07:39 AM
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*SNIP* I wish I had known that in the begining. So I do agree foundation work is something I would prefer to work on first...our club does the same thing tho ...they show them the equipment first and there really isnt much said about foundation work. *SNIP*
The place where I train doesn't offer a foundation class either. I agree I wish I would have known I would have maybe asked or said something, but they even had the beginner dogs going across a full height DW and half height AF. Granted we did do some hand following work and I practice those at home because I don't have much equipment (only weave poles) so I work on his ground work constantly...

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post #390 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 07:58 AM
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The place where I train doesn't offer a foundation class either. I agree I wish I would have known I would have maybe asked or said something, but they even had the beginner dogs going across a full height DW and half height AF. Granted we did do some hand following work and I practice those at home because I don't have much equipment (only weave poles) so I work on his ground work constantly...
A cheap build is pvc pipe jumps. I made the cross bar solid on the uprights. I made it LOW...maybe 14" or so. I made a bunch of these and set them up in my driveway. I then either sent Bacchus or ran him through them. None of them was in line with the other. Just a small jungle of jumps. Every time we moved through them it was a different pattern. With them being low there was little wear and tear on his joints. With the cross bar being solid the jumps stayed together when I switched them around. He never knew what jump we would be taking so he watched me like a hawk. I think it helped with his focus on me in the ring.....I hope.

I would work these faster and faster throwing him over a jump from different sides constantly moving through and around and he got the idea. He was very good with this but he still tends to become unfocused when we are in the ring. I think part of that is that he knows he can catch me in a couple of seconds even if I am halfway across the ring, the other is that he is an intact male and his mind wanders.

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post #391 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 09:10 AM
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I just recently got a yard also, but I plan to at least have 3 jumps My backyard already looks like it belongs to the dogs lol

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post #392 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 09:19 AM
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I see. I guess this is there idea of foundation work because on their website they mention people needing to take the beginner class before starting their other classes so everyone has the same foundation work.

If I notice Prime regressing or I need more help and cant keep up then I will voice my concern to them and see about a private class and taking a step back.
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post #393 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 09:36 AM
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If I notice Prime regressing or I need more help and cant keep up then I will voice my concern to them and see about a private class and taking a step back.

I know from personal experience and talking with lots of other agility people at the trials that at some point....in Bacch's case several points, there is regression. Suddenly, what was rock solid is now a problem. Reminds me of Forrest Gump talking about the box of chocolates....."ya never know what you're getting".

I know many people go at this like it is a science......and they get results and have fun. I'm out there with Bacchus just doing what we can. Sometimes we Q....many times we don't, but we still have a weekend out together and whether it be frustrating or celebration....we have still have fun.
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post #394 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 09:41 AM
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lol thanks for that perspective. My main goal is to do something fun with Prime. This is the whole reason why I pulled him from conformation and snipped him. He's a good looking dog but he was miserable in the show ring. He lights up like a firecracker at agility class and he even started howling and whining when we were a mile away from a facility he's never been to. Might i even add that he was very well behaved while we stood around and didnt even react one bit when other dogs started barking and carrying on. I hope we are able to get to competition level as well!
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post #395 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 09:54 AM
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lol thanks for that perspective. My main goal is to do something fun with Prime. This is the whole reason why I pulled him from conformation and snipped him. He's a good looking dog but he was miserable in the show ring. He lights up like a firecracker at agility class and he even started howling and whining when we were a mile away from a facility he's never been to. Might i even add that he was very well behaved while we stood around and didnt even react one bit when other dogs started barking and carrying on. I hope we are able to get to competition level as well!
Look at it from his point of view. Confo ring......standing like a statue, trotting around a ring.....standing like a statue......have some strange person touch you all over......standing like a statue....some more trotting.....then out of the ring.

Agility ring.....waiting to get in the ring.....more waiting.....more waiting....then...YOU'RE RUNNING AND JUMPING AND RUNNING AND JUMPING FAST FAST FAST.....then you're out of the ring getting treats and lots of yelling and excitement.

Which would you choose?
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post #396 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 01:15 AM
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I know from personal experience and talking with lots of other agility people at the trials that at some point....in Bacch's case several points, there is regression. Suddenly, what was rock solid is now a problem. Reminds me of Forrest Gump talking about the box of chocolates....."ya never know what you're getting".

I know many people go at this like it is a science......and they get results and have fun. I'm out there with Bacchus just doing what we can. Sometimes we Q....many times we don't, but we still have a weekend out together and whether it be frustrating or celebration....we have still have fun.
Yep, I decided to go ahead and enter standard jumpers and as soon as I mailed in my form for a trial in aug...Kyrah decided she isnt doing the teeter anymore after she decided she was doing it 6 or so weeks ago. So extra practice for us.

I agree in the begining I thought you learn it and do it. NOT! I am now doing it for fun whether we do good or bad. Its a weekend spent together around other dog lovers! What more could we ask for?


What would I do without them?
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post #397 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 03:00 PM
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Be careful - you don't want to push too hard too fast. Handling is the hardest part. Learning all that "boring" (according to Vader) stuff is so super important. If you watch top agility poeple they tend to not say much more then a release word. It's all in the body language - you have to teach this to your dog - that is where foundation work comes in. The other night we had a decell w/ a wrap, then a rear into the weaves. I decelled too soon & veered a little toward the next jump - Vader turned into me and didn't take the jump - to which he got rewarede because he did exaclty what I told him to do. A year ago he would have maybe picked up on it. He understands too well sometimes and rats me out! But the nice thing about it is that my intstructor can run him and he is perfect for her beacuse he understands the dance
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post #398 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 05:19 PM
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For the people whose area doesn't provide good foundation classes(and mine is one of them), I suggest
Clean Run magazine. It's just full of exercises requiring just a few jumps that will help you practice a particulat skill.

I particularly think a wobble board is essential. So many dogs have problems with the moving equipment because training facilities rush thru the teaching phase of these pieces of equipment. It is easy to build. A 3ft square or round of plywood or particle board with one of those wooden balls used on top of posts on decks(Lowes) nailed into the middle. Lots of clicking and treating when the dog interacts with the board. Some don't need it; Fei would fling herself on it and slide down the other side(as a baby)on her own. But some do and it can go a LONG way towards getting a dog comfortable with that movement under the feet.
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post #399 of 1399 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 05:22 PM
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I particularly think a wobble board is essential. So many dogs have problems with the moving equipment because training facilities rush thru the teaching phase of these pieces of equipment. It is easy to build. A 3ft square or round of plywood or particle board with one of those wooden balls used on top of posts on decks(Lowes) nailed into the middle. Lots of clicking and treating when the dog interacts with the board. Some don't need it; Fei would fling herself on it and slide down the other side(as a baby)on her own. But some do and it can go a LONG way towards getting a dog comfortable with that movement under the feet.
I also found the bang it game with the teeter helped my younger Vizsla. He loved the wobble board, but wasn't so sure about the teeter. It was the first time I'd had a dog with any hesitation so we went straight to the bang it game and he loved it.

Colleen
Flirt, ADAMAS All the Girls Do It, OA, NAJ, NF, CL2-F, CL2-H
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post #400 of 1399 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 12:42 PM
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Here are some photos from last night

Prime creepin' on Sean




in the tunnel









and a couple videos here:
The Dapper Doberman


Good times! I need to get Prime a cool coat.
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