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In our house, we have a long skinny hallway in which we discovered that if we put up something (cardboard, boxes, pillows) that are about 1-3 feet high, Ira will jump it. We don't force him to jump it but one of us stands on one side of the hall and one of us stands on the other and we have treats in our hands. So one of us will clap or make kissy noises and Ira will run and jump over our minni blockade and come to get the treat and then will run back to the other person to get the next treat and so on, jumping the jump(s) in the middle many times.

Now my question is, he just turned 1, not old enough to be doing forced exercise, so does this count? Should we not play this game with him? The whole hallway is carpeted and the small places that it isn't we put yoga mats down so a) it isn't slippery and b) it's softer to step on. Also, should we not be feeding him (a lot) of treats since this is pretty heavy exercise (more than a normal walk)?

We always make sure to give him a break when he wants/is looking tired and he always has water available at one end of the hall and I know that if he get'/s really tired he'll just walk up to the jump then turn around and go back, not jumping it.

Thank you!
 

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Maybe some agility people can weigh in here. I'm pretty sure younger dogs don't jump high because of the stress on developing joints. I'm guessing three feet is probably too high for a dog that hasn't hit maturity yet.
 
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You know, just to be safe I wouldn't jump him much until the eighteen month mark. The guideline for jumping, as I understand it, is the same as for forced exercise and for the same reasons - don't want to strain the joints before they've closed.

I have a young male Dobe too (he is just about to hit 16 months) and he LOVES LOVES physical games, so I'm dying to start beginning agility with him, and I was told no real agility activities until 18 months. Which is tough, because I ride horses (hunter/jumper), I like to bring him to the barn, and he thinks jumping the horse jumps is SO FUN!!! haha.
 

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I have a young male Dobe too (he is just about to hit 16 months) and he LOVES LOVES physical games, so I'm dying to start beginning agility with him, and I was told no real agility activities until 18 months. Which is tough, because I ride horses (hunter/jumper), I like to bring him to the barn, and he thinks jumping the horse jumps is SO FUN!!! haha.
Done carefully there are many things you can do. Jumping them at 3 ft if that is what OP is doing - is NOT one of the things I'd do.

I start puppies with just the jump upright and no bar. The going OVER is the easy part. The learning how to read mom's signals is the hard part. At about 10 months I let them jump 8-12" depending not he dog. and I slowly move up. I don't go to full height until growth plates are closed.
 

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I personally wouldnt jump him, you could try other agility things though like tunnels or weaving poles though!
 

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I start puppies with just the jump upright and no bar. The going OVER is the easy part. The learning how to read mom's signals is the hard part. At about 10 months I let them jump 8-12" depending not he dog. and I slowly move up. I don't go to full height until growth plates are closed.
That's great to hear, thanks! I think I will let him start jumping the cross-rails ... I love the idea of using the standards to teach him where to go without the actual jumping.
 

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I personally wouldnt jump him, you could try other agility things though like tunnels or weaving poles though!
Weave poles actually are also another thing to wait on as they put stress on dog's growth plates, shoulders, etc.
 

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Weave poles actually are also another thing to wait on as they put stress on dog's growth plates, shoulders, etc.
We could start doing tunnels, right? What about the ramps? I think I will start focusing on his "stay" in the interim.

What is full height, by the way?
 

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We could start doing tunnels, right? What about the ramps? I think I will start focusing on his "stay" in the interim.

What is full height, by the way?
Yes you can do tunnels, etc. The hard part actually isn't the equipment but getting from piece to piece :)

In AKC and CPE my Dobe jumps 24". It varies by venue. In USDAA it is 26". In those venues you can jump them 4" lower in a different class.

I don't teach the contacts (ramps) until I have the end behavior down. They don't ever get to just run and play on contacts.
 
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Weave poles actually are also another thing to wait on as they put stress on dog's growth plates, shoulders, etc.
Good point, I think it'd be fine if you take it easy and space out the poles further than normal though. I would keep training sessions down to 10-15 minutes too.
 

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Good point, I think it'd be fine if you take it easy and space out the poles further than normal though. I would keep training sessions down to 10-15 minutes too.
If you are going to compete, this is a very bad thing :) Weaves only take a few weeks maybe 1-2 months to train (assuming the person has their own weaves). If you open them up or space them out for too long, you'll make the trainnig process longer and harder in the long run. The dog will get used to the space you set them and have a harder time transitioning as you close them up. When you train, if you start with the wide (channel method) the goal is to close them up as fast as possible and keep the dog succeeding.
 
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If you are going to compete, this is a very bad thing :) Weaves only take a few weeks maybe 1-2 months to train (assuming the person has their own weaves). If you open them up or space them out for too long, you'll make the trainnig process longer and harder in the long run. The dog will get used to the space you set them and have a harder time transitioning as you close them up. When you train, if you start with the wide (channel method) the goal is to close them up as fast as possible and keep the dog succeeding.

Or just a few weeks! We've had two people at my club train weaves entirely by 2x2 so far (NZ takes a long time to catch onto new things LOL)... one had her 18 month old weaving 12 poles with all sorts of nasty entries in 14 days! Another girl trained her 6 year old (new handler and dog) in about 3 weeks! 6 year old dog is hitting those poles so hard she snapped their practise poles! Weaving should definitely be left until the dog is full grown, as Adara said, the easy part of agility is the obstacles. The hard and most important part is the groundwork skills, which unfortunately is often overlooked for the more glamorous side of agility (learning the obstacles!)
 

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OP, I wouldn't be jumping him in the manner you are.


Besides the points already made, about growth plates and stress on developing joints, if you do want someday to do OB or agility with him, and you as the human handler don't know your basics, then you're highly likely to teach a lot of bad habits to him and to yourself, and it's much harder to re-train and go back and fix things than it is to just train correctly in the first place.

One thing that really jumped out at me is you said if he "gets really tired he won't jump but will turn around."

You're teaching a couple bad work habits there--that he can take jumps only at his discretion, or not--regardless of what you've asked him to do, and two--that working with you gets too hard and boring and he can just quit, then.

Keep it fun, keep it age-appropriate, and keep it short and sweet--end on a good note, before he decides he's had too much. You want him enthusiastic and coming back for more interaction with you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay awesome :) Thank you for the advice and now I know why it's not such a good idea :x I didn't know I was teaching him bad habits
Maybe we'll work on tunnels, he really likes doing physical things but since it's getting colder now and rainy (he hates rain) we are trying to find some inside games..

Thanks again ^^
 
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