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Hello! When I get my dobie I would love to have a go at Agility, it's always been something I've wanted to do and I'd be keen to try it out. Just wondering, I've read that you need to wait a certain time for dobies joints etc to be fully developed before doing alot of excersise, is this true? If so, how long did you wait before doing hard excersise, and whats the best way to introduce vigorous excersise such as agility, running along side a bike etc etc.
 

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Exercise is fine, it's the jumping and running on hard surfaces you want to avoid. No running out on the street, or paved pathways, but running on grass is fine.
 

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I didn't start til just 2 months ago at about 18 mo.... There are younger dogs in my class, but the instructor doesn't let them do full height jumps or straight weaves
 

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At our local training facility, our Dobe had to be at least 10 months old before I could enroll her in agility class (that was 12 years ago).

Maiya was introduced to puppy-size agility equipment in puppy class (A-Frame, tunnel, table, very, very low to ground jumps). Now dogs can be enrolled in agility class at 6 months but I am assuming that Maiya will be limited on what she'll be able to do until she is older.

In the meantime, I encourage her to explore and climb on playground equipment, walk on wobble boards, walk in and out of things like kids' tents, etc. to build up her confidence.
 

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Hello! When I get my dobie I would love to have a go at Agility, it's always been something I've wanted to do and I'd be keen to try it out. Just wondering, I've read that you need to wait a certain time for dobies joints etc to be fully developed before doing alot of excersise, is this true? If so, how long did you wait before doing hard excersise, and whats the best way to introduce vigorous excersise such as agility, running along side a bike etc etc.
You want to make sure the growth plate are closed before you start to do forced exercise (like biking) or training that will be hard on the unclosed growth plates (weaves, contact obstacles, like teeters, dogs walks and A-frames, or jumps). Puppies can do whatever they want and they will quit running or playing hard when they are tired--so it isn't just hard exercise--it's exercise where you call the shots and decide when to quit.

Male Dobe growth plates are usually closed by 18 months--if you want to start things earlier you can have X-rays taken to make sure that the growth plates have closed.

In the meantime you can do a lot of stuff with the dog preparatory to starting actual agility training. Most agility trainers want the do to have a basis in Obedience so that they will come when called, sit and down on command as a bare minimum. so you can start that type of training very early.

You can teach a puppy a lot of non-stress stuff that will be useful in agility training later on like left and right commands. You can get a board and teach them to walk on it and to stop at the end of it with two feet on and two feet off. You can take them to preliminary agility training where they can get accustomed to going through tunnels and going between jump standards with the bar on the ground.

But until their joints have matured they should not be jumping more than about 6 or 8 inches (this only applies to controlled exercise--if your puppy jumps over logs and other dogs he's not going to be damaged--that's what he's doing on his own) and they shouldn't be doing weaves (very hard on joints) or contact obstacles.

Good luck when you get your puppy.
 

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You can start with foundation work. Find a trainer that is more into foundation then the "tricks" so to speak. A good foundation is worth it's weight in gold! Vader hardly ever jumped ful height in training. If we were learning a new sequence or practicing crosses - we put jumps lower to about 16 so we could concentrate on the task not jumping. Anything lower then 16 he doesn't put any effort into and knocks bars, lol.
 

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You should start agility training as soon as you can. Like Jenny said you don't need to jump them but you can train them without the bars at all so they learn how to go out and away from you, to pay attention to the jump standards and pass between them, to do front and rear crosses using the standards, to learn how to wrap and collect and how to extend. You can do full jumpers courses with no bars, wide open channels on weaves and tunnels for sequencing. You can teach the contact equipment starting with a plank flat on the ground to teach the "touch the contact zone" habit and to learn the expected end behavior. Tables do not have to be elevated but can also be flat on the ground or at the height used by toy dogs. The A-Frame and Dogwalk can be be taught flat once you have taught the end behavior using the plank.

So many things to teach before having to worry about jumping full height. Find a good foundation class where they start with flatwork and no obstacles - learning how to have your dog pay attention to you and then the equipment. You want to get their attention and you also want to teach obstacle focus - if you set the dog facing an obstacle, they should focus on the obstacle until you release them to complete that obstacle.

Some places train using hoops instead of jumps without bars.

Good luck.
 

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Kyrah started agility when she was 14 months and it was an introduction class. She is now almost 18 months and I just moved her up to jump 6" last week.

If you know you are going to do agility with the puppy I would start the foundation work immediately. Kyrah is doing really good and has come a long way in a short amount of time but had I known then what I do now I would have done more when she was younger.
 
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