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willowsailor14 is offline  
Location: Maryland, USA
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
08-02-2015, 02:43 PM

How to get started with agility?

How can I get my puppies started with agility, the necessary commands, etc? I have puppy sized equipment as I know they can't jump yet, such as a 2 ft high dog walk, a tunnel, a wobble board, and a tire jump that is at ground level. What else can I do to make real training easier? They know commands such as "tunnel" and "over" but will not listen off leash. Thanks!
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Chris is online now  
Location: Lincolnshire
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 9,002
08-02-2015, 03:34 PM
You've really answered your own question . Off lead responses are needed in agility so go back to basic sits and downs etc off lead to give your pup the idea. Teach the dog to follow your hand movements too as you will be directing with both body language and verbal commands around the course.

Lure and reward methods are great for getting going
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mjfromga is offline  
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,680
08-02-2015, 05:14 PM
I got a lab mixed puppy that I wanted to do agility with. His recall and off lead cues need to be excellent. He also needs to hold a perfect heel on both of your sides. This type of control is vital to success.

My boy started with a small indoor course and then a small home built outdoor course. Using treats, hand signals, and praise, he was getting the hang of it quickly. I held the treat at my side to encourage a heel, and of course a sit helps them focus.

Then we got a devastating hip dysplasia diagnosis, and though mild, makes him unable to do any agility. That being said, take it very easy on the jumps etc while your puppy is young. Mine was born with the bad hip, but damage can be done by accident when they are young and it can be permanent.

He turned out to be 90 lbs anyway, and goofy so the bad hip was a setback, but he wouldn't have been able to do it. There are also courses you can take to help you understand agility better. It's very fun, and I wish we'd have been able to do it.
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