View Full Version : Agility question

3rd July 2009, 10:53 PM
Murphy is almost 14 months old and has the opportunity to do agility at a local club that we don't use for obedience training.

He's too young to jump over things right? I understand we have to be careful about their joints.

Would it be okay for him to weave around poles and go through tunnels? I can't see the harm in that, but at his training club they don't allow any dogs to do agility until they are 18 months old, so I don't want to do anything that could do any harm.

I'm very proud to say he passed his Bronze Certificate.

Best wishes

4th July 2009, 02:38 AM
You can definitely start training for agility at ages before 18 months, however it is not a good idea to jump the dogs at full height until the growth plates close. People who start agility with younger dogs use "puppy" heights and don't push the jumping too much. There are a lot of skills that you can work on before you start full size jumping. If your training facility offers "foundation" classes, that is the best way to start. In foundation classes, the dogs begin to learn about proprioception, they get used to movement, they start working on obstacles on a beginning level (ie, low heights, controlled movement, etc), you start doing basic contact training. In foundation classes, the handler begins to learn basic handling techniques. In beginning foundation classes, you might not even do any sequences. I highly recommend starting in a foundation class. You will learn so much. I have one dog who is currently competing in agility trials and I also have one in foundation classes. I still learn new things and get refreshed on old things in the foundation classes. What ever you do, make it fun for your dog! Be sure you have a positive reinforcement trainer.

Congratulations on the Bronze Certificate....I am not sure what that is, but I am guessing it is an obedience title. Basic obedience skills are necessary in agility.

4th July 2009, 03:19 AM
Max is just nine months and he is in a foundations class. Mindy took two agility classes last winter and spring starting with foundations. I know they don't do much jumping in foundations. Here in Canada I believe they have to be 18 months to compete but of course they need to start training earlier. So far with Max we are three weeks in and we have done basic recall, running alongside, wobble board, starting on the table, and walking through a ladder. I "think" next week we will do a jump if all goes well. I have a play kids tunnel and low jump set up in the back yard and both Max and Mindy will use them - Mindy because she loves to jump but an entire agility class is too exhausting for her and Max because he is so high energy I need to continually find ways to keep his brain active and burn off some of his excess energy. We work for no more than five minutes at a time.

My instructor won't let a dog do weave poles until they are 12 months because she said that that can be very detrimental to the growth plates. She has border collies and she did allow that for smaller dogs it probably would be fine. I have a set of two weave poles at home and she said I shouldn't use them with Max yet so I haven't.

4th July 2009, 02:05 PM
Congratulations on Murphy passing his bronze cl*p.
You feel so proud when they hand you your certificate and rosette. :w**h**:
My Harley is 1 year in August and I canít wait till we start agility next year until then we are sticking to obedience training. I got little jumps and a tunnel set up in my garden.