Dog Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I have two dogs:

Zed - 4.5 year old male miniature schnauzer

Ollie - 9 month old male miniature schnauzer

Both boys have completed beginners obedience and intermediate obedience and are now in an advanced obedience class. Both do well but are not perfect by any means (who is? :) )

Ollie has a very sweet, calm, laid back temperament and I'm training him with the goal of becoming a certified therapy dog. He can't take the certification exam until he's a year old, but we are prepping for it and I think he has a very good chance of passing.

Anyways the training academy that we attend is offering a beginners agility class (they offer it once or twice a year. Intermediate agility is yearround, but this is a prerequisite).

I am planning to sign both boys up for the beginners Agilty class. Obviously I'm not planning to compete seriously, it's just for fun. If it goes well and the boys like it, I will continue with Intermediate agility and MAYBE try some local trials?

My questions:
1. Is 4.5 too old to start? He is in good health and very athletic. Has a good stamina (can run for hours).
2. What can I do to prepare for the class?
3. How can I make it fun for my dogs?
4. What can I expect from the class?

Thanks it advance for your replies!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,240 Posts
1) 4.5 isn't too old to start at all! Especially considering you have pretty solid obedience training on them! I started my lab at 3 and she's doing great!

2) Work a lot on recall and stays. Long stays. Short stays. Distracted stays. All stays! Also if they know the touch command that's a fun one you can work on. Hand touches or target touches.

3) I am sure working with you will be fun! Also high reward treats. And toys that they love. My dogs get cheese usually only at class.

4) Fun! Expect fun. Honestly, it's hard to say. Every trainer is different. In my beginner agility class we did a lot of flat work, working on crosses, queuing, the beginning stages of contacts, and maybe at the end working on the beginning stages of weaves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
I agree. 4.5 years old is not to old to start. I had one student start her golden in agility at 9 or 10 years old. She earned her Masters title before retiring at the age of 14!! As long as the dog is sound and mentally competent, it can start agility at any age.

As for what to expect, jclark is right. Each trainer is different.

As to how to make it more fun for your dog... High rewards, lots of play, tug, laughter and good times. You are doing it "just for fun," so make sure to make it a game. No punishment!! Just play, rewards, toys or whatever your dog likes.

As for prep for the class, you're doing it. Your obedience classes will be enough for a "just for fun" agility class. Do get as good of off lead control as you can, work as much focus as possible, and go have fun.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jclark343

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for replies. I am so excited to put all of our obedience training to use in a fun way.

I do have fairly high obedience levels on and off leash, but my boys are not glued to my heel either.

I plan to have high value treats that they will only get when doing agility and maybe a few special toys only for Agility.

In the back of my mind, I'm hoping I can learn about agility and have fun with my current dogs and maybe someday down the road I'll get serious and acquire and train a dog specifically to compete in agility. But for now, I just want to learn and have fun :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
Having the ability to have your dog pay attention to you (or at least listen to you) is pretty big. Most people at my local club have an awful time handling their dogs.

Also, make it SUPER fun. There are two people with BCs in my class and they have the same flat tone when the dogs do an obstacle right as they do when they are wrong. They also don't use treats or toys. As a result, the dogs seem to have zero drive to do anything. It's sad.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top