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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a dog that I've been thinking about looking at.She is 8 months old. I don't much about her. I have never done agility or obedience, rally, before. However, I'm interested in getting involved.

I had spoken to someone recently, at an agility competition, who had gotten her dog at around 7 months, and she told me that there were things that she just couldn't train the dog to do but that if she'd gotten her as a young puppy, she might have.

Has anyone worked with an older puppy, that hasn't had prior training in these events and, if so, what kind of success have you had?
 

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That is ridiculous. 8 months is still so young! Young enough they shouldn't even be doing any real jumps, intense weaving, or super repetitive motions. Levi didn't take his first rally class until 6 months old, and then we competed for the first time just shy of his second birthday, and he got his novice title, so I find her comments absolutely bizarre.
 

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Perhaps her comments were excuses for poor training on her part. I agree with Shandula that there are some exercises that should not be done early; they may be detrimental to a small puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe she was referring more to regular Obedience trials. I'm new to this, so maybe I did misunderstand. I thought I heard her say something about the dog having to take something in its mouth and that was one specific thing I remember her mentioning that she wasn't able to teach her dog to do when it was a little older.
 

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Well I'm sure you can teach everything still! You're no way too late I'd say. In fact, I think if you start way too early on very strict training, this can be detrimental for your puppy. Overdoing on training is a thing. And socialization is also very important, even more important for a little puppy!
 

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Ha. I have a nine year old yorkie who is healthy and doing wonderful in the foundations agility class I teach. My 8 year old (almost 9) competition agility partner has started wcrl rally last fall and needs one more leg for her novice title. We are planning on doing rally when she retires from agility. Never say never. If the puppy/dog enjoys age appropriate dog sport venues can be taught at any age!
 

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I didn't start Roxie in agility until she was 3 years old. She now competes every so often in Novice and can run excellent courses. (I don't compete that often). I didn't get Forbes until he was a year (he had 0 obedience training) and didn't start him in agility until almost 2. It's never too late to start a dog, especially your first sport dog.
 

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I feel like her comments are excuses for her own training shortcomings with the dog. As everyone here has said, no, it's not too late. If you get the dog, enjoy your training and please post pictures here! :)
 

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In my school, a Golden retriever started training agility at the age of 10 years old. At 14, she retired with Masters titles.

Too old at 8 months? Crazy. :)
 

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Yeeps! No, not too old, what a sour grapes thing to say.
My guy was 18 months when I got him, had no clue how to play with a toy, froze into a statue when I tried free-shaping, etc...so I had to start him like a puppy, I'm still focusing on drive-building over obedience---which is fine with me.
At any age, start at the beginning, and move from there.
 

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I think she was probably talking about teaching a dog foundations at a young age. If you want to do agility with your dog, especially competitively, most teach their dog attention foundations, teaching them to walk on odd surfaces so they get used to it, teach them pivoting exercises, etc. Some dogs are naturally good at these things (I never did any of these with my older dog, but she will go on any surface or jump any jump just fine!) but other more fearful pups may not get used to these things if they are not introduced at a young age. So I think it just depends :)
 

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It is likely exactly that, but that is also the myth.
Start an adult dog exactly like a puppy. Foundations first.
Mine (at 18 months) had zero foundation work, did not even had a clue that behaviour (other than passive begging behaviours) could earn treats.
He was terrified of walking across a bridge, etc.
I trained him like a starting puppy.
Put a board over a soft object, it wobbles, treat any interaction, up the ante as time goes on.
Teach them how to play (even if it means teasing them with a treat).
Toss treats on the ground if they are a afraid to take them from your hand, etc...
if an adult dog lacks enthusiasm, drive, attention, focus, it is not a sign that they 'too old to train' or 'not suitable for rally or agility', it simply signals their 'starting point' for training. Where you get in the end depends on you and your dog.
 
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