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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:D Hello forum,

I was wondering if there were any members on here that have a Pomeranian, and if so, if they do any dog sports with them?

I'm planning on getting Wolfie involved in AKC obedience (my goal is to pass CGC in March, unless he's ready for it much earlier), but I would also like to try Flyball, Rally-O and at some point when his obedience has reached a great point, Agility.

Does anyone do these activities with their pom?

If so, what has your experience been like?

:) Hoping there are some other sporty Poms out there!
 
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Oh man. I wish we had done agility with Toby. Even at 10, I have no doubt that he has the energy and coordination to do it, but his bones and joints are great so far and we have every intention of keeping it that way for as long as possible LOL!

They are clever, nimble little guys that excel in many things. I'm hoping to sign up for Rally-O with him next time our trainer offers it. Obedience and training is definitely a fave of his. Not an overly ball-driven dog, but you'd swear he was raised by border collies if I didn't tell you about the treats in my pocket :D

I think that their enthusiasm for good food and their human orientation gets them pretty far in anything with a significant training/obedience component. Unfortunately I can't think of any regulars here who currently do sports with poms, BUT @Laurelin does do agility with her Papillons
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
:D

Hey @kelly528, thanks for chiming in! Way to go Toby, he sounds like a great little dog. I hope Wolfie's even half as spry when he hits age 10.

You're soooo right about food. I'm pretty sure Wolfie would scoop his own poop (if he could) if I offered him hot dog pieces for it. I've only had him for 2 1/2 weeks, but already we're making a lot of progress with Sit, Down, In (as in 'go in your crate'), Speak (he is so good at that, haha) and Spin. I plan on ordering a clicker and signing up for classes ASAP.

Even if they aren't poms, I'd love to hear from Laurelin's experience in doing dog sports with small dogs. :) Papillons are so pretty.

I think Wolfie could really excel at flyball, if he shows a little more ball drive.http://www.dogforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 

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Hey @Laurelin I know you have a ton of experience with little dogs in dog sports.
 

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There was a little Pom that competed in Agility for any years around here. She always had to wait for the teeter to go down and has to be right on the end of it, she was so light. She was the smallest dog I have seen around here doing Agility and she did really well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There was a little Pom that competed in Agility for any years around here. She always had to wait for the teeter to go down and has to be right on the end of it, she was so light. She was the smallest dog I have seen around here doing Agility and she did really well.
Oh wow! Any idea how much she weighed?
 

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Ball drive can be built; @FailedSlacker has his own special formula for this. Shouldn't be hard with a dog so motivated by treats. Another thing that you can do while practicing fetch is to play around with rate of reward and the value of the reward, offering kibble for each fetch and then after 4-5 times, giving him a big 'jackpot' like hot dog. Keeps things exciting for the dog because they never know when they are going to win big.

Toby is not a ball dog. After the 3rd throw he'll look at you like 'Okay, YOUR turn to get it!' But given even a low-value treat like puppy kibble (that extra fat content makes it almost a treat) he will fetch until his legs fall off. I've fetched for an hour with him; that's as far as I've gotten before I got tired!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh I thought ball drive was all down to genetics, I didn't know it could be built! That's great to know, and your Toby sounds like such a hoot. How long have you had him?

Again, thanks for the advice!
 

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I have done agility with both my papillons. Sadly both retired nowadays. Summer started at age 8 and now is 11 and has 5 titles. Mia started having trachea problems so retired when she was 5.

I definitely see little dogs and poms in agility sometimes! No reason at all they couldn't do it. :)
 

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Right now I'm only training my cattle dog mix in agility. He's way way different to train than the toy dogs but it's fun.

Summer is sadly having some neurological issues and seizures :)( ) but we competed up till last month. She started at an age when other dogs are retiring and we had a BLAST.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Right now I'm only training my cattle dog mix in agility. He's way way different to train than the toy dogs but it's fun.

Summer is sadly having some neurological issues and seizures :)( ) but we competed up till last month. She started at an age when other dogs are retiring and we had a BLAST.
:( I'm so sorry to hear that Summer's having neurological issues, and that your papillons don't compete anymore, but it's encouraging to hear about small dogs competing in agility. I think it's called Teacup Agility?

Do you have any advice for training a small dog in sports like these? Anything I should make note of? Also how high are the jumps, usually?
http://www.dogforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 

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The jumps are set depending on how tall your dog is. They will wicket the dog before you compete. In most organizations my dogs would jump 8" in their regular class but since Summer was older she was dropped down to 4" (they call it veteran's). Hank will be jumping 16" most places because he's taller. :)

I have done TDAA (teacup) with my dogs but also USDAA and NADAC. They can compete in the big dog leagues too! :)

Training is pretty much the same. I used all food because mine liked food more than toys. It's a lot of fun and a good class and trainer will help a lot! My first trainer has border collies and my second trainer had all large breeds (belgian, BC, lacy, and viszla) but they were both great at teaching me and my small dogs too!
 

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Do you have a flirt pole for Wolfie? That can help build drive! You can make one really easily, I use a horse lunge whip, but with a little dog you could have something smaller you could use indoors. PVC pipe and rope seem to be a go-to! I do Rally and barely some agility with Remy. Rally is really fun, literally any dog can do it :) Platform work and stool work (with a little dog, you could use a book!) are your friend. Being able to reinforce value for paw targeting things will help you out in agility as well! I don't have much experience with little dogs, but my boyfriend's parents have 3 Poms and I can see them being really good at it in their younger days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@zoorun

Yes I do! I put together a quick one out of a sturdy wooden rod, some string and a sock he's particularly fond of. He just goes bonkers for it when he's in the mood to play! And he loves to chase leaves outside. Rally has always seemed like fun, I hear it's a little less strict than AKC obedience? Is that true?
@Laurelin

Is it too soon to start Wolfie on agility? I realize he's still very much a puppy and will be for a few months, I don't want to do anything to damage his joints while he's still growing/filling out, but I figured it might be a fun activity to get him nice and tired and strengthen our bond.

I'll definitely look into finding a good trainer, probably sometime in the spring!
 

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@zoorun

Yes I do! I put together a quick one out of a sturdy wooden rod, some string and a sock he's particularly fond of. He just goes bonkers for it when he's in the mood to play! And he loves to chase leaves outside. Rally has always seemed like fun, I hear it's a little less strict than AKC obedience? Is that true?
@Laurelin

Is it too soon to start Wolfie on agility? I realize he's still very much a puppy and will be for a few months, I don't want to do anything to damage his joints while he's still growing/filling out, but I figured it might be a fun activity to get him nice and tired and strengthen our bond.

I'll definitely look into finding a good trainer, probably sometime in the spring!
Awesome! Yes it is less strict, I view it more as for fun :) We're by no means amazing. I've got a really awkward tentative dog, so it's slow going, but perfect for us!

How old is Wolfie? It's certainly not too soon to start him on floor work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
:) Wolfie is 6 months old! Is it hard, memorizing lots of steps? He's in a little bit of a teenager-stage right now, but I can definitely try to get him to do stool work/platform work, as soon as I go research what that is! :p
 

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You can start puppy foundation work at a young age but I would recommend finding a trainer near you that knows what they're doing so they can tell you what is safe or not, etc. Hank is 12ish months and we are mostly just playing together and doing floor work. The most important thing is to have a good relationship with your dog and to have them well socialized to busy places and noises, etc. I take my dogs everywhere (especially Hank since the dream is to really get competing with him). Everywhere we go, I ask for some work and play.

I actually ended up trialling Summer today and she did great. Full of beans for such an older girl. It was good to get out there and have some light runs. I think she went off course 4 or 5 times and took extra jumps and said hi to the judge but I was just thrilled with how happy she was. She did Q once in a game.
 

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I am a professional agility instructor and have had several poms in my school. There are things you have to do with a small dog that you don't with a big dog.

First, weight is an issue. The teeter tips at 3 pounds. Some poms don't weigh over 3 pounds. I had a Chi in my school who was just barely over 3 pounds. Her owner would feed her before running to give her an extra few ounces. :)

Training the teeter is done very differently with small dogs than with big dogs. A good trainer will teach you how to get your Pom to run to the very end of the teeter, squat down to absorb the impact and ride the teeter down. A good trainer will never let your Pom "feel" for the pivot of the teeter as this will create a slow, stressful teeter for a small kiddo.

I require all of my small dogs to get a vet clearance with their patellas before starting agility. Many small dogs have patella issues, and it is very sad to work hard training your dog to reach competition only to have them need to quit because of structure issues.

Small dogs also should be trained differently on the weave poles. I use channel weaves for small dogs who will bunny hop or put several steps through the poles vs. Weave-o-Matics for the big dogs who will single step through the poles. The very small dogs may do best with some channel weaves, but mostly gates. Here is a video sort of explaining what I am talking about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhDl2H1FKZQ

Small dogs are handled very differently than big dogs, and a good trainer will help you understand the differences between the two. In addition, your contact work may be vastly different as many small dogs can stride naturally into the contact zone and don't need the years of contact work. This is a huge bonus!!

A good trainer will help you understand all of the differences between training a small dog vs. a big dog. Small dogs can absolutely rock agility, but knowing how to train for them as opposed to a large dogs is crucial. I ran a small, 12" 10 pound sheltie for 10 years to six Championships and a Challenger Class appearance at the AKC Nationals. They are a blast to run!!

Here is a link on how to find a good agility trainer. Have fun!!

Find the Perfect Agility Training Classes for You and Your Dog: Tips for Locating an Agility Instructor
 

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I'm new to agility so I'm no expert, but I started my foundations agility class with my dog at 6 months old. It was basically for fun, foundational stuff. Just getting them used to the equipment and doing some balance stuff. No high impact jumping.

There was a very small Pap in that class and she was amazing! Was very handler-focused and drive-y. So I think your Pom could be great too!
 
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