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Old 02-16-2010, 11:31 AM
sammgirl sammgirl is offline
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Default Beginners obedience, rally, or agility?

Harper is starting puppy preschool this Thursday, and we're also doing handling classes as well with a pro handler.

But once puppy preschool is over in seven weeks, I'm going to put her in a beginners class of either obedience, rally, or agility while continuing her handling classes.

Obedience is really what I'd like to do because it seems the most basic and I'm a real novice at dog sports. However, agility looks awesome and fun, and I think that it would really be up Harper's alley more so then obedience. Harper really needs both mental and physical stimulation.

Rally looks like it would be a good dog sport for an older dog that doesn't want to or can't do the jumps in agility and obedience, but maybe I have the wrong perception.

I've got plenty of time to pick, but I'm just curious about how you all started out in the wide world of dog competition.

ps- also thinking about trying out tracking w/ Harper. Anyone ever done that?
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:48 AM
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Do you want to be competitive in agility? If so start there or train it concurrently with obedience.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:50 PM
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IMO you should always do basic obedience first, then move on to agility. Mostly because I think it gives you a great foundation of not just a skill set for your dog, but the actual working relationship with your dog. Obviously you work differently with your dog on OB than agility but it's a great place to start.

Also, if you've trained in an obedience class, you'll be able to do rally no problem.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:52 PM
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I guess it would depend on your obed class. In my experience you will repeat many of the basic things in an agility foundation class (restrained recalls) etc

But the problem is a GOOD obed class is goign to make it much more difficult to do agility. In agility you don't want a super handler focused dog! Or won that is used to being glued to your left leg.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:39 PM
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We finished our puppy class a couple of weeks ago and we're still practicing the basics (Riley has a great recall, is learning to down at a distance but still needs work on his stays.) I've got him signed up for a foundation agility class (strictly handling, no obstacles) at the end of the month. Since I won't be able to take him to the next foundation class (obstacles) until he's 10 months old, I'll probably look around for a basic (rather than beginning competitive) obedience class.

I took some tracking classes with my rott/shepherd mix years ago - we had a good time with it. If there's a tracking club in your area, you can try contacting them to see if they hold classes that allow non-members to participate.

If you're anywhere near the St. Louis area, the local Samoyed Rescue group hosts a fundraiser called the Canine Games every fall. The general public is invited to bring their dogs to try out various sports (flyball, rally, obedience, lure coursing, agility, carting, disc dog, junior handling, etc). Local clubs host their particular sport and it's all set at the beginning level. The local tracking club was there one year and that's how I got into that...
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:22 PM
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I did obedience classes first and wish I didn't. Jack already knew basic obedience and got sooo bored walking around in a circle heeling for an hour. I'd do the agility class. There's down time to work on obedience individually and work around distractions and still have some fun at the same time.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:02 PM
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It's a prerequisite to sign up for my agility class to have completed a basic obedience course first.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:09 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Rally isn't just for old dogs. It's actually a lot of fun. It's less strict and more interesting than obedience (more different things to do, even at novice level), but as long as you understand the signs you can do rally if you do obedience. It's pattern heeling and other basic commands. You'll also need obedience for agility. So I would go with obedience, and from there see where you actually want to compete.

Most rally classes require that your dog has a reliable heel first, anyway. There's not enough time in 6 to 8 weeks to teach heeling and rally signs.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:21 PM
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For all of you saying you need obedience for agility.. what exactly do you need that won't be repeated in a foundation class anyway? Its pretty common for people to recommend against competition style obedience until you have started agility.

(coming from someone who trains, teaches and competes in agility, obedience and Rally)
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
For all of you saying you need obedience for agility.. what exactly do you need that won't be repeated in a foundation class anyway? Its pretty common for people to recommend against competition style obedience until you have started agility.

(coming from someone who trains, teaches and competes in agility, obedience and Rally)
Dekka, I think they're talking just the basic basics.. sit/down/stay/come. I know my training place requires those be taught prior to the "beginner" agility class. and they have "beginner obed" and that's all it its. Focus/heeling work is something seperate.
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