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Old 08-02-2005, 10:26 AM
casablanca1 casablanca1 is offline
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Default Makeshift Agility

I've always wanted to try agility with my dog, but she's pretty dominant - not nasty, she wants to basically push other dogs around, not hurt them (though this is obviously unacceptable to some other dogs, which leads to WWIII) - so I'm hesitant to take her to agility classes. Therefore, I made us a little practice run in the yard - a ladder on its side, a hoe across two birdbath bases, a piece of wood across two chairs, etc. She's picked up the idea of "over" though she's less enthusiastic than I'd hoped. She will, however, do much for a liver treat. And we're working on 'through' with a tarp tunnel between two chairs. Any other suggestions for rough approximations of agility obstacles that don't require hammer, nails or any skill at assembly? Any suggestions welcome, actually.
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Old 08-02-2005, 11:37 AM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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It's amazing what a "classroom" situation does to a dog. Lyric has gotten a lot better, but he tends to lunge aggressively toward other dogs when we're on a leash walk and come near another dog. I've been working on this for a while now. HOWEVER, he's been in classes periodically and is now in agility. He behaves like the perfect gentleman in class unless another dog is allowed to sniff noses. That's too darn close, but regular going through the course or doing other things near them, he minds his own business. I don't know if it's his strong "work ethic" that Dobes tend to have, but I suspect it may hold true to some degree with lots of dogs. You could talk it over with your trainer. It's a good way to get your dog use to being around other dogs and learning to behave himself.

Have you already done an obedience group class? That would be a prerequisit.

There are sites on agility equipment you can do a search for. It is fun. I'd like to collect some more equipment or make some. I am using ridiculous things for jumps. LOL. I have some cement blocks which I stacked and laid an old broom handle across one, an oar for a boat across another and I am using a lounge chair for the 3rd. LOL. I do have weave poles and I have a 1x6 board and a pipe for a baby teeter totter since he fell off the teeter at school and is now afraid of it. So we're starting (literally) from the ground up. LOL. I lay a ladder down that he has to walk through. He still doesn't know where his hind legs are very well. Yeah...a wall would be nice. This stuff is so expensive. Maybe I can con my boyfriend into building me some stuff. LOL.

Good luck! It is really, really fun!

I think I better move this to the agility forum. You'll get a better response and maybe more help with equipment from people who are into agility.
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:57 PM
casablanca1 casablanca1 is offline
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I thought I'd hallucinated posting this question when I couldn't find it - then I finally noticed the Agility forum. Oops.

Hen and I have done obedience classes, she knows basic commands and she's very, very smart (works against us, she learns something so fast she just has more time to concentrate on the other dogs) and the kennel where we went for one has a basic agility class. We may just stick to our own program. I don't want to compete anyway, and this way it's more of an 'our time' thing, rather than a social time with other people and dogs. I'd kind of fallen into the habit of thinking I had to do everything formally, and I realized recently that this is really just playing with my dog. I think it's great that people can compete and do it formally, but for now I'm happy just messing around in the backyard.

since he fell off the teeter at school and is now afraid of it

Aw, poor boy. There's one of those enormously complicated jungle gyms at my town's park, and I sometimes sneak her over there early in the morning to have her on it before the kids come around. I still haven't convinced her to go down the slide, but she's gotten confident running across the swinging bridge. Thanks for reminding me of the teeter-totter, I was trying to think of the other obstacles. I couldn't get the ladder to work, she keeps banging her legs into the top end, where it narrows. I'm using it propped on its side, and opened slightly, as a broad jump. I set up a line of jumps (wood slats propped between chairs) this week, and it was such a thrill to see her popping over three jumps, one after another. This stuff is fun.
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