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Old 01-03-2010, 08:38 PM
SuZQuzie SuZQuzie is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 13
Default Introduction to Chaz and Agility

Hey there! I recently heard rave reviews about this forum and decided to join.

My name is Suzie and my boyfriend and I recently acquired a Boxer puppy named Tobi who has been an absolute joy. I have been involved in horses since 4 years of age and have loved having a connection with my horses since we must experience the training, the warm-ups, the exhaustion, the cool-downs, the triumphs and the failures together. My boyfriend has shown a huge interest in gaining that connection with Tobi through competitive obedience, rally-o, and, of course, agility.

Even though I'm not the one doing the competing, I'm just as excited as he is.

On Wednesday we are starting a Beginning Obedience training course at a dog school with a focus on agility.

Right now Tobi is 14.5 weeks old. What we were planning on doing was starting with obedience and rally-o in the ring before moving to agility. Not only would this give him time to mature mentally and physically, but it would also expose him to the whole "show" thing and teach him that its time to focus. Would that be a correct route? While I know what works for horses, I admit, I'm comparatively clueless for dogs!

Anything that we need to know?

In terms of athletic ability, what is there to look for?

He tracks straight and shows no pronations, but I suppose that can change with development.

In terms of conformational soundness, he has good stifle angulations, but is slightly toed up/cow hocked behind. Mostly straight in front save for being minutely toed out. He has a strong, straight topline. Anything else I should look for?

For heart, he is gutsy. My boyfriend and I have taken him with us when we have gone rockclimbing and he has no problem getting through areas that was tough for our 1.5 year old Boxer.

For horses, stretching and warm-up are critical to maintain soundness. I'm assuming that is true for dogs as well? What stretches/warm-ups are appropriate?

At what age should one introduce jumps? At what height? How quickly do we increase to full height? Do you ever train higher than full height?

In the horse world, it is fairly common to take leg x-rays of a horse destined for upper level competition before starting rigorous training to watch for changes over time. Is this true for dogs?

Anything else? Good readings?
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