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Old 12-16-2012, 02:26 AM
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Default Agility Foundations

When is a good time to start foundations for agility?

I've still yet to decide on a facility to go to and Talon is still way too young, working on basics still. But when is a good time to start a foundations class?

Are there things I can work on that isn't your basic dog behavior (sit, down, stay, leave it, etc) to make it an easier transition?

I was thinking of perch work or getting a wobbly ball to work on his balance. His puppy socialization class has introduced him briefly to tunnels, the stay table, and boards (on the ground, with different textures to each). He did great with all of them, but then they had a "wobbly board" and he wouldn't have anything to do with that one lol

So yeah, just thought I'd see if there was anything specific I should work on to help him along?
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:02 AM
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Rear end awareness (perch work, walking over poles etc)
Hand targetting with nose
Teaching a dog to be operant - shape a lot with teh clciker to teach them to think

Most of all - lots of play. Tug is ideal and practice this in as many environments around as many distractions as possible. Starting day 1 being the most interesting thing will save you a lot of hassle later.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:55 PM
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A couple of levels of basic OB is a bonus, then into a puppy performance class which is a great just before an agility foundations class. By the time you do that, your pup would be old enough for a foundations class.
When to start a foundations class with a puppy completely depends on the breed, body style and size of your pup. General rule of thumb is half the height between the elbow and the ground for max jump height with an older pup (close to a year) but the heavier a breed/dog is or the younger they are, the lower that height goes.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:48 AM
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There's a ton of stuff you can be working on now!

Wobble boards, clickering fun random stuff, hind end awareness, wrapping objects, flatwork, stays, toy-drive, driving to a target, mat work, etc.

Zinga is 8 months and now we have finally started the more serious stuff. She's working on her 2o2o behavior, sequencing jumps, the difference between "Go!" and wrapping (aka acceleration/deceleration), bang game and a whole bunch of other fun stuff.

It all builds together, so I guess moral of the story is that there is no right age to start foundations as you can/should be doing foundation stuff from puppyhood.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:26 AM
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I just finished a Foundation Agility class with Lucy, my Shih Tzu x Maltese. She had one session of Obedience training before I started and I did a lot of work with her at home. I had a square of plywood and just put different objects underneath it so it would wiggle when she stepped on it, starting really low and gradually increasing the movement.

We used clicker training in the Agility class, something I had not done before and it really worked well. She has a really solid 2o2o. We are starting our second session on Jan. 5th. She is just one year old so we have not done the weaves yet, just running the channel with her and very low jumps and not many of them. She does all the other equipment.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:59 AM
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Good post Sara, I pulled Quinn from anything agility relate to work on building her toy drive around distractions. She's now very drivey for the tug (although her movement reactivity isn't gone yet) and I'm just now reintroducing her foundations from the beginning.
We've been working more on circle work than anything else and trying to build a stand stay again.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:09 AM
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Sorry, I forgot I made this thread.

Thanks everyone, great advice! We've since started back end awareness and stronger stays. We suck at stays >_< so we are working hard on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraB View Post
There's a ton of stuff you can be working on now!

Wobble boards, clickering fun random stuff, hind end awareness, wrapping objects, flatwork, stays, toy-drive, driving to a target, mat work, etc.

Zinga is 8 months and now we have finally started the more serious stuff. She's working on her 2o2o behavior, sequencing jumps, the difference between "Go!" and wrapping (aka acceleration/deceleration), bang game and a whole bunch of other fun stuff.

It all builds together, so I guess moral of the story is that there is no right age to start foundations as you can/should be doing foundation stuff from puppyhood.
We've already started hind end awareness, mat work, nose touches, stays. What is wrapping objects, flatwork, and driving to a target? I'm going to start wobble board soon. Too much stuff going on with the move to do it now.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babyblue5290 View Post
We've already started hind end awareness, mat work, nose touches, stays. What is wrapping objects, flatwork, and driving to a target? I'm going to start wobble board soon. Too much stuff going on with the move to do it now.
Wrapping objects is going around something, like a pole, very tightly - and knowing left and right around it (later to be used on a jump stanchion and then a jump). Flatwork is handling without obstacles/jumps. Driving to a target is speed to a pre-loaded obstacle. Putting speed going away from you, this is notoriously hard for herding breeds and something that is fun to start young.

I highly recommend Silvia Trkman's online class - we are WAY behind in that I didn't get to post videos in each session, but I am continuing to work on each behavior anyway. She leaves the courses open.

Something I am working really hard on Limit is playing when we are "other" places. No pressure, just practicing until he gets more and more relaxed and can play in stimulating environments. We brought him to an agility trial and he was totally distracted and could not tug - which was fine, I used food to help him focus when I wanted him to. But, we tugged in the parking lot. The next step is getting him to tug inside. He is super motion sensitive so I want to give him a solid foundation before asking him to perform with *gasp* other dogs moving he's a goob, but pretty much what to expect out of a herding dog.
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