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Old 10-05-2012, 10:33 AM
speedydogs's Avatar
speedydogs speedydogs is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ithaca, NY
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Default Suggestions for foundations class?

I'm teaching an agility foundations class for the local 4H club - I taught it last year too but my itinerary is not going to work for this group of kids. Last year the kids I taught were fairly mature and serious about practicing with their dogs. This year, for whatever reason, the group is much younger. There are only four dogs, but they are all quite challenging and need lots of one-on-one time. One very reactive and another is very soft. The other two dogs are fairly well-behaved but the kids are a challenge (one is autistic and the other is pretty disruptive). They all are still learning very basic obedience and none really have a solid stay, come, or heel.

I'm a bit at a loss for what to do with them. The dogs in my class last year all knew basic obedience, and the kids were older and more responsible. So with them I could do a more standard agility foundations class (starting with shaping, focus, building drive, start line stays, rear end awareness etc etc for several months before even touching the obstacles).

I know this year's class is really excited about starting agility - their eyes light up if I even pull a jump out. I feel like if I play it right, it could be a really good motivator for them - "If you want to do agility, you NEED to practice obedience at home!" or "Your dog NEEDS to know these things before we can start teaching obstacles!". But at the same time, they are pretty young kids and get bored easily. I would be so grateful if anyone has suggestions for simple but FUN exercises I can do with them. They need to get the basics down first but I'm going to lose their interest if I take things too slow.

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:38 AM
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adojrts adojrts is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Honestly I wouldn't change it, I would keep to my foundation class and understand that it was going to possibly take longer. Lots and lots of RZ and shadow handling, lots of room there for some interact games to keep them motivated.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:07 AM
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CaliTerp07 CaliTerp07 is offline
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Location: Alexandria, VA
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I agree with ado. Lots of focus work, lots of shaping. You don't need a heel to shape a wobble board, and lack of stays/comes can be avoided by doing on-leash shaping. Our standard foundations class is all done on leash, as rarely does a single dog have a reliable stay or come, especially in a new environment with new dogs.
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