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Agility folks- check in here!

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  • Agility folks- check in here!

    From what I’ve seen there are lots of horse folks in this sport.

    What level do you train or compete?
    What state?
    What dog?
    Training problems you are currently conquering?

    I’ll start! I am training at foundations level in agility (and novice in obedience) in northern Virginia with a Papillon. We are trying to conquer his fear of …almost everything .

    Mods- thank you! Earlier this month I attended the AKC national agility championships with a fellow COTHer. This forum really is related to horsefolk and horsey needs. We wouldn’t be doing agility if we hadn’t started in eventing. (And we spent most of the two-hour car ride talking horse.)

  • #2
    I have an 8month old border collie mix pup that I would really like to get into agility with, but I don't know where to start! She's very smart and likes having a job so I thought it might be a good energy outlet, while letting her focus on something. I haven't heard of any clubs or classes in my area, (near Sacramento, CA).....Any advice on where to lookor what to start with at home?

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    • #3
      Baby corgi is in training. I hope to see her in Novice Jumpers with Weaves this year--her bugaboo is the teeter. We're working on that. Her mother is in Open. She's working on her send-outs. Iris and I are trialing in Rhode Island this weekend. This will likely be her last outing before she comes into heat and is bred.

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      • #4
        [QUOTE=Bicoastal;5560176]From what I’ve seen there are lots of horse folks in this sport.

        What level do you train or compete? Do not compete, started training agility last year in the fall. This spring started 3rd 6 week long class. it will be a loooong time before I ever compete. I've never done agility before this dog...

        What state? Virginia

        What dog? 2yo Standard Schnauzer

        Training problems you are currently conquering? Contact points, mellowing down and focus. Last class she launched herself full throttle from the top of the A frame, wiped out onto her shoulder, then jumped up and jumped all over the teacher. Happily did the a frame better the next time. She is ballistic nuts for agility, has No Fear at all. She is an agility junkie. I spent the entire fall session trying to calm her down. I couldn't send her to any of the equipment with ANY entheusisim. But now that we've had a couple hotter days (80's) I find that I have a totally different dog and I actually have to rev her up. Or else she's distracted.

        I'd like to add that the trainer is all positive reinforcement techniques. Love it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Marshfield View Post
          Baby corgi is in training. I hope to see her in Novice Jumpers with Weaves this year--her bugaboo is the teeter. We're working on that. Her mother is in Open. She's working on her send-outs. Iris and I are trialing in Rhode Island this weekend. This will likely be her last outing before she comes into heat and is bred.
          Oh wow, I was thinking of going and watching some of my class mates in Smithfield. I will keep an eye out for you if I make it.

          I have a Standard Poodle that is getting close to starting at Novice (another eventer here). I need to find the time to try him a different venues before actually going to a trial, but it has been great for building his confidence. His younger house-mate (another Standard Poodle) just attended his first agility class with my husband this week!

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          • #6
            I have a 12 mo old aussie that is really good in agility. We will compete at sometime but for now we are still training. she loves the A frame tunnels and the tire. Our weave poles are coming along pretty well. she is nervous on the dogwalk but we are working on it carefully. I love agilaity it is so much fun.

            it is amazing to me how hard it is to learn all the body language and the different crosses. I have brain emptiness when it comes to front crosses and all the others. It is a process and at sometime we will attempt competing.Right now we do privates once a week.

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            • #7
              IFG I know where the N.Smithfield training center is. I was down the street all winter with my horses. maybe we will meet in the fall when my pup is 18 mo old.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ride On View Post
                IFG I know where the N.Smithfield training center is. I was down the street all winter with my horses. maybe we will meet in the fall when my pup is 18 mo old.
                I actually train in Taunton. There is an agility meet in Smithfield this week-end, so I assumed that is the one that Marshfield is attending. Where do you train with your dog?

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                • #9
                  I train at Masterpeace in Franklin, Mike Masters is my trainer. it is a lot of fun and a blast. I am doing an obedience class for 6 weeks along with my private and then go back to agility classes and one private.

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                  • #10
                    Welcome to agility. Very much like training horses only harder!

                    Bicoastal asked for credentials. My JRT is running at the Masters level in USDAA and Excellence B in AKC. The Border Collie is running Advanced in USDAA and Open in AKC. I am also an instructor for one of the local Agility Schools.

                    Indy, go to the USDAA web site and do a search for clubs in your area. If you can't figure out the web site, email the office and I'm sure Brenna or someone else would be happy to point you in the right direction. Most local clubs run and train for both of these venues. There are other options but USDAA and AKC are probably the main governing bodies in the sport. I'm suggesting that you contact USDAA as they only do agility. With the AKC, being a much larger organization, your request might get lower priority.

                    I'd advise anyone looking for a dog trainer to do exactly the same thing I'd do looking for a horse trainer! Visit, observe, listen! How do they treat not only the dogs but also the handlers. Is it organized? Productive? Is everyone having fun? (remember we do this for fun!)

                    Go to a local agility show. See which clubs are doing well. This isn't always as easy to spot as at a horse show. Instructors aren't as obvious. Many people in an agility club or school wear something identifying their club affiliation.

                    Feel free to PM me on how to get started at home.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ride On View Post
                      I train at Masterpeace in Franklin, Mike Masters is my trainer. it is a lot of fun and a blast. I am doing an obedience class for 6 weeks along with my private and then go back to agility classes and one private.
                      That is where we did puppy class! I really liked them , but the drive was just too far. I train at Performance Plus now. They are closer and also very good.

                      Maybe when we both venture into the fray, we will meet up at a trial. I will be on the other end of the happily bounding, out of control, white standard poodle (who may or may not get on the teeter).

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                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Bicoastal;5560176]From what I’ve seen there are lots of horse folks in this sport.

                        What level do you train or compete? Baby agility
                        What state? NY
                        What dog? Border collie/hound mix
                        Training problems you are currently conquering? He shuts down and gets very stressed. I spent a few months taking a class, then spent the summer making it fun at home. I'm going to start classes again, but I might take them somewhere else where he can get more one-on-one attention.
                        .

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                        • #13
                          My horse trainer flys all over the country giving jumping clinics to agility dogs. She has three or four DVDs out now. She has two JRTs.

                          Indy - we are in Woodland, near Davis. There are tons of agility clubs around Sacramento, it should be easy to find... try Placer Dog http://www.facebook.com/?sk=lf#!/pag...31442330250705 , Haute Dawgs www.hautedawgs.org , and TRACS http://www.agiltracs.org . Try asking at your local pet store, or your vet. There was a trial in Dixon two weeks ago. There's a small trial south of Sacramento this weekend and a big one in Prunedale.

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                          • #14
                            I have 2 young boston terriers that are competing in both AKC and USDAA but mainly USDAA. Hopefully both will move out of starters in the next 2 weeks. They are fabulous little girls and very bold.

                            Our biggest training issue currently is trying to curb some of Fenway's attitude while running and trying to get Abby more comfortable with the ring crew. She's always like "Oh my gosh Mom did you see that person there??"

                            I also have a young aussie that will start competing next year.

                            If you see a girl with short hair and a pack of Boston Terriers (and an oddball red aussie) at any of the New England trials, come say hi!!

                            I dare say I am more into dogs now than I am into horses. It is a much easier habit to support while in vet school. Dogs are so much more portable.
                            If riding were all blue ribbons and bright lights, I would have quit long ago.
                            ~George Morris

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                            • #15
                              I have a mixed breed that I am competing with in GA. We are still at the novice level - due to first time handler issues( me) and spastic dog issues( him). But we are starting to get the Q's and still having fun! We do Novice level in USDAA, NADAC and ASCA.

                              Part of our issue here in GA is that there just aren't that many shows. We get about 4 shows in - between Feb and May - then we quit for the summer and start up again in Sept. Not much of a chance to get a lot of Q's and titles

                              We are working on focus and not targeting contacts - he gets a little fast and jumps off the A Frame if he's not focused enough.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by DarkenStormy View Post
                                I have a mixed breed that I am competing with in GA. We are still at the novice level - due to first time handler issues( me) and spastic dog issues( him). But we are starting to get the Q's and still having fun! We do Novice level in USDAA, NADAC and ASCA.

                                Part of our issue here in GA is that there just aren't that many shows. We get about 4 shows in - between Feb and May - then we quit for the summer and start up again in Sept. Not much of a chance to get a lot of Q's and titles

                                We are working on focus and not targeting contacts - he gets a little fast and jumps off the A Frame if he's not focused enough.
                                Interesting. It seems as though my teacher (who has nationally ranked Airedales) competes nearly every week-end in the MA area.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Love this sport!!! I have a 2 1/2 year old Aussie male who is awsome! We finished our Novice Standard(AKC) title in 2 shows and need 1 more Q for our Novice Jumpers title. Have a great trainer who runs a very fast Teurv so she is very helpful in how to run a fast dog.
                                  I too come from a Eventing background as well as H/J in which I instruct. As I mentioned in another post-doing agility has helped with my really seeing things from the animals point of view. Plus when I walk an agility course the horse background has enabled me to see the lines better.
                                  Right now Murphy and I are schooling finding his way to weaves from difflicult entries and still working on front crosses(anyone with a fast dog can feel my pain on that one). Our only real issue (other than this is my first dog and I miss things) is dealing with the "boy dog" work ethic of going off task to "sniff" even though he is neutered.
                                  My first show with him was a NADAC show which was a very low key way to get our feet wet. USDAA and AKC are harder IMO and not as forgiving. In NADAC if the dog(or handler which is usually the case) has an issue they will let you put your hand up and state "schooling now" and work it out (within reason). I 've heard that CPE is very low-key as well.
                                  Being in FLA we have the same problems with shows backing off during the hot summer months as well unless they are indoors. But we are going to the Perry GA. AKC show in July which is indoors and air condtioned.
                                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."-Hunter S. Thompson

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    So many great responses

                                    Originally posted by paintsrgreat View Post
                                    Feel free to PM me on how to get started at home.
                                    Hey paintsrgreat! May I take you up on your offer? If you don't mind, I'd love to have your advice/suggestions for a good foundation publicly for all to benefit from.

                                    I acquired an adult dog so I have worked on developing a relationship and trust. We are pointed at novice ob by the end of 2011.

                                    I have been trying to lay an agility foundation at home: running with me on both sides, targeting, distance handling (NOT so successful), wobble board, and right now I'm trying to think of ways to get him to work his hind feet independently. I have a small dog and have been told hind awareness is less critical for the compact lil dudes.

                                    We will begin an intro level agility glass at the end of May. Unfortunately my local training center does not offer foundation classes and a great center in Leesburg does not offer a class schedule I can commute to after work.

                                    Please share your advice for getting started in agility at home!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I had been doing JRT trials on and off for a couple of years, then decided that racing and lure coursing at the trials was not enough, and agility was so much fun! My 6yo terrier and I have been working very hard this winter and she got her first Q and win at her first USDAA show last month.

                                      It is addicting, not as expensive as eventing, not as scary as eventing, but you still have to get up just as early in the morning! And you know how after every clear cross country round with your horse, you'd relive the course a thousand times on the drive home? Well, you can still do that with agility!!

                                      Toting a 13 lb. JRT around is so much fun--she has always been a very intense dog, and is really enjoying her lessons and the shows. We are showing on Easter in her first AKC show, and I have been trying to do as much as I can with her, as well as going back to all the JRT trials this summer. We have two more AKC shows scheduled between now and June, and I hope to just keep on going!
                                      Turning For Home, Inc.
                                      Philadelphia Park Racehorse Retirement Program
                                      www.patha.org
                                      turningforhome@patha.org

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        IFG

                                        I wish we had more trials in our area. Part of it is, that I don't travel out of state ( yet), but if I did go to AL or TN I would probably have more choices. But until my dog can get more consistent I can't see spending the cash on hotels and such.

                                        We don't have any indoor show facilities here ( unless you are doing teacup - TDAA) and so we have to halt everything in the summer bc of the heat. There is an ASCA show 4th of July weekend, and I will probably go to one day of that, fan and plenty of ice in hand!

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