• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Dipping our toes in the agility waters... how to get ready?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dipping our toes in the agility waters... how to get ready?

    So the crazy BC-mix girlie and I are signed up to take an introduction to agility course starting next month. The course has very litte work on (teeny-weeny) obstacles, it's mainly focused on handling skills. CrazyDog has some decent obedience work down (she'll be taking her CGC test shortly before the agility class starts) - but I'd like to start working with her on some things that will help her be a happy agility partner.

    What sorts of things can I do with her at home to work towards this? We've got a plethora of playground equipment in the backyard and we've already had fun playing with that, just to get the idea of different things under her feet and being asked to do "weird" stuff. She'll happily climb the plastic toddler slide and slide down on her butt, jump over a plastic kiddie pool, "tunnel" under the little arch of the kids' plastic playhouse... but I'm sure there are more formal things I could be working with her on to get her brain thinking in the right direction!


  • #2
    Congratulations! Bet you two are going to have lots of fun. Sounds like you're actually already well prepared.

    Things to do with her:

    Make sure she has a solid recall.

    You could practice working her on both sides - in other words, walking on your left side and your right side since Agility dogs work on both sides. So get her comfortable moving on both sides of you, and also on switching sides, so that you can walk along with her on your left, you do an about face turning towards her and she's now on your right and you keep going. And vice versa. Usually the handlers need the footwork practice more than the dogs (lol).

    Another thing taught in some Foundation classes is targeting. For instance, you can use a plastic lid from a butter tub or dog food can cover. If you use a clicker, click when she touches the target (you can put a little treat on it first if you want, though often dogs will see something on the ground and go right to it to sniff it), gradually increasing the distance from you to the target.

    Getting back in place in heel position on your left and your right. Dogs aren't heeling in Agility, of course, but it's nice to have them take their place in training. You can say "heel" which means heel position on my left side, and "place" or whatever word you choose, means take the heel position but on my right side.

    Really, though, I wouldn't worry too much, since you don't want her to have to unlearn things if your instructor does things differently. You can go in to class with a clean slate.

    Have fun!


    • Original Poster

      Thank you! We've started some work on "touch" and targeting - I have a "poor man's target" of some bright pink duct tape on the end of an old dressage whip, lol.


      • #4
        the most important thing about agility is focus and does the dog WANT to run around and play with you even in the face of distractions? work on teaching the dog many silly tricks, and getting the dog to want to play fetch, tug, and fast-running-heel-work with you (both sides), and a good recall and a good send away. The playground equipment is an awesome idea too but you've already got that covered.
        Teaching the actual obstacles to the dog is actually the easiest part of agility. What most people struggle with is the weave poles, the contact behavior, and their own awful handling skills.
        You could start now teaching your contact behavior- first you'll want to select the one you want to use, but most start out by teaching the dog a targeting behavior of some kind- either a nose target or a foot target- and use a simple board on the ground plus the target to get the dog to reliably perform the contact behavior. So you could use a mouse pad as a foot-target and teach the dog to run and smoothly step on the mouse pad in stride, very useful for both sending work and for teaching a running contact behavior. Most of the stopped contacts you teach the dog to run to a target like a plastic container lid and stop and touch it with its nose and wait at the target until released.
        you could also start teaching the dog rights-lefts, which is a very useful skill. I use trees to teach this. It also teaches a send- you send the dog out and around the tree, either to the right or left on your verbal command, and throw a toy as a reward.
        And a good stay is always useful.


        • #5
          Now is a good time to work on your sit stay and down stay


          • #6
            Originally posted by Anne FS View Post
            Make sure she has a solid recall.

            Really, though, I wouldn't worry too much, since you don't want her to have to unlearn things...Have fun!
            This! I have heard it takes a year of preparation before you are ready to compete -and that was for Obedience.

            Enjoy your class, do the homework the instructor gives you, and build/buy equipment as the instructor suggests for homework tailored to you and your pup.

            Slow and steady wins the race, just like horses.


            • #7
              Is there a class running now? Auditing one or two of them may give you some direction for what would be good to work on prior to starting.

              For me and my classes--I took two with my dog, one was really basic, the other was a more serious foundation class--having really strong targeting would have really put us ahead. Both trainers used plastic lids and wanted the dogs looking for the target and driving strongly (running! eager!!) to the target.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Anne FS View Post

                Make sure she has a solid recall.

                Have fun!
                Most definitely work on your recall.

                Other things that worked well for my dogs for the tunnel is letting them tunnel under my bed covers. Create a wide set of weave poles with mesh for your dog to go in and out of the house if feasible.

                I found some great sites to make your own PVC equipment.
                \"You have two choices when a defining moment comes along - you can either define the moment, or let the moment define you.\" Tin Cup


                • #9
                  I third the targeting. Years ago I was very fortunate to have classes with Tracy Sklenar when she first opened her training business. The target command was very handy on the yellow zone of obstacles.

                  Down from a distance is handy too.