Tips On Training The Agility Dog


Slick owned and trained by Lynn Tamms

Here's a tip for working on weaves indoors with our smaller dogs.  Use plungers, like plumbers use to clean out toilets.  You can stick them to the floor, but you really don't have to.  The bases are broad enough to support the handle.  I have 8 of them lined up in my living room right now.  My non-dog friends just roll their eyes.  I also used a 10 ft., 12 inch wide board as a ramp up my dining room chair to get my dogs used to the up and down ramp and to teach them to stop at the bottom of the down. 
You can get started on agility in your own back yard. Just get a good (and recent) book on agility and a copy of the rules and regulations for your country - watching video tapes on agility training will give you confidence - don't worry that you may not be able to build all the equipment but you will be able to put together a small course and improvise with the equipment you can't build - just make sure everything you use or make is sturdy. This is where the rules are important because heights and spacing is covered there.  Remember your dog has to be over 12 months old to jump and should be trained in a webbing collar (not a choke chain) as to start you will need to train on lead to get your dog to approach the obstacles correctly and with confidence.  You can start with as little as 2 or 3 obstacles as getting from obstacle to obstacle is all part of the training (for you and the dog!!!!!) you'll need to learn the commands to "send" your dog to each obstacle - it'll be better for you to get those from a US lister as ours might differ here. We're in training for agility competition this year - the dogs are on target but the handlers are struggling!!!! I'd forgotten that these beautiful compliant usually obedient little guys so neat and controllable in the show ring can run like the clappers in the ability ring and take some keeping up with!!!
Karin Maxwell