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Old 04-10-2014, 04:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 18 week beginning agility

Oskar graduated from obedience class last week. And he is now enrolled in an beginning agility class. He loves it! But i am thinking he will be about 100 lbs. is there anyone else with an OS GSD in agility? What have been your struggles? Do you think this type of work could put too much stress on his hips as he will be lugging around quite a bit of weight on them in the future?

So far we have taught him to put his muzzle on our hand when we say touch and introduced him to low jumps long tunnels and the a frame. He flys through it (happy puppy) I really want to do something with him and was a little wary of shutzhund because I dont want to do it improperly due to ignorance and mess up an otherwise sociable happy pup.


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Old 04-10-2014, 05:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No real experience there. Titan is 85 lbs and we are looking into agility.. but, what makes you think he will be that big? You can also keep him on the slimmer side, for joint purposes.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You keep him lean and fit, he'll do just fine. Won't run the course like a 45 pound Border Collie but that's fine.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No real experience there. Titan is 85 lbs and we are looking into agility.. but, what makes you think he will be that big? You can also keep him on the slimmer side, for joint purposes.

He is 50+ at 18 weeks all paws... His dad was about a 100 too. We will see we definitely plan on keeping him lean. He just seems to love it so I want to encourage it... I figure he might not be the most graceful dog but as long as its safe he might be the happiest

I just wasn't sure how good it would be for his joints. No signs of pano or a weird gait. He also doesn't mind being tossed around by other dogs when they play and he sleeps on his back feet up in the air so I suppose he isn't uncomfortable. I just worry after reading other people's stories about pano and bad hips etc



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Old 04-11-2014, 12:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just make sure to keep him in good condition. Many agility people are just "weekend warriors" who don't do much to keep their dog in shape. Good conditioning goes a long way towards a healthy agility career, especially for the big guys. One of mine is 90lbs.

18 weeks is pretty young to be doing much agility training anyway. At this age I'd be starting body awareness exercises if you haven't already. Perch work (teaching the dog to put his front feet on a bowl and rotate his back feet around it), walking through ladders on the ground, etc. And continue those exercises as your dog grows.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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At his size/age, there's no way to say how big he'll get. Frag was about that size at that age - he grew QUICK. Then stopped, right around 75/80lbs. His dad was 120 fwiw.

Patton is growing slowly and is still small, but I fully expect him to reach standard.

That said, there should be no harm - there are much larger dogs than GSDs that run agility just fine.

I would however, stop jumping him and doing contact work NOW or you WILL have joint problems. I would not jump a GSD even 4 inches until at least 8 months - and I would stay there until a year. Teach the standards, wraps, crosses on the flat, you can work on a 2o2o if you want with stairs or a plank. Work on engagement and DRIVE. Targeting, sends, and lots of tunnels/chutes. No weaves until at least a year old.

Patton is almost 6 months old - he can send to a tunnel pretty well, wrap the jump standards, cross with me, and keep up. He's been on a wobble board and walked across dog walk planks on the ground and gotten to be around all of the equipment.

But some of it is just not safe for growing puppies because of the impact it places on their little (ok, huge..) bodies.

eta - I'm not sure where you're taking classes, but if they are recommended this for an 18 week old GSD, I would find a new place. You aren't that far from me - I can recommend a trainer in the Grand Rapids area that I drive an hour for class with if you'd like, and I also know a trainer in the Okemos area that may be offering agility training soon...
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
eta - I'm not sure where you're taking classes, but if they are recommended this for an 18 week old GSD, I would find a new place. You aren't that far from me - I can recommend a trainer in the Grand Rapids area that I drive an hour for class with if you'd like, and I also know a trainer in the Okemos area that may be offering agility training soon...
That's not necessarily true. There are alot of age appropriate handler/flatwork 'agility' stuff you can do with a young puppy. As well as things like the tunnel/chute and the contact equipment if it's low and safe.

That said, if the classes are NOT being run by an instructor who knows what they are doing, and just having 'fun' classes then you should find someone else.


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Old 04-15-2014, 11:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieRoseLee View Post
That's not necessarily true. There are alot of age appropriate handler/flatwork 'agility' stuff you can do with a young puppy. As well as things like the tunnel/chute and the contact equipment if it's low and safe.
OP said that she was doing jumps and contacts with her 18 week old puppy. That is not ok for any GSD anywhere, as far as I am concerned.

I recommended appropriate flatwork and handling, but what she is already doing is not appropriate, IMHO.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I am new to all of this and just took the advice of my trainer. I did not realize I was putting him at risk although I must add I am not sure how you stop a puppy from jumping. He jumps higher than the bar (which is set prob around 2 or 3 inches 6 x a week) anytime he has the chance.

I am more interested in what you all are talking about and would love for you to pm me the information about the trainer in grand rapids. It seems due to my ignorance I have chose a trainer who is not starting us in the right place. I will be talking with her about this on Wednesday.

Honestly I have never seen some of the things you guys showed me in the video and are discussing. I just wanted to sign him up for "work" oriented class and trusted my trainer to know/explain everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
At his size/age, there's no way to say how big he'll get. Frag was about that size at that age - he grew QUICK. Then stopped, right around 75/80lbs. His dad was 120 fwiw.

Patton is growing slowly and is still small, but I fully expect him to reach standard.

That said, there should be no harm - there are much larger dogs than GSDs that run agility just fine.

I would however, stop jumping him and doing contact work NOW or you WILL have joint problems. I would not jump a GSD even 4 inches until at least 8 months - and I would stay there until a year. Teach the standards, wraps, crosses on the flat, you can work on a 2o2o if you want with stairs or a plank. Work on engagement and DRIVE. Targeting, sends, and lots of tunnels/chutes. No weaves until at least a year old.

Patton is almost 6 months old - he can send to a tunnel pretty well, wrap the jump standards, cross with me, and keep up. He's been on a wobble board and walked across dog walk planks on the ground and gotten to be around all of the equipment.

But some of it is just not safe for growing puppies because of the impact it places on their little (ok, huge..) bodies.

eta - I'm not sure where you're taking classes, but if they are recommended this for an 18 week old GSD, I would find a new place. You aren't that far from me - I can recommend a trainer in the Grand Rapids area that I drive an hour for class with if you'd like, and I also know a trainer in the Okemos area that may be offering agility training soon...
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
OP said that she was doing jumps and contacts with her 18 week old puppy. That is not ok for any GSD anywhere, as far as I am concerned.

I recommended appropriate flatwork and handling, but what she is already doing is not appropriate, IMHO.
I agree. At 18 weeks there are so many other things to be doing besides the equipment. Tunnels, maybe. Planks and starting end position, maybe. But even that stuff I wouldn't be in a hurry to do at that age. There is so much else to do with flat work, impulse control, body awareness, etc.
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