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Old 03-13-2015, 03:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Letting Kids Train and Compete

How old do you think a kid should be before training/competing (Rally) using a gsd as their dog? Assuming small classes, 5-6 dogs and strictly controlled and problem dogs are weeded out prior to classes starting. Sorry so vague, ive got a short lunch.
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Old 03-13-2015, 03:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I currently have a ten year old girl in my basic obedience class. She is not ready for competition, but is doing well. I think it really depends on the child and their individual maturity level. Having parents that are willing to listen in class and step up to help is very beneficial.
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Old 03-13-2015, 04:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I got my first dog when I turned 12, and my mom had me do obedience classes with him. She came too, with our other dog (who was well trained and basically "audited" the class). I've heard of lots of other kids starting younger than that. I think, as long as the kid is interested and an adult is willing to come along (you never know if the dogs are going to get out of hand), then it shouldn't really matter how old the child is. Well, okay, not an infant, but say 8 or up?
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Old 03-13-2015, 04:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've been showing conformation since I was 6 years old.
My daughter who is 10 comes every week to our obedience classes and is very active in training... Is she ready to go in and compete.. No.... But I think if I had started involving her more younger she would be more than ready now.

I agree that it has a lot to do with how mature the child is, and how well they listen and accept directions.
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Old 03-13-2015, 04:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I also think it has given my daughter a lot of confidence being so involved in training etc.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks, these posts are encouraging. Our daughter is 10, will be 11 this summer. She comes to my classes and enjoys learning, listening, and helping others. Some members will have her hold their smaller dogs while they walk the course and other things like that.

She was told she could compete @ age 12 and has been amped about it for the last few months. We have 4 gsds, no small dogs and our daughter is small, maybe 55ish lbs. We would def be involved and if we go through with this, she'd use Tuke, a 4.5 yr old gsd, she has a good OB foundation already and does well with DD, shes a pretty relaxed dog.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
Thanks, these posts are encouraging. Our daughter is 10, will be 11 this summer. She comes to my classes and enjoys learning, listening, and helping others. Some members will have her hold their smaller dogs while they walk the course and other things like that.

She was told she could compete @ age 12 and has been amped about it for the last few months. We have 4 gsds, no small dogs and our daughter is small, maybe 55ish lbs. We would def be involved and if we go through with this, she'd use Tuke, a 4.5 yr old gsd, she has a good OB foundation already and does well with DD, shes a pretty relaxed dog.



She will do great
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I will comment here a bit out the box since I have never competed in dog sports.


I think young children who compete need different goals.. Basically to have fun.. Maybe compete without a judges score.. (a different scoring system to the adults maybe)

I really think it's a wonderful thing to have a kid involved in any sport... And if she really enjoys it that is great.. Why not take part..

Has a lot to do with expectations... Mentorship..

Now I'm sure some young kids could achieve against adults I guess...
But goals should be different..

It is a wonderful thing to be involved in.
But sensitivity to age is important..

Would be wonderful if there was a kids division
Or even a non-scorring division...

I guess some might not call that "competing"... But you still get the feel.

I have seen kids competing having so much fun...
Then I have also seen little kids wrestling... Parents going Red in the face screaming... Kids fighting like demons possessed to the point of tears, and never giving up.. Not nice at all...
I have seen rugby parents swearing at each other, and almost coming to blows about their kids competing... And telling the young ones to rip into each other...
And then you see completely different competitions, that are wonderful experiences.

Hyper-competitiveness is not good at a young age... But if they can have fun and enjoy it... Why not...
Needs a carefully parent and mentor.

A terrible score might not be very good for a kid just starting out at a young age.. Esp if judged by 'adult' standards.

Last edited by Lykoz; 03-13-2015 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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look for a 4H club for her. Younger kids than her are training.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have an 8 year old in my intermediate agility classes, who could easily by competing if they desired. I have a 10 ish year old in my advanced agility class competing in 4h with his dog. His twin sisters come to class and they're no more than 3 or 4 and they both run him as well with minimal handicaps. I have kids as young as 5 or 6 in some of my obedience classes.

My answer? Competing in something like rally I wouldn't expect a child less than 6 to be mentally prepared for... If they were very into it and mature.

Lots of kids compete in disc and do better than many adults, for what it's worth! Haha.
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