AGILITY; How much, is too much? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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AGILITY; How much, is too much?

Hello there,
So, I found a place for Bella and I to take our obedience classes. Finally! This place also trains dogs for agility. I really think it'd be something Bella would be good at, interested in, and love. She's got long legs, is fast, and has energy to burn. However, she is only 3 1/2 months old(16-17 weeks). I know her bones are not even near being fully developed, obviously. She just gets bored very easily, and isn't that interested in fetching, or other activities I've done so far. (When outside) All she wants to do is run, run, run!
I want to get a head start at home, getting her familiar with some of the obstacles. My question is, what should I do with her, and how much of it, being at the age she is? I don't want to risk anything with her or her health. I was thinking maybe training her on the some of the individual obstacles? Also, VERY low jumps? Is this a good idea, or not such a good idea?
How old do you start training for SCH? After we're really, really good at all the obedience, and agility, I think it's something we'd like to do. I know it won't be for a long time, just thinking ahead.

Devin-

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 12:43 AM
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Re: AGILITY; How much, is too much?

I would stick to low contact obstacles and tunnel type obstacles. Personally I would not do any jumps.
I would also suggest looking for a book or class about agility foundation training because if you are interested in actual agility competition there is a LOT of foundation work you can do that does not involve any actual obstacles.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: AGILITY; How much, is too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: ChicagocanineI would stick to low contact obstacles and tunnel type obstacles. Personally I would not do any jumps.
I would also suggest looking for a book or class about agility foundation training because if you are interested in actual agility competition there is a LOT of foundation work you can do that does not involve any actual obstacles.
That actually sounds a lot better. The whole jumps thing was making me nervous. Not that I've had an agility dog before, but I know what happens when you jump horses when they're too young. I don't know about wanting to compete yet, I guess we'll 'jump' that hurdle when we get there. J/K! It depends on Bella, if she loves it, and is good at it, we'll go for it. Can you recommend any books for the foundation work?

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 04:21 AM
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Re: AGILITY; How much, is too much?

If you are planning to do SCH I would join a SCH club because the OB for SCH is MUCH MUCH different than the basic/advanced pet OB. If you take pet OB classes to become "really good at all the obedience" it will more than likely make SCH training harder in the future. One example is most "pet" classes will put a lot of focus on not jumping up on people. When it comes time to train protection aspect of SCH it will take a LOT more to bring that back out and many times it cannot. That is just one example. You can learn the basic OB at a SCH club. So if you are planning on doing SCH I would commit to that route. The SCH club would be able to cover your OB wants/needs without squelching the drive that will be needed later for more advanced SCH training.

Am I trying to talk you out of doing agility? Absolutely not!! (MRL would kick my butt if were to try that). But if you want to do SCH and Agility I would join a SCH club (for the OB) and take puppy agility classes on the side. So when it comes down to learning the OB I would choose SCH now rather than later over pet OB classes. Granted there are some GOOD "pet" OB trainers that will work similar to how you would in SCH but for a newbie they would be harder to pick out.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 10:54 AM
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Re: AGILITY; How much, is too much?

Hi Devin... I have copied my response to the agility forum question about equipment for puppies. I do agility with my border collie and cant wait to see whether my GSD boy Rune really gets into the game. I look forward to hearing more about your agility progress!! Lysa

At the top of this are some links to do it your self equipment. I make most of my stuff.
http://www.dogplay.com/Activities/Ag...equipment.html
With a pup your age, there is SO much to do right now and not much equipment required. But two things you could build right now would be a tippy board or buja board which is great for balance and strengthening and some jump bumps from the large PVC drainage pipe cut in half to start teaching them to step/move over obstacles and get all the feet headed in the same direction The trend today is to delay focus on learning specific equipment until you have the basics or "groundwork/foundation" training. For health issues, avoid full height jump training and weaving until closer to a year old. Our GSDs have alot of body/legs to coordinate... so the more foundation work you do now the better advantage you will be when he is old enuf for classes. 3 videos for this age group I highly recommend are Crate Games by Susan Garrett - not about crate training but about games with the crate that build drive and self restraint that will be useful in all your training. Foundation Training for Agility by Moe Strenfel that just came out this year... which is a great value for the price and chock full of great exercises and skills that you can start on now. And you can work low jump/bumps soon with the Susan Garret "One Jump" video which is excellent. You can even rent some of these on line at SmartFlix. Check Clean Run book section under Foundation Skills and you will see quite a few offerings (the dvds are for sale there too)

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 03:29 PM
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Re: AGILITY; How much, is too much?

Quote:
Quote:I would also suggest looking for a book or class about agility foundation training because if you are interested in actual agility competition there is a LOT of foundation work you can do that does not involve any actual obstacles.
Couldn't have put that better myself. If you find a great instructor who really knows their puppy agility stuff, there are TONS of safe foundation things you can safely work on. Alot on equipment and alot off! Focus and attention should be key and that helps no matter what 'sport' you choose to continue with.

Quote:
Quote:Am I trying to talk you out of doing agility? Absolutely not!! (MRL would kick my butt if were to try that).
Too funny!!!!

And I'd have to agree that 'regular' obedience classes will probably have alot more affect in your later Schutzhund training then any agility will.

Course the reall problem will be you love agility so much you decide you'll never go back to that silly Schutzund stuff (JUST KIDDING!!!!! )

There are tons of good foundation agility DVD's out there that I think would easily work into any other positive and motivational training. The store at cleanrun.com has a ton of great foundation stuff.




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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 04:04 PM
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Re: AGILITY; How much, is too much?

@ MRL.


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