Age to start obstacle training? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Age to start obstacle training?

I live in a small town and I recently discovered a small dog obstacle course in the public area (presumably built mainly for the police dogs) as well as a separate police obstacle course for the humans.

I know I could use the dog one and I'm pretty sure I could use some of the police human one. I wouldn't use their Aframe without permission but I can't see it being an issue with the hurdles.

Anyways whether I can or can't use something isn't the point.

It got me wondering what a proper age is to start on the obstacles, so I figured I'd ask y'all.

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 01:30 AM
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I have seen breeders whelping Malinois puppies and had them doing obstacles before they were 3 weeks old.

You will walk when it is time to walk
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Nobody's got any opinions on this at all?

It's adult size obstacles, what 3 week old Mal pups do isn't very relevant.

"German Shepherds are cool dogs... You're welcome" - Memoirs of Cpt Stephanitz 1933

You see, a Malinois’ love is very different from that of a square - Prof. Adolph Reul

Millicent Mae WLGSD 4/27/17 &
Grendel KNPV Malinois 2/15/18
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:34 AM
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This is probably not as specific as you are looking for, but, as puppies/pre weaning even, having little obstacles, tires, footing changes, small (small!) height changes etc is great to aid in the dogs confidence and drive to explore. A frames and the like I personally see no problem with working with at around 12wks of age (assuming you bought the puppy and brought it home at 8wks and allowing for bonding etc). Jumping of course could be problematic, but tunnels, weave pools (which at that age has no 'weaving' but they learn the pattern) etc can be introduced and kept short, sweet, and fun, especially if working with a wee one... Just my thoughts
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hineni7 View Post
This is probably not as specific as you are looking for, but, as puppies/pre weaning even, having little obstacles, tires, footing changes, small (small!) height changes etc is great to aid in the dogs confidence and drive to explore. A frames and the like I personally see no problem with working with at around 12wks of age (assuming you bought the puppy and brought it home at 8wks and allowing for bonding etc). Jumping of course could be problematic, but tunnels, weave pools (which at that age has no 'weaving' but they learn the pattern) etc can be introduced and kept short, sweet, and fun, especially if working with a wee one... Just my thoughts
No it's helpful! But I think the bolded portion would probably be my real question, I don't want to hurt her joints.

I'm a little leary of letting her do something because she can, but maybe before she should

"German Shepherds are cool dogs... You're welcome" - Memoirs of Cpt Stephanitz 1933

You see, a Malinois’ love is very different from that of a square - Prof. Adolph Reul

Millicent Mae WLGSD 4/27/17 &
Grendel KNPV Malinois 2/15/18
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:52 AM
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How old is she?

I know some who begin jumping activities as early as 6mos (actually I've seen earlier) for formal jump training, however, I personally don't subscribe to that thought as my dogs are partners and friends. No matter how much I want to pursue whatever activity I want them around and healthy for a long long time. Jumping over things though is a very natural thing for dogs (in nature) and they are usually extremely athletic so waiting until bone growth/joints have closed/stopped and muscle strength and stamina have developed for such strenuous activities (people often don't recognize the signs of fatigue in the dog because the dog is having fun (as is the human) and they can have them injure themselves in play/practice by overdoing) is advisable.

All that being said, if you are just trying to teach the pattern and not necessarily the height (3ft or higher) you can set low 'jumps' that the dog can basically glide over to 'set' the pattern in...
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 12:20 PM
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Nobody's got any opinions on this at all?

It's adult size obstacles, what 3 week old Mal pups do isn't very relevant.
I'm sorry I didn't realize you needed things spelled out for you. If the dog is old enough to be away from the mother you can start whenever. If the dog is super young start with smaller obstacles that won't be dangerous and move on from there.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sorry I didn't realize you needed things spelled out for you. If the dog is old enough to be away from the mother you can start whenever. If the dog is super young start with smaller obstacles that won't be dangerous and move on from there.
ROFL

I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time understanding simple concepts. I have adult size obstacles available, what age would you say I could use them safely?

Is that simple enough for you or do I need to only use words with two syllables or less.

"German Shepherds are cool dogs... You're welcome" - Memoirs of Cpt Stephanitz 1933

You see, a Malinois’ love is very different from that of a square - Prof. Adolph Reul

Millicent Mae WLGSD 4/27/17 &
Grendel KNPV Malinois 2/15/18
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 12:44 PM
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Obstacles meaning things she can climb up or down, go through, explore, whatever her size safely allows is good. Obstacles meaning jumping like hurdles and a frames, things like that, closer to 15mos for the most part, but some low jumping like a low hurdle sparingly, a year or so.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 12:45 PM
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12 months. Puppies should not do height jumping as it is too hard on their joints. You could start earlier but for structural reason, I always wait to walk or run long distances and for jumping or other strenuous activities until they are 1 year old. You can do foundation work until then.
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