Can older dogs start agility training/competitions? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Can older dogs start agility training/competitions?

Can older german shepherds, say 4-6 year olds start doing agility at their age? And can they take training classes, or is it too late. And if a german shepherd is very healthy, and gets daily exercise, what is the life span for a dog like that? I know my last question doesn't fit here...
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 08:34 PM
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Well having done agility with my german shepherds and my aussies, The aussie had more longevity when it came to agility..My aussie is 13 and still going strong.

All but one of my german shepherds have lived until 13 almost 14 years of age, which is not long enough in my opinion, but a good long life for a large breed dog.

It's never to late to take classes as far as I'm concerned, I don't think I'd start competitive agility with a 6 yr old dog unless it was REALLY good at it, was in excellent health joint wise..I would however, have no problem doing obedience with a dog that age.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Say she was 5, trained for a little less than a year, than started competitions, just shy from her 6th birthday, and did them for a few years? Also, how can I keep her alive longer. (if I get her) Like only healthy foods, daily exercise?? Anything else??? I want at least 7 years with her.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 10:13 PM
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Pimg was 5.5 years old when we started agility. We compete in CPE only, and she's 6 trials away from earning her C-ATCH. She will be 8+ years old when she earns it. I do plan on retiring her once she earns the title.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 10:14 PM
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I worked my GSD until he was 10. Did agility classes when he was 5. He had no issues. If you really really want to be competitive, then earlier is better. But if you are just looking for a way to bond, then any age is fine. Just don't ask too much.

Increasing a life span is not possible. You can't know what us going to happen to a dog health wise. You can stack things in your favour, keep the lean, well muscled, on a high quality food, daily excersise, joint supplements. But nothing will stop cancer and aging.

There is NO guarantee in regards to lifespan. None. Best we can do is give our dogs the best possible life while we have them. Get them out, do things we love together, bond and have a good time. When theirs, or our, time comes, then it does.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 10:23 PM
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I thought your mom said no?!?!?!?


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdsar View Post
Increasing a life span is not possible. You can't know what us going to happen to a dog health wise. You can stack things in your favour, keep the lean, well muscled, on a high quality food, daily excersise, joint supplements. But nothing will stop cancer and aging.
I couldn't agree with this more, especially the bolded part. If you have a GOOD instructor, they will tell you if your dog's overweight for agility or not. I always thought my large female looked pretty good at her 75 pound weight. But starting agility, my instructor told me straight away that she was too overweight for agility, that I really needed to get her weight down. She now is very consistent at 68 pounds. When I look back on old pictures, I can't believe how fat she looked! Sport dogs should be kept very lean. All the other things gsdsar mentioned are important as well.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildo View Post
Pimg was 5.5 years old when we started agility.
I didn't know that! Wow, that makes you guys even more impressive.

I'm going to start one of my dogs in pre-agility next term at our training club. I don't expect Pongu will ever get to a trial ring (he's super fearful and it's been an ordeal of almost a year just getting him to take ONE. STUPID. BAR. JUMP. in Rally), and Crookytail's a big clumsy lunkhead who'll probably make my head explode in practice, but I do want to give the sport a shot so I can decide whether it's something I might want to pursue with Imaginary Future Puppy.

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