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He did awesome. I fully expected him to be skittish about the equipt. and nervous about going on/through/over things, but he loved every minute of it! I used the clicker/treats/and praise as lavish rewards, no corrections at all, and before long he was flying through the tunnel, walking over the catwalk (I don't know what regulation is, this one is set low maybe 4 feet off the ground at best).

This is not a trial training class, it's a yearly club membership and they set the equipt up and you work your own dog. I plan to, perhaps, in the future take classes at another facility if I decide to do this as anything more than something fun and courage building (for Dante) every week. For a puppy who had very weak nerves, it's amazing what positive reinforcement and regular training will do for that! I kept the jumping very much to a mimimum because he's only 6 mo, and I of course didn't introduce speed into anything, focusing more on his confidence and touching contacts, etc. I did send him through the tire jump and over a few of the low pole jumps, and they didn't phase him at all. The A-frame is low, so the first several times I set smal treats on each of the foot holds (?) and he'd take a step, click and he'd get his treat.

He flew through the tunnel! I thought for sure it would scare him, but not a bit!

What are the best books, videos, etc for self teaching? This facility does NOT advertise they will help you train a dog for trial, it's strictly a fun class and they're very clear about that. I asked if I could use a clicker and they said no problem, people pretty much did their own thing. So even though I was the only one using a clicker, Dante responds very well to it so I'll keep at it. People were very kind and friendly and there were some great dogs there.
 

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Way to go Dante! And you too, obviously you are doing a fantastic job with him. The clicker really does seem like magic, doesn't it?

We are going to build some agility equipment here at home and would also be really interested in finding out some good books on self-training...
 

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way to go!!!!!
 

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Good boy Dante!!! What an improvement!!! Must have been great to seem him so happy to take on and overcome so many new challenges!
 

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yeah great job !!! Check out www.cleanrun.com for all kinds of agility books
 

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Just to get a feel for the click/treat and some general tips.... you may want to watch some of Glory and my beginner classes. I had them taped for ME to review when training, so I have alot of the instructor talking so you can hear the 'why' behind what we should be doing. I didn't start taping until we were in class for a few months.... but I started with her at about 9 weeks so it was really puppy puppy stuff.

The videos start up when she's 5 months old, so closer in age to your dog. The only thing I didn't show that is really important (if you can get it going) is any tugging and toy drive you can work into your sessions in class.


I think you are on the right track to look for a really good facility to end up going to. Makes a big difference in not having to re-train some stuff :) .

I personally have found that generally agility people don't train 'how to jump' to our dogs because we know they can jump, right? On the bed? On the sofa? Into the car? What we don't realize is that doing a single jump like those isn't the same as the set of skills our dogs need to get thru a course, at speed, with different obstacles to get thru/on/over.

Susan Garrett and Linda Mecklenberg both have jumping videos that I've heard people really recommend. And the 2 X 2 weaving method by Susan Garrett is a good way to start weaving....

Jenny Damm Agility Series with Handling Foundation
Clean Run: Jenny Damm Agility Series?Handling Foundation DVD

Clean Run: Puppies
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the tips. I'm not looking for a "better" facility, the one he goes to is fantastic. However, if I decide I'm interested in going to small trials I may take him to a different one for occasional classes and still continue to use the one I'm at now.

I didn't mean I was training him to jump - simply sent him over a few and through the tire a few times so he had the general idea of going over it willingly vs going around it. He was quite happy to hop over them so I ended the jumping at that. Also worked on the pause table a few times so he had the general idea of up vs around or under, and had him sit (is down preferred?) for the 5 second wait. He did really well - had no problem understanding to jump up and wait.
 

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Thanks for the tips. I'm not looking for a "better" facility, the one he goes to is fantastic. However, if I decide I'm interested in going to small trials I may take him to a different one for occasional classes and still continue to use the one I'm at now.

I didn't mean I was training him to jump - simply sent him over a few and through the tire a few times so he had the general idea of going over it willingly vs going around it. He was quite happy to hop over them so I ended the jumping at that. Also worked on the pause table a few times so he had the general idea of up vs around or under, and had him sit (is down preferred?) for the 5 second wait. He did really well - had no problem understanding to jump up and wait.
The facility you are using does sound fantastic, but equipment is only a part of the agility equation. Initially, learning each piece safely and well is mostly what we focus on, but as time goes on 'agility' is ALL about our human handling skills to get our dogs to the next obstacle AND our dogs understanding that skill.

So 'agility' kind of ends up with the dog's job being the specific piece of equipment and MY job is all the vast space between each piece of equipment. If I am not directing them where to go, the confusion and frustration that results isn't the dogs fault (as I go tumbling to the ground :) ) but mine.

So the reason it's key to find a facility with equipment PLUS excellent instruction is to get US ready for all the spaces between the equipment!

Watch some of my videos! They are free and definitely give you some skills to work on.

 

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Keep up the great work, Dante!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The facility you are using does sound fantastic, but equipment is only a part of the agility equation. Initially, learning each piece safely and well is mostly what we focus on, but as time goes on 'agility' is ALL about our human handling skills to get our dogs to the next obstacle AND our dogs understanding that skill.

So 'agility' kind of ends up with the dog's job being the specific piece of equipment and MY job is all the vast space between each piece of equipment. If I am not directing them where to go, the confusion and frustration that results isn't the dogs fault (as I go tumbling to the ground :) ) but mine.

So the reason it's key to find a facility with equipment PLUS excellent instruction is to get US ready for all the spaces between the equipment!

Watch some of my videos! They are free and definitely give you some skills to work on.

YouTube - Glory 6 months Agility Handling One
I appreciate the video.

I think you entirely missed the point of my post. I am using it as something fun to do with him. I'm not interested in showing in top level shows. I don't believe agility is something that has to be taught at a top ranking facility. It's certainly something that with the proper amount of research and reading can be taught by oneself. I am aware of the safety and he isn't going to be harmed doing anything I'm interested in doing with him. I like the facility I'm at, and I'm aware another poster here has been putting it down, but it's been vastly misrepresented and is a very good facility that I will continue to support. If I was looking to do anything but have fun with my puppy right now, I'd go somewhere that trained in full courses. As it is, he isn't going to be racing around an agility course at top speed at this facility.

BTW - re: getting a feel for click/treat - this facility started us on clicker training when he was 10 wks old, so we are both familiar. He responds well to it so I kept using it at home even though they don't for some reason use the clicker past puppy class. Dante responds very well to it, and it's an effective way of training for many exercises, so I asked if I could use it in agility and was told it was no problem at all. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Silvia Trkman's websites have a lot of good info about foundation and agility training - FAQs, videos and she is even starting long distance classes (her long distance puppy class would probably be good for Dante).
Blog:
LoLaBu Land Experience

Website:
LoLaBu Land
Thank you for the links! That is exactly what I was looking for. :) Appreciate you taking the time to post them!
 

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I appreciate the video.

I think you entirely missed the point of my post. I am using it as something fun to do with him. I'm not interested in showing in top level shows. I don't believe agility is something that has to be taught at a top ranking facility. It's certainly something that with the proper amount of research and reading can be taught by oneself. I am aware of the safety and he isn't going to be harmed doing anything I'm interested in doing with him. I like the facility I'm at, and I'm aware another poster here has been putting it down, but it's been vastly misrepresented and is a very good facility that I will continue to support. If I was looking to do anything but have fun with my puppy right now, I'd go somewhere that trained in full courses. As it is, he isn't going to be racing around an agility course at top speed at this facility.
I didn't think your goal was showing in top level shows. I did think you just wanted to do agility for fun.

I know I always have fun when I do the best I can with the most knowledgable people to progress us along the best way possible.

You don't have to do that at all, just what worked for me.
 
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