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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been trying to figure out what kind of fun things Sasha and I could do together, and I've been leaning towards agility. I had originally though I'd get a GSD and do Schutzhund, but now that I've got Sasha I just don't think that would be a good fit for us. She's very afraid of people (especially men) and right now that translates into cowering and shaking, so I really don't want to turn that into: I'm afraid so I bite. However, she is crazy smart, and has a ton of energy, so I thought doing agility could be a great bonding experience and could really boost her confidence along the way. I'm going to be quite honest; I know pretty much nothing about what it takes to train in agility. I did obedience training with my last dog, and I am working on that with her as well, though at this point I'm not planning on joining any kind of formal obedience training class. I'm hoping to get her involved in something around Mayish. So here are a few of my questions.

1. What kind of obedience things does she need to know before we start? We are currently working on Sit, stay, look at me, heel, and come. She's doing pretty well with this, but is there anything else she needs to know before we start.
2. Does anyone know of a good agility class in the Des Moines/south central (or central) Iowa area?
3. Basically is there anything else that I just need to know before getting started with this?

Thanks! http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/schutzhund-training/
 

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Hey, my Sasha should be starting agility training this summer!

We started with beginner basic with one trainer, now this new trainer is teaching me more off leash training, then he says Sasha has to pass his group training before we can work on agility. 8 wks per training segment. So we are 16 wks away.
Of course , My Sasha is a rescue/rehome and had some issues.

It looks like something she would enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My Sasha is a rescue/rehome as well (thus the afraid of men/new people issues) This is why I was wanting to do something fun with her. Ok so your trainer wants you to pass his group...obedience training? Am I understanding that correctly? I don't have a problem with that, if that's what a trainer near us thinks is best, I'm just curious. Do you know what kind of collar they use in agility training? I keep thinking of more and more questions lol. I'm just hoping to get her more active this summer/spring since the winter is having her cooped up so much.
 

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I think agility may be a great thing for you and your new girldog to start up in!

Where do you live (if you can go up to your User CP and add your GENERAL location it will show up in all the posts under your avatar so everyone knows...) ??? Some other agility people here may be able to specifically give information about classes in your area.

Different classes are set up in different ways too. Some want you to have some basic obedience, some don't care, and some will ask to see you and your dog to give an evaluation and then a recommendation...

In general, agility class fairly quickly has our dogs off leash for brief times. So if your dog immediately tears off and around the room that's a bit of a problem. They just GENERALLY need to stay will us and be ready to figure out the exercise.

No precise and exact obedience is ever needed (thank goodness :) ) but GENERALLY you will end up needing a stay/wait, a 'sit/down', and the ability of the dog to stay with us off leash.

If there are any clicker trainer/classes available those would be a huge help. Since it's 100% positive based, treats and rewards, there's no pressure on the dogs to perform so they really start getting their confidence back because they start realizing they are BRILLIANT and constantly getting rewarded for it!

As far as a collar goes in agility, the requirement in my classes were a harness and then no collar at all! So you'll need to work that out with whatever classes you end up attending.

The following is an example of one of the puppy agility classes I attended with my GSD girl.... kind of giving you an idea of what it may be like:

 

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Discussion Starter #5
MaggieRoseLee: Thanks for the advice. I'm glad I found out that they have the dogs off leash fairly quickly, as right now that is not an option for us. However, who knows where we'll be by May. I wish I could trust her recall right now, as it is bitterly cold and having to go outside with her to play and potty is not the most fun xP Oh well, all good things come to those who wait :) I thought about doing tracking with her (as she is all about following trails) However, I don't see anything in our area (via my google search.) I think she'll love agility too, though. I think she'll love any excuse to get to run around and get loved on for it ;)
 

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Just practice walking around the house with a hungry dog and a fistful of treats, see if she will follow you.

I'd REALLY start clicker training, it's absolutely perfect to help with the bonding and her LEARNING that being with your and learning with you is the best (and most comfortable) thing to do in the world! It's also based on no training leash/collar but getting the off leash pet to WANT to listen/learn/be with us!

You start off (for weeks) with tons of teeny treats per session (hundreds?) so if ever day my dog learns she's BRILLIANT fast and continuously ... WOW does that make her walk with her head up high! They are NEVER wrong in clicker training. NEVER! They just are correct (and we set that up) and get the reward!

Here's some great info to get started: http://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...0-intro-clicker-training-perfect-puppies.html

A really cool video to see how great clicker training works is by seeing this video with an abused mule! Look what they do with it!

 

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Discussion Starter #7
She will already follow me around the house if I ask her to "come"...well and just in general she follows me because she's decided she's going to be a total mamma's girl :p Now it's just working on that outside. I might consider clicker training. Right now just the praise and the treats seem to be working wonders. She came a bundle of scared and is already much more confident (with me mostly, but also with the other members of my family some) But if it seems like the progress slows or stops I may try the clicker method.
 
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