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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all! We are moving into an apartment soon with a nice grassy field right outside our door. I've been thinking about it for a while and really want to get Zeb into agility. He loves showing off and I think that he would do well in it.

My only problem is that I've never done anything like it before and wanted to sign up for a local agility class. The only thing is he is reactive to certain dogs and I am afraid that he will act out in class and it will cause more harm than good.

I was hoping to get some opinions on the matter. I've been working with him on his problem and he's gotten really good with me about his reactions to other dogs when one on one. I just don't want to overwhelm him.

Would it be better to get a DVD and try from that? I was hoping to get feedback from a trainer but can't afford private classes, why I was thinking about the group.

Thanks in advance!
 

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I would absolutely start contacting clubs/classes in the area, meet with the instructors, and get their recommendations. Different classes are set up in different ways, so some would be ideal for you and your dog, and some instructors are better able to deal with dogs like yours.

Since some of the equipment is huge (aframe? dogwalk?) and expensive, it makes alot more sense to use the ones at class and invest in the cheaper stuff like the jumps, a tunnel, and I would absolutely get a set of weaves.

There are different 'flavors' of instruction too. So when you do find a good club/classes then the instructor can point you in the right direction for DVD's that will go along with their program so you and your dog won't end up all confused!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! I was going to DIY for the weave poles and a tunnel to start. I appreciate the advice and will be calling around! Anyone knows of any good clubs in the Treasure Coast, Florida let me know!
 

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My Tara is dog reactive and we have been in agility classes since May. Over time her reactivity has decreased tremendously, but I always have to be vigilant about dogs entering her space. You cannot be timid about telling people to move their dogs out of your working space. Over time, I have learned to read Tara very well and usually can see a reaction coming before it happens, so I am able to redirect her or get her working and keep her brain from focusing in on another dog.

Finding a class with a knowledgeable trainer who understands the issue up-front is very important. I found taking classes that very slowly eased into agility and learning the obstacles before doing much sequencing was very helpful.

I made a video a couple months ago of our Foundation 3 agility class, and you can see that Tara, despite her reactivity can work with other dogs and things going on around us, so you can see it can be done!

By the way, if you don't already have it, the Control Unleashed book was great for me to learn how to work on her reactivity. We love the Look At That game!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My Tara is dog reactive and we have been in agility classes since May. Over time her reactivity has decreased tremendously, but I always have to be vigilant about dogs entering her space. You cannot be timid about telling people to move their dogs out of your working space. Over time, I have learned to read Tara very well and usually can see a reaction coming before it happens, so I am able to redirect her or get her working and keep her brain from focusing in on another dog.

Finding a class with a knowledgeable trainer who understands the issue up-front is very important. I found taking classes that very slowly eased into agility and learning the obstacles before doing much sequencing was very helpful.

I made a video a couple months ago of our Foundation 3 agility class, and you can see that Tara, despite her reactivity can work with other dogs and things going on around us, so you can see it can be done!

By the way, if you don't already have it, the Control Unleashed book was great for me to learn how to work on her reactivity. We love the Look At That game!

So it can be done! *happiness* thanks! I have the book ordered on amazon now!
 

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It depends on the reactivity of the dog. If the dog is reactive to other dogs who approach him when he is on leash, that is manageable in agility class. But if the place is lax on behavior of other dogs in the class and the dog has other dogs running up on them in every class, the leash reactivity is going to get worse. This happened with one of my Belgians, who was only slightly concerned with dogs in her space to start off. After a month or two of agility class where one of the class dogs would rush up to her every chance he got, she got rather reactive to dogs approaching her when she was on lead. This required a lot of work on my part to overcome and she still has her moments. My dog was never an issue in class because she would never leave leave me to go menace another dog - when she was working, she was focused on what we were doing.

If the dog is reactive to some other dogs in general, on leash or off and will leave you to threaten those dogs that is a different story. IMO agility is not suitable for such a dog.
 
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