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theWeedyRoad
01-21-2012, 04:39 PM
My dd has wanted to train a dog for dog agility for.. jeez 2 years now?

It's kind of sad, honestly. We have the PERFECT dog for it, but he's just shy of 13, and his hips won't take a long walk, let alone jumping or real running. In his heyday, he was a bounce-off-the-furniture, learns crazy quick, What Game Is NEXT??? kind of dog. The perfect family dog- I wish he was still young enough for the kids to really enjoy.

We have a border collie puppy in sight, in the not-too-distant-future, but just wondering if anyone else had gotten into this? How far did your kids take it?

Airen
01-21-2012, 08:50 PM
I've never done it myself, but I worked with dogs for a long time.

You cannot start the training part early enough... really. But if you do like 15-20 min a day it'll be fine... Lots of walks in pet stores and dog parks. Sorry if that's a "duh" for you. I saw a lot of people think a pup can go off to a competition never being out of their yard.

As for time? If she takes it far there could be a lot of traveling involved. And plan an hour or so a day in the agility training itself, once pup is old enough. At the least, a good long walk. You'll be training pup to have some stamina and building up energy to blow. Even if you can't get to a training area you'll need to give pup the outlet. :)

Good luck!! It's a lot of fun!!

MichelleC
02-23-2012, 05:22 PM
I did agility for years, and am planning to start again. It's a fun sport. Do you have any specific questions?

You might want to see if your local 4H club does agility. Kids aren't always welcome at agility clubs. Some clubs are great, but sometimes kids are openly discouraged or are the only kid there.

To do agility at a high level is a ridiculous amount of money and work, but it can be done more casually.

Border Collies can be one of the more difficult breeds to handle in agility. Not saying don't get one, just be aware.

theWeedyRoad
02-24-2012, 11:19 AM
Michelle- our BC was added just shy of 3wks ago. I have to say he's a very busy puppy, and doesn't self-entertain much at all, but he's very sweet, usually extremely focused, loves to be involved, and is never hyperactive (he doesn't bounce off the walls... just is always going). There is a bit of an independent streak that is interesting- for instance, if you let him out to go potty, and you decide he's done but he isn't, he won't come in. Once he's pooed or peed, he'll come, but not until. Overall, he's WAY easier to handle than our choc lab/husky was as a pup (and that's the concensus with everyone who knew our old dog as a pup, so I haven't just forgotten)

Curious why you think these guys are hard for agility?

I don't know how far dd will take it. I'm not sure she'll want to be competitive so just for fun for now would be awesome. For now, though, she's forbidden to teach puppy to jump over anything because he's too young, and we are focusing on stupid pet tricks, housebreaking, and general manners (don't jump on the cat!).

MichelleC
02-24-2012, 01:06 PM
Congratulations!!! That's exciting. He sounds lovely. I got my first full border collie last September; she's 4 years old and a lot of fun.

I think they're hard for agility because you have to think faster than they move, be very precise in your handling (for example, if your foot and hand are pointing in different directions, they'll notice), and it's easy to teach them the wrong thing by accident (and they'll remember). I'm generalizing of course, it depends on your border collie.

To make a puppy "jump", lay 2 empty pop cans on their sides and crush the middles. Put a broom handle or similar on top.

With the caveat that this advice may be out of date:

restrain puppy on one side of jump (you either need 2 people or he needs to be able to sit stay). Place food on a target on the other side of the jump. release puppy to get food. Repeat until he gets the idea. Then put the target out without food and reward him with food when he goes to the target. repeat. Remove target and practice that (keep rewarding with food and/or play). Then put out a second jump and put the target and food back until he gets the idea of going over two in a row.

theWeedyRoad
02-24-2012, 01:43 PM
Congratulations!!! That's exciting. He sounds lovely. I got my first full border collie last September; she's 4 years old and a lot of fun.

I think they're hard for agility because you have to think faster than they move, be very precise in your handling (for example, if your foot and hand are pointing in different directions, they'll notice), and it's easy to teach them the wrong thing by accident (and they'll remember). I'm generalizing of course, it depends on your border collie.

To make a puppy "jump", lay 2 empty pop cans on their sides and crush the middles. Put a broom handle or similar on top.

With the caveat that this advice may be out of date:

restrain puppy on one side of jump (you either need 2 people or he needs to be able to sit stay). Place food on a target on the other side of the jump. release puppy to get food. Repeat until he gets the idea. Then put the target out without food and reward him with food when he goes to the target. repeat. Remove target and practice that (keep rewarding with food and/or play). Then put out a second jump and put the target and food back until he gets the idea of going over two in a row.

LOL- I can totally see that! I'm teaching puppy to 'touch' a target, and he sometimes gets confused between that and 'high five'. My fault if I'm being a little too lazy and not quite precise enough with my hand movements. He also is constantly trying to think ahead which cracks me up- if he's used to lying down then rolling over, if you give the command to 'lie down', he automatically then rolls over before you've given the next command. I'm working on mixing it up a bit so I'm harder to anticipate, but his mind is incredibly keen (how many puppies add their own 'style' to commands?!)

Great idea on the jumps. Sounds low enough to be easy on his joints and bones, but still teach the commands. dd will be ecstatic!