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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! My nugget of love Kahuna is almost 12 weeks and (got him just 2 weeks ago, tho I've had many goldens) has not mastered basic commands yet (just to get that out of the way lol) but my question was: How old should a pup be before introducing agility training? I've always done obedience but never agility and I'd love to! Already found a club close by I'm just wondering when we should :) Thanks for the help!
 

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You can start the basic ground work now. Just no jumping. You could lay the poles on the ground for KaHuna to step over.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
THANKS! Glad to know!
 

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I personally have issues with jumping and a lot of slipping and sliding until 2 years...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He can't even go up our stairs yet haha I'm sure jumping is out of the question for now :)
 

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You can work on... wait(stay), down( the pause table). contact. You can introduce him to the chute and tunnels. Like I said you can put the poles on the ground and have him go "over" them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How well does he have to know basic commands before those exercises? Can it be part of the process or should he have it DOWN before we incorporate the added elements of agility?
 

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I think it is easier if he knows those things. You should play the focus game with him. I hold a treat in my hand and as soon as he looks at my face I give him the treat. You can do one hand with treats both hands with treats. You can have your arm straight out to your side or you hand at your side. This teaches him to focus on you. very helpfull.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think it is easier if he knows those things. You should play the focus game with him. I hold a treat in my hand and as soon as he looks at my face I give him the treat. You can do one hand with treats both hands with treats. You can have your arm straight out to your side or you hand at your side. This teaches him to focus on you. very helpfull.
LOVE THAT! Thank you! I have major issues with him not even looking at me! I can't wait to try that!
 

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Our trainer has a rule that dogs younger than 8 months should not start agility. Too much jumping and stuff involved and their bones won't be strong enough... Obedience you can start anytime...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Our trainer has a rule that dogs younger than 8 months should not start agility. Too much jumping and stuff involved and their bones won't be strong enough... Obedience you can start anytime...
That's what I was looking for! Thank you :) I know you have to limit a pup's activity for that reason so thank you very much :)
 

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I start as babies with a mini-teeter (a 4 or 6' 12" board bolted to a 6" piece of PVC), a wobble board (mine is about 3' square with a place to put a normal size tennis ball or a large tennis ball under it), and a plank that I can start to teach of basics of two on, two off. We also did tunnels in obedience class. I worked a lot of obedience (it is ESSENTIAL for a successful agility relationship). I had intended to do Susan Salo's puppy jumping course with Piper, but she was lame when I would have been doing that. Ruby did start class at 12 months, but Piper didn't start any real agility training until about 20 months. Piper was far more ready to trial at 2 years than Ruby even with 8 less months of formal training (partly because I have a better idea of what to do now and partly because she's a super awesome dog who wants to work WITH me!).

If you have a training center near you, I'd call and see what kind of classes they offer. My center doesn't have any baby puppy classes, but some places do have no-impact, fun agility intro classes for little guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you!!!! Lots of great info!!!!
 

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You can do a lot of "agility training" without jumping and contacts! A lot has to do with teaching your dog to work with you so I suggest getting into classes ASAP! You don't want classes that have you jumping and weaving, but classes that teach you to have fun and work as a team. Knowing sit, down and stay are VERY helpful! Mira and I started agility classes at 6 months old, no jumping or weaving though. We did also pre-sports classes at 16 weeks old!

Here is a baby Mira video, with some puppy ideas! This does not replace classes, just to say there is a lot you can do!

Good luck and have lots of fun!

PS: Mira is now MACH2 Mira, with two AKC Agility Championships and she is 3 years old.

 

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You can start shadow handling at any age - this is teaching the concepts of front and rear crosses, going around things, sending and lateral distance and the ever important sit, stay and COME.

If you do start any jumping (no higher than wrist high at this age) make sure you have the uprights set up and the poles off the ground - a golden really should never learn that poles belong on the ground :)

But there is so much your dog needs to know before he is 12-16 months old, try not to be in a hurry about jumping. Some people do very well jumping younger dogs, but hopefully they will still be jumping at 14 years so....personally, I wait.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That video was wonderful and very helpful thanks for the advice! We're perfecting our sit, stay, come and lay down today :D
 
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Fin wil be two in April (yikes!) and has done two intro to agility/basic agility classes at two different facilties. We learned things that were similar and different at each spot and it was a great way to keep at the agility work without getting into much for jumps. I have audited the next level up and I am just not comfortable with Fin jumping yet. We did the first one at 9 months and the second at 17 months with puppy class and basic obedience before that, lots to work on at such a young age, HAVE FUN!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks you!!!!! :D I can't wait!
 

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When Boomer was a puppy the vet said no exertional running or jumping until at least one year of age or when the bone plates are finished growing.

But you can orient them to the equipment - like when he had his first puppy class, the first half hour was playing with the agility equipment to loosen them up and build confidence. We used a lot of food to teach them how to go over and through the equipment. They walked through the hoop, the tunnel, the chute, did the walkway, teeter, and a-frame set way down low - it was brilliant, because Boomer was never afraid of any of the equipment as an adult, knows how to do them, and excitedly runs through whatever it is. I think he associates it with fun now.

Have fun.
 

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Back with my old obedience instructor, there was a "baby" agility or intro into agility aspect to puppy classes.

This means that a good portion of puppy class had "agility stations" for people to play with and build their pup's confidence with.

Tunnel, for example. Puppies LOVE that one. Adult dogs who have never seen a tunnel before might have issues - especially with the CHUTE tunnels (the ones where a portion is collapsed).

There are baby jumps where all the jumps, including the tire, are set really low to the ground. Again, the object is to build confidence with different looking jumps and obstacles.

I really missed all of this training with my guy... we were not introduced to jumps until he was almost a year old, and then it took a lot of training to build his confidence with jumping over even LOW jumps. Especially with panel jumps. *Even when you are doing obedience training, it does have an impact if your dog doesn't have an early introduction to bar and panel jumps.
 
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