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Agility chat?

(53 Posts)
MarisCrane Tue 10-May-11 11:13:16

Given how many members MN had, I'm sure plenty of people besides me must do agility with their dogs. I've been doing agility since 2003. I have an 8 year old bc who was quite successful but has now been retired from full height due to arthritis and now has fun doing anysize runs.

I also have a 3 year old bc who will be fantastic one day (and is amazing when training) but suffers from a lack of confidence when in the ring which mainly means he would prefer not to weave in the ring.

I've made so many friends from all over the uk through agility; before DS arrived (he's 14 weeks) we competed all over every weekend from March to November. Now we compete most weekends grin

Any fellow agility addicts or not so addicts out there?
Apologies, as if you have no idea what agility is this post will most likely be gibberish!

MarisCrane Tue 10-May-11 11:14:20

Obviously MN has a lot of members, not had....

chickchickchicken Tue 10-May-11 13:13:25

i used to take my little jrt to agility. he loved it. we plan to start again once he has finished some other training we are doing.

have you ever seen the disabled agility handlers? i have only seen online. we went to a few shows hoping to see a particular person but never did. will try and look up her details. all i can remember is she has collies and drives a large yellow van or bus! apparently she sits in the middle of the ring and gives voice commands. i would love to see it in person. we still do fun agility at home with our dogs and are trying this method but only over a few obstacles

minimu1 Tue 10-May-11 13:48:37

Yep agility addict here MarisCrane. Nearly every weekend from March to September is booked for shows! Where abouts are you?- I bet we have walked past each other! Have you done KC festival and DIN?

I run a lab and 2 collies and one cross. Although my DC's are tending to "steal" my dogs for some runs which is really rather annoying grin

There are quite a few disabled handlers out there and their distance control is amazing

I agree about all the friends you can meet, the agility crowd are a friendly bunch and also know how to celebrate/commiserate well wine

Lizcat Tue 10-May-11 13:56:20

Agility novice here, on week 4 of a 12 week starter course. I purchased the mobile mop specifically to do agility - though I went for the less obvious cockerpoo as my last still much missed dog was a BC. Plus I wanted a slightly smaller dog this time.
Mop loves agility and appears to have potential - the handler is the problem. I have got to get some distance control as boy he is quick.
I am fortunate that I live close to Chieveley so nearly every week there is a show there. Went to my first show last weekend and was pleasantly surprised that not everybody is perfect in the ring.

MarisCrane Tue 10-May-11 13:57:41

Do you mean this lady? Philippa Armstrong I see her around at shows, she has certainly done very well with her dogs.
For distance handling you might also find this article useful Teagan.

MarisCrane Tue 10-May-11 14:33:31

The last was to chickchickchicken.....

MarisCrane Tue 10-May-11 14:41:50

Miniimu1 I'm in north London/herts region. I've done DIN since 2004 and every festival apart from one, so there's every chance we've been in close proximity to each other!

Lizcat I was at Newbury on Monday, it was a bit windy to say the least! I remember going to help at my club's show before I competed, and being surprised at how rubbish some people were!

My poor youngest dog has really suffered from such a long break; I stopped running him quite early in pregnancy due to spd and it's shaken his confidence. We've been back competing for 6 weeks now and he's getting happier every week.

MarisCrane Tue 10-May-11 14:43:35

Arrgh check before I post, if it's not clear - I was at Newbury on bank holiday Monday, for Vyne.

Madsometimes Tue 10-May-11 14:55:44

How do you find your nearest agility club? I'm in South East London, and I would love to find a beginner's class.

BitterAndTwistedChoreDodger Tue 10-May-11 14:59:19

Minimu, I see you take a lab to agility, I would love to do this when my boy is older.

How would I know if he was suitable wrt labs and dodgy hips? Is it just a case of waiting until he is 18m or so and hoping he is sound? I know I shouldn't over exercise when young but he loves jumping, I'm sure he would adore

chickchickchicken Tue 10-May-11 15:09:39

mariscrane - yes i did mean phillipa armstrong. have you seen her? i tried to see her at a few shows in glos but missed her. thanks so much for the links, had a quick glance and will enjoy reading it all later.

we have done jumps, tunnel, a frame with distance commands. need to read up on how to do weaves as i cannot imagine where to start with that one!

minumi - have you seen any of the disabled handlers in shows?

minimu1 Tue 10-May-11 16:04:58

I was at Newbury last weekend - for Uka GT and the Vyne. How funny we may have been walking courses together!

I think that is what I love about agility there are all sorts of abilities, dogs, handlers old young fit not fit and we all compete together.

Re agility with a lab find a good club look on to find one. If your lab is the right weight and fit they love it. If you know your dog has dodgy hips you can jump a lower height but actually agility is not too bad on their hips more pressure is on the shoulders and elbows. You can start competing with a dog of 18 months old but there is loads of foundation work you can do with your puppies. Actually teaching the equipment is the easy bit and most dogs pick that up quickly. It is the directional commands etc that can be taught without any equipment. I don't ever teach my dogs to weave until 6 weeks before they start competing but I do do loads of groundwork with them. I would not put my dogs over jumps until they are over a year but I will do work with jump wings and get them to run through wings and pull throughs and snake lines through the wings without any need for jumping.

Weaves I now would do no other method than the 2 x 2 method. Dogs love it and get just the most fantastic entries

I have seen some of the older handlers who have mobile scooters get to the ring Chickchicken walk really slowly to the middle of the ring lean on a stick and then command their dogs over all the equipment - so amazing to watch. I have also seen a lady with her leg in plaster having a go - it takes a lot to stop an agility handler grin

izzybiz Tue 10-May-11 16:11:28

Im very interested in doing some agility training with my dog and have found some beginners courses at our local agricultural college.
My dog is a Staffordshire bull terrier, are they any good at this sort of thing? I'm sure I read somewhere that they were?

minimu1 Tue 10-May-11 16:16:41

Saffis are fab at agility

look on you tube for some clips

one to get you started

minimu1 Tue 10-May-11 16:17:11

Saffis duh staffies

BitterAndTwistedChoreDodger Tue 10-May-11 16:18:05

Thanks Minimu. To clarify, when I say he loves jumping I haven't put him over any jumps but the woods that we walk in have a lot of fallen trees/logs which nutty dog sees as his own agility course if I don't stop him. grin

As far as I know his hips are fine, will look into agility when he is older (only 5mo atm)

I will watch this thread with interest smile

minimu1 Tue 10-May-11 16:28:05

Bitter get him running around trees in a circle.

teach him left and rights
get him to go around a tree and then come back in to you
Get him to run out to a tree
Get him to run along a plank of wood - fast
Get him to nose target a pringles lid - put it on the floor and when he touches it click and treat.
Agility dog all trained just ready for jumps!

kid Tue 10-May-11 16:34:48

I was looking at doing agilty with my springer but I don't know of anywhere locally that does it (I'm in East London) Nearest place was Enfield but even that's quite a drive away but I'm guessing that's as close as I'll find one.

I actually think I'd be hopeless at it though!

minimu1 Tue 10-May-11 16:39:33

Got sidetracked now looking at you tube agility clips
Staffie at crufts here

Kid I am a rubbish handler too and we all have to start somewhere - it does get easier by the time you are running your fourth or fifth dog grin but do not worry every mistake you make will have been made before. It is just such fun. The bond you make with your dog is great and they just love it. Agility must always be fun and the dogs pick up on that so quickly.

I have to drive for about an hour for my agility club you will find most of us do but it is worth it.

The springers are fab and can charge around. Some of the working cockers are absolutely fantastic and soooooooo fast.

kid Tue 10-May-11 16:48:17

My springer is such a docile version of the breed, I love it!
I am sure he would love to agility, they did a taster session locally a couple of months ago, I knew nothing about it though which is annoying. Still, I'll keep my eyes peeled to see if there are any others available.

BitterAndTwistedChoreDodger Tue 10-May-11 16:55:21

Thanks again to everyone - watch this space! (sorry to hijack thread somewhat) blush

MarisCrane Tue 10-May-11 17:35:41

Kid I train at Trent Park, we have people come from islington, welwyn, some parts of essex and even a girl who comes all the way on the tube from south London! Our website is about to change so watch this space; we've just run a beginners course but there may be another in the not too distant future. Bretons club is I think near dagenham, any good? There are also some small clubs i know of around Bayford.

MarisCrane Tue 10-May-11 17:49:18

At the risk of outing myself here is my YouTube channel if anyone is interested....

minimu1 Tue 10-May-11 19:36:34

MarisCrane I can't make your link work I am really interested and would love to see.

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