When To Start Agility Training
I’m going to show you how I introduced the game or the sport basic agility, the basics of it to my puppy Annie who’s now turned a year old. It is a time that you can start introducing the sport of agility to your dog. You don’t want to do it earlier than that. Basically, you want to start introducing agility a year and older, because before that they are physically still developing and you don’t want to cause any injuries or any issues as such.
The equipment that I’m introducing to Annie tonight is just two simple equipment. One is the jump and the other one is the table and, as you know, I don’t use treats or food to train dogs, and in this case I’m gonna use her favorite activity, which Is her toy and using clay to get her to do the challenge now.
The other thing is, I have the jumps very low because I’m starting fresh, I’m starting new. I don’t want to put too much pressure on my dog, so I’m going to start very low and I have her favorite toy in here as well.
So let’s get started and she said stay and she jumped good girl. So, do you see what I’m doing , so I’m introducing her using the language that she knows. What do you mean by language? Language is training. Training is a communication system between me and her. If you don’t have a communication system, you can’t communicate to your dog and the only way that you can communicate with your dog.
I highly believe in training teaching basic obedience. I couldn’t tell her just go ahead and jump so I have to communicate it in a different form. So, in this situation, I’m asking her. Annie said: stay the two commands that she knows and have communicated with her and now I’m communicating her to jump over the obstacle, jump, good girl, and then i reward her with her toy or her game.
Do you see how simple it gets when you train your dog? Your dog knows the commands of sit and stay and basically the basic commands. Everything else becomes much easier to teach. So I’m sure she got the jump at the moment and again I want to assure you I haven’t done this before with her. This is the very first time that I’m introducing her and I’m doing this.
Okay, sit stay and he jump good girl. Yes, now, the next thing that I want to introduce her is the table? Annie, what’s this, what’s this good girl? Yes, the fact that she went on the table, I’m rewarding her. What’s this? Sit down? Ah, no good girl, okay, I’m rewarding her again, just because she went on the table any table, good girl.
Yes, Annie, table. Stay, sit down, good girl, yes, one two, three, four, five. Go get it! Yes, the row with agility table is that your dog has to get on the table and lie down for five seconds. Okay, so that’s what I’m teaching her, Annie – table. Annie – table. Good girl! Sit. No, come on, come on. Sit, okay.
So the challenge is it’s a new equipment. I need down stay one, two, three, four, five. Good girl. Cookie. Oh, my goodness! Yes, oh yes, so I’m gonna do it one more time. Sit down, stay! One, two, three, four, five, go: get it so honey over here sit jump, good girl. That was an automatic jump and I’m gonna reward that good girl. Annie, table. sit down.
Good girl, yes, go get it! I’m gonna try this jump as well. Sit, stay, jump. Good girl, yes, oh it makes so much easier when you have a trained dog. The rule of thumb is that if you want to do agility with your dog, your dog should know the basic obedience of this.