Posts Tagged ‘dog agility’

Fit Dog Friday – Pierson’s Agility

May 17, 2013

I love teaching my dogs tricks. Pierson is especially fun to teach because he is so eager and so smart. Don’t get me wrong, Maya is eager and smart too. But Pierson has much better focus. He also has a lot more energy and needs regular physical and mental stimulation. So what better way to give him both than to give him ‘work’ to do.

I’ve thought about disc dog, but he is reluctant to catch the frisbee in his mouth. He is also not very good at bringing the frisbee back after I throw it. He wants to run away with it and chew on it. So I considered agility instead. Last year, I taught him how to jump through a hula hoop. It was a bit difficult at first because he was scared to jump through. But once he learned the hoop was nothing to be frightened of, his jumping skills took off.

Then over the winter I taught him how to weave through poles. I only had three poles so there were only two weaves, but he caught on to the concept rather quickly.

Then I saw the Kyjen dog agility starter kit online at a reasonable price and just had to get it. It came with one high jump, six weave poles, and a tunnel. Pierson took to the high jump right away. It was just like jumping through a hoop. He did well on the weave poles too, but he tends to miss some of the weaves.

Because it took so long for him not to be scared of the hula hoop, I thought the tunnel would take a long time. But he learned the command ‘tunnel’ after just two days. The following video was made after just under two weeks of playing with our new dog agility starter kit.

Although Pierson really seems to love this sport, I don’t think we will be doing any competitions. For one thing, I am not big on competitions. I’d rather keep the exercise fun rather than make it a chore. For another, Pierson does not like other dogs. I can imagine that trying to get him to do agility when there are other dogs around to distract him would be quite difficult.

No, we will stick to the starter kit in the back yard. Perhaps I will add some other agility stuff later. But overall, we will just keep dog agility fun.

Have you done agility with your dog? Any training tips?

Wordless Wednesday – Pierson’s Dog Agility Starter Kit

May 8, 2013
The Kyjen Dog Agility Starter Kit

Pierson’s new dog toy – The Kyjen Dog Agility Starter Kit

I just got this dog agility starter kit from Kyjen! It is relatively inexpensive and the pieces show that in the quality. But it really is perfect for a beginner like Pierson. It includes a tunnel, the weave poles, and a pole for him to jump over. Here are some pictures of him using it:

My Aussie Dog Pierson Considering Jump

Pierson already knows the ‘over’ command from last summer when he learned to jump through a hula hoop.

My Aussie Dog Pierson Jumping

After a few tries, Pierson understands the ‘over’ command in relation to the agility pole.

My Aussie Dog Pierson and the Agility Tunnel

Pierson is not sure about the agility tunnel. I have him sit at the end, and place a treat on the other end in order to coax him through.

Dog Pierson Walks into Agility Tunnel

Pierson sees the treat and cautiously approaches through the agility tunnel.

Pierson in the Agility Tunnel

Almost there…

Pierson Makes it Through the Agility Tunnel

Through! Getting Pierson to go through the agility tunnel was easier than I thought it would be!!!

I did not set up the weave poles yet. It is still too muddy out. But Pierson has been working on the weave command. For now, we are doing each of the sections of the agility course separately. When he has all the commands down, I will start running him through the course. Hopefully, I will have a video for you in a month or two.

I was not compensated in any way for this review. I bought the Kyjen dog agility starter kit on my own, just for my boy Pierson. You can find one for your dog on my Amazon a-store HERE.

For more great pet photos, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop link below or you can find it on our other blog, PetAutoSafetyBlog.com, where I’m showing a cute photo of a Dachshund named Daffy in her new Thundershirt.

 

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Introducing Sassy, a Competitor in Crufts

February 28, 2013

 

Sassy 2

PEJUYN39SY8V Today, the American Dog Blog goes British. What is Crufts? Crufts is a huge dog show in the UK. It is not only a dog show of dog breeds, but also for other types of dog competitions. One competition is for dog agility. And one section of the dog agility is from the Young Kennel Club, which is for dog owners 18 years old and younger. That would be Sassy’s mom, Naarah.

Sassy 4

Here is what Naarah has to say about Sassy’s competition:

“Qualifying for Crufts 2013!!

I have been visiting Crufts for a good couple of years, but I never really thought about me competing there with my own dog!

Ever since agility foundation training, Sas took to agility like a duck to water. I have been so shocked and happy with Sassy. She has done so well as when she qualified me for Crufts she wasn’t even 2 years of age!

She’s such an honest little dog who throws herself at everything. In fact when I was walking the qualifier I noticed that the tier was the first obstacle on a relatively large lead out (I may just add she had never done the tier before as it completely slipped my mind to train it) so as I lead out I thought she would run around it after release. But no she jumped it like she had done it a million times before!

I couldn’t really ask anything else from her that day. She won the qualifier by 6 seconds and it felt like an amazing run.

Every day she makes me smile and makes me so proud to call her mine.

I would also like to add how happy I am that Joanne, her husband and their fantastic company (www.fleecedogharnesses.co.uk) are supplying Sassy’s Crufts harness and my very special Crufts fleece!

Not long to go now guys and I am mega excited to be taking Sas. 🙂 I look forward to updating you!”

Sassy Sassy 3

We will have more pictures of Sassy later. Joanne, a friend of mine, brought Sassy to my attention and I think Sassy’s great! She makes me want to do agility training with my dog Pierson. Crufts is a huge deal and I am so glad to know someone who has qualified to compete in it.

Fast & Furious Fun – Dog Agility Training

May 16, 2010

 

Dog Agility Training

Many people ask me what Dog Agility training consists of, and even more so how you should get started with this popular pastime. There are a lot of informative articles on the internet which cover the subject, but many of them do not spell everything out in black and white for the beginner, let alone provide any form of free training guide for your dog. I have happily been training my canines for over 8 years, and am happy to cover any Agility-based dog questions, answered for free. So, let’s get started!

Q. What is dog agility all about?

A. Have you ever noticed how some dogs just seem to grin while they run up and down, to and fro, jump, bark, chase birds, fetch sticks, and generally enjoy life? Well, that is the starting point for dog agility. In addition to the sheer enjoyment for the dog and its owner, it also encourages a stronger bond between them and aids general behavioural training for the animal. The general idea is that dogs complete an obstacle course as quickly as they can, with penalty points awarded for missed or incorrectly tackled obstacles: the animal which completes the course in the shortest time and with the least amount of penalty points, is the winner.

Q. Is it specific to any particular breed of dog?

A. No. All shapes and sizes of dog can take part, although the type of course that the dog follows can vary according to the physical size of the animal. For example, you would not expect a Chihuahua to be able to clear a high jump built for a Great Dane! Dogs do not have to be pedigrees, either. Any mutt off of the street can have a go.

Q. If I wanted to get started with dog agility, how would I go about it?

A. First of all, decide if you want to do it for fun, or if you want to be fully competitive. Then decide whether you want to try it with the dog you already have, or (if you hope to become fully competitive) if you need to find a dog which is likely to do well in competition. Then find a local club or individual trainer who can get you on the way. Although there are many dogs who compete in both obedience and agility, there is no necessity for agility dogs to be as well trained as obedience animals. Nevertheless, next to a strong and happy relationship between owner and dog, control is essential to satisfactory and successful participation in agility events and competitions. Therefore, basic obedience is a necessity, and most clubs will require a demonstration of some of the more basic commands before accepting a dog (and owner) for an agility training programme. The commands that you and the dog will need to master to get accepted are: drop on command, down, sit, recall, wait, etc..

Q. How long will it take to train my dog for participation in agility events?

A. First and foremost, it is very important that you do not enter a dog into a competitive environment before it is at least eighteen months old. Any earlier, and there is a very real risk that the animal may suffer physical problems or illness, as the animal’s body has not fully developed until then. After that, it all depends on the enthusiasm of you and your dog, and your dog’s intelligence and ability to absorb training.

Q. What is the most important thing in dog agility?

A. For you and your dog to have fun!