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Agility Foundation Work Series!

Agility Foundation Work Series!

Dog Agility Class

Agility Foundation Work Series!

- Teaching Handling Moves Without Equipment. (Part 1)

Agility Foundation Works are critical to successful Agility People! Without foundation work, you will be like soldiers sent to a war without first training you how to combat and survive in a war zone. And that will be suicidal.

In this article, I will like to focus on some the ground works that I feel is important and any serious agility nuts must have these skills in their repertoire of skills. At the top of my mind, I have six skills that I think its necessary and a must to have. Allow me to bring you through each one and one step at a time.

Name Calling

My first observation has been that Names are overly utilized. If you recall, sometime we ignore when someone call our name. This is because our name has become a norm and it’s worthless. Just imagine when you responded to your name and you get paid for a dollar, I’m sure you will be so zealous everytime someone calls your name. So in the context of your puppy training, you need to add value to their name. When I say add value, your puppy needs to know, something good is going to happens, everytime and I mean every single time he gets rewarded.

Dog Agility Basic

Pickup Exercise

Pickup skill is to get your dog to touch your guiding finger. In this way, your dog is taught to follow your guiding hand. And to have the pickup skill to be complete you will need to work on the start line stay.

Steps 1 – Put a treat in between your centre and index finger; let your dog sniff it, once it touches any part of your hand, C/T. Work this step until your dog can automatically move to touch your hand when you present your hand.

Steps 2 – Train the Start line stay. Put your dog in front of a jump up right (without the bar), ask for a stay, and take a step forward, turn and face your dog. If your dog stays in its position, C/T. Repeat this until you can leave your dog and take at least 4-5 steps ahead of your jump.

Steps 3 – Combine and chain step 1 and 2 together as a full pickup exercise.

Put your dog before the upright of the jump, ask for a stay. Move forward and pass the upright and put up your guiding finger. Cue for a touch, and allow your dog to come through in between the upright of the jump and touches your guiding fingers, C/T and you have put this valuable behavior on cue.

Left and Right Cue

Once you have master the pickup exercise, now it’s time to introduce the left and right cue. Your animal is taking the cue from your head, your shoulders, your hips and your toes. You will need to backup your verbal cue with a convincing physical cue. E.g. If you do a pickup from your left hand, your left shoulder should parallel to your dog’s head, your hip and your toes are pointing at the same direction with your dog.

Practice and let your dog run along on your left and C/T. And do it to the right side and C/T. If your dog is already understood your cue, you can proceed to run in a figure-of-eight. Figure-of-eight will test your dog ability to run along the side of your guiding hand and it an essential skill in Dog Agility.

In your next issue we will discuss in details of the following foundation skills;

  1. Crosses – Front Cross, Rear Cross and Blind Crosses,

  2. Left and Right Commands,

  3. Three Golden Rule (by Greg Derrett)

  4. How we can chain them up together as a complete skill set.

Training should be fun and both your dog and you must enjoy the training. Always make you training session short and leaving your dog wanting to do more.

Stay Positive and Have Fun!

Dexter Sim (Certified WMA Dog Agility Instructor)

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