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Agility 4 Poms?


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Does your dog do agility?  

  1. 1. Does your dog do agility?



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almost ANY healthy, sound dog can do agility in one form or another. Your dog should have sound structure, no joint problems, be of healthy weight, and enjoy bonding to start! If you have a puppy, special care must be taken so you dont stress tender growing bodies. If you want to start your pom on the road to agility fun, try to find a beginners or intro class that you can join. It will be very helpful if your dog has some idea of basic obedience first, you don't want your dog running amuck in class. When they are racing about out of control, they are not learning good stuff.
They should have all the equipment needed, trust me it can get expensive making your own. Just a note here, you CAN make various obstacles very cheaply but as you sink further and further into the quagmire of agility quicksand, you will want bigger and better and yes more expensive STUFF. 8) It can be very addictive folks.
If there is not one nearby or not one starting for a while, you can do some basic training at home. You can lay poles or bars on the ground and teach your pup to walk/jump over them. NEVER ask a growing pup to jump over anything higher than their elbows. Go to the hardware store, buy a piece of black, round, drainage pipe, it should be no bigger than 4 inches in diameter, 6 feet should be plenty, I bought a 10 foot length and it was too much. Buy an end connector also, form the pipe into a circle, connect together, tape well to reinforce it as a circle. There's your tire obstacle. Just need to fix it to a stable frame. Again if you have a pup, this might be too much of a jump as yet.
Some dept stores sell childrens play tunnels for about $30 (US). You can play with your dog indoors or out with these tunnels.
One book I really liked a lot for agility was written by Jane Simmons-Moake titled Agility Training: The Fun Sport For All Dogs
Lots of good training advice, lots of plans for making your own stuff.
Oops, gotta run, they are letting me off work early today!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Anonymous

I've seen some poms doing agility, it's the cutest thing ever! They look like giant dust bunnies running around on the equipment :lol: It's so cute! hee hee, glad to see your taking an intrest in the HIGHLY adictive sport! LOL
Like Carolk9s said, as long as your dog is healthy, in good shape, and doesn't have any problems, (puppies shoudln't do Agility, mine started at 6 months, but she didnt' do jumps, large obsticals, etc. until she was fully grown [1 - 1 1/2 years old], she was in it to have fun, and learn basic obediance!) agility will be a great experiance for the both of you!
I'm curently building my own equipment (well, my Dad's helping! LOL) I've got a tunnel (which needs to be fixed up a bit, since it consists of mainly duct tape! LOL), an A-frame (which turned out VERY good! :D ), and a Teeter (which needs a new board, since this one is now crooked and cracked... Hazel still needs to learn to be more careful, it's taking a long time to teach her "easy"). I have tones of plans on how to build equipment, and could probably find the websites I got them off for ya if you'd like?
My friend who competes in Agility with her dog, Mykee (My dog doesn't compete) she made most of her equipment, I think the only thing she bought and ordered was the Tunnel.

:D Good Luck, and Have Fun! :D

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Guest Anonymous

I only have a pup, so I started easy agility by just simply jumping over a tipped chair, and two boards together for aframe. Poms do agility!!!

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Reedpuppy,
How old is your puppy? You shouldn't be jumping a puppy over something higher than their elbows. Also, how can you have made an A frame by just tipping two boards together? I think the A frame is one of the hardest things in agility to make and tipping two boards together doesn't work. Did you support them and screw them together? Did you put something on for traction?

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[quote name='yellowlabsrule']I set up my agility couse again! (just moved a couple weeks ago) Winnie sped through it like a border collie! I included a table in my course. Does anyone know how to get a dog to weave faster? That's Winnie's hardest obstacle. She doesn't like it that much, she thinks it's to much work! :lol:[/quote]

Training with channel weaves is the best way to get really fast weaves. I'm not quite sure how to explain channel weaves...let me see if I can sorta type something here to explain.

A normal set of weave poles has 12 poles in a row like this:
o-----o-----o-----o-----o-----o-----o-----o-----o-----o-----o-----o


A set of channel weaves has a split base that allows you to slide the poles apart like this:

o-------------o-----------o-----------o-----------o-----------o

-------o------------o-----------o------------o-----------o-----------o

To start with the channel weaves you spread them very wide. You want the dog to be able to run straight down the middle of them without touching them and without having to flex it's body. The incentive for the dog should be a target with food placed at the end of the weaves. If the dog runs straight down between the weaves, they get the goodie so, it really motivates the dog to move FAST! :) Graduallly, over time, you start moving the channels in closer together so that the dog will eventually wind up really "weaving". The beauty of teaching weaves this way is that allmost all dogs will hang onto the speed as you reduce the distance between the split channel.

Channel weaves are pretty expensive. You can sorta approximate what they do by using "stick in the ground" poles and just spread them apart.

Whitney was initally trained with the "tilt over weav-o-matics". Problem was that when I moved them from almost all the way straight, to straight, she didn't understand. I went back and trained her with straight up, in line weave poles. She's a good weaver and quick compared to most dogs but, she's slow compared to Mason. I trained Mason with the channel weaves and he held onto all his speed...goes though normal weaves at a run!

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This was posted to the BELG-L list some time ago by Deb Norman. I had taught both Jesse and Brittany the weaves using the channel method. I decided to try something different with Candy. Candy literally 'got' the idea in 1 day using the method below. Now I will add that Candy REALLY likes learning new things and REALLY likes the click/treat idea! Of course there was proofing and fine tuning to come but I am very happy using this method, out of my 3 dogs, Candy is the fastest and most reliable in the poles whether on or off side.


"I use a clicker, but you could certainly use a marker word like Yes!
to let her know what is right.

Start with just 3 poles. use a treat, and "lure" her in the right
entrance and back toward you through the 2nd space, in other words, out/in.
Click, treat. Repeat 5 times. Then stand right there and tease her with the
treat but don't lure. She will take a moment probably but will soon go
through the first space. Click, and she will certainly come to get her treat by returning through the second space. Repeat this a bunch of times until she is cheerfully doing the 3 poles very nicely.
Tips: 1) After the first couple of non-lured attempts start delaying the
click until she starts coming back through the second space. In other
words, raise your standards, asking her to do a little more to get the reward. The click should be at the exact second that she turns through the second space.
2) Don't' use a command at this point. We want her to associate the
command of "weave" with competent execution of the poles, not learning.

When she is good at 3, add 2 more poles. She'll do the first two,
then look at you. Just wait, maybe tease her with the food, step forward so you are opposite the third space, then wait. Don't say anything, let her
think. She will do the third space, and probably the next one too, to get back to you.
Click her as she goes through the third space, then delay the click
as you did above.

When she is doing 5 add another, and she'll be doing 6. Now you are
ready to start step 2. This first step can take as little as 2 training
sessions. It goes amazingly quickly if your dog is easy to motivate with food.

Step 2 consists of teaching her to go through the poles to reach a
goal at the end. Now that she has the idea of weaving in mind and body we teach her the better execution, the drive through the poles with energy and desire, that makes a good weaving dog. We do backchaining, starting with the last two poles, to be done in the "out" or away-from-you pattern. Put a treat on a lid about 2 feet beyond the last pole. Let her see it, but not get it.
Use an 18" lead. You will use this to prevent her from going the wrong way. You will NOT use it to drag her through or show her the right way, only to keep her from going directly to the treat. Stand by the 5th and 6th poles. Get her excited about the treat. "Ready, ready, you want that? GET IT!" If she goes through the space click as she goes and let her get the treat herself. If she tries to bypass the poles altogether and just head for the treat, simply restrain her with the lead until she takes the correct path.

Do this a bunch of times until she is diving through the space and
getting the treat. Then step back two spaces and stand by the 3rd and 4th
poles. Repeat as above, but of course now she is doing more work. Use the lead to keep her from taking the wrong path, but as she is going correctly just flip the lead over the poles so you don't hold her back.

Now step back to the starting place; a good spot is actually about
4-6 feet in front of the poles so they are in a straight line before you. You
have laid your target. Get her revved up: ready, Ready, READY, GET IT!
Help her with the lead if need be, but don't guide her, just continue using
the lead to stop her going the wrong way.

Once she is doing 6 really well, add whatever command you want to
associate with the poles. Does she like tennis balls? If so, use a ball toss as another form of reward at the end. Sometimes lay it for her to get, other times toss it as a reward after she has done the whole set. Once she is doing 6 well she can increase the number very quickly, but don't add numbers until you are really pleased with the way she is doing the current number.

Give it a shot, I'll bet you like this method."
Deb

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