Training Tips


TUGGING FUN:


A good game of tug is a great way to excite your dog, especially before an agility run or sequence, as well as build a better relationship with you. It can be used as a powerful reward for correct response to a cue.

Controlled tug games also exercise your dog's body and mind, teach some important foundation behaviors (self-control, holding, and letting go of objects in the mouth), and provide a fantastic outlet for the innate drives within your dog. Some dog owners have even discovered that playing tug can be an effective stress release for their dog during difficult training sessions, or at other times of stress. If your dog does not know how to tug, start teaching!

Testimonials


" Your place is great, I love that it's all fenced in and away from the road. Good footing. Nice equipment and great location."

"We had a great time and I hope you do it again soon. The time was good for us, and lots of nice people and dogs showed up. How terrific!"
"I really enjoyed [the run thrus]! We were pleased with the fact that the
runs were timed so that everything flowed. We thoroughly enjoyed the
experience"
"It was great. I wouldn't change a thing. "
"I enjoyed the run-thru. The location is very nice. I do like that the field is all fenced and hedged, so there's a lot of privacy."
"I think you did a great job. Keep up the good work!"


 



Agility Training

What is agility?

Well, it's about the most fun a dog and owner can have together! In the sport of agility, the handler has a limited amount of time to get their dog to safely navigate a set of obstacles in a predetermined order. The obstacles can include jumps, tunnels, a chute, weave poles, A-frame, dog walk, teeter-totter, and more! The dog must safely complete the obstacles in a specific order and within the time limit.

Success in agility requires proper training, as it is a game of physical skill, control, patience and, most of all, teamwork between handler and dog. Agility is a race against the clock, but accuracy is the first requirement.

Our philosophy is that a great agility team is built upon a solid foundation of basic skills. Using positive training techniques and emphasizing play, we take time at the start of your agility career to build these skills. Once the basic foundation skills are in place, we move on to equipment and handling skills. Overlaying all this is our desire to help you build a great relationship with your dog, where YOU will be the ultimate reward and agility becomes the ultimate game your dog can play with you.

Resources

Read Agility! Getting Started for information about the agility and things you need to know to begin training for this great sport. We can help you with fun, informative classes.

Please go to our Schedule page to see our agility class schedule.

Check out a visual tour of the agility equipment on a course.

Watch a fun, short agility video that will show you what the sport of dog agility is all about.

If you'd like to watch, or participate in, an agility event,
check out AgilityEvents.net

Here is a listing of Florida agility trials. (Thanks Tracy Hanna!)

Build your own jumps! Jumping is 80% of agility and you need your own jumps to practice. Thanks to Roger at www.instantagility.com for this very useful and well organized information.

Want to work on certain jumping skills but are having trouble coming up with some new drills? Try the Jump Box Drill Generator courtesy of www.AgilityNerd.com.

Agility Classses


Focus Foundation

Learn the basic obedience and communicationskills needed to build a better relationship with your family dog or to start competitive dog sports such as agility and rally. This class is the foundation for all future training. It will increase communication and awareness between your dog and you. Some of the skills we will cover include attention, some off leash control, ability to work around other dogs as well as people and distractions, drive and motivation, confidence and basic obedience such as sit, down, stay and come. We will train or improve basic obedience skills such as sit, down, stay, loose leash walking, come and no jumping. Other topics covered include: heel and side position, toy drive, and motivation. The focus of the class is on improving manners, gaining skills, and increasing confidence to build a more enjoyable relationship and become an effective team. This class is a prerequisite to Intro to Agility as well as a great prelude to other obedience classes.

Intro to Agility

In this class dogs will be introduced to many of the obstacles in agility in a safe and controlled manner. The skills needed to successfully negotiate the obstacle and the handling skills will be worked on weekly. Attention, focus and motivation will be practiced as the team builds confidence in an atmosphere that centers on having fun. By the end of this class the dogs will have a good working knowledge of many of the obstacles (the a-frame, teeter and the dogwalk will not be completed but we will begin shaping correct contact skills).
(Prerequisite- Focus Foundation, or Puppy II, or Obedience I)

Beginning Agility (formerly called Agility Level I)

In this class handling skills and basic control will be improved. Students learn to give timely commands, to provide consistent and smooth body cues, and to develop teamwork with their dogs. The rest of the equipment, specifically the contact obstacles, will be taught including, a-frame, dog-walk, teeter. Different handling maneuvers such as front and rear cross, post turns, get outs, and come to side, will be taught and practiced. The dog and handler teams will continue to improve their skills and will become more proficient at simple combinations of obstacles. (Prerequisite- Intro to Agility)

Novice Agility (formerly called Agility Level II)

Novice Agility continues where Beginner left off. We will continue to develop teamwork and increase handling skills. Sequencing is performed off lead, therefore, your dog also must be able to sit, stay, down, and come on command, off lead. Handlers also develop the ability to switch smoothly from handling their dogs off one side to handling off the other in the middle of a sequence using front and rear crosses. The different come to side maneuvers will be practiced using obstacles. Dogs will be taught to move ahead and switch as needed from handler to obstacle focus. We will work more off leash doing short sequences of obstacles. Handling and agility skills such as front and rear crosses, serpentines, 270s, get outs and threadles will be worked on to gain comfort and confidence.

Intermediate Agility (formerly called Agility Level III)

This class is designed to advance your skills and to prepare you and your dog for competition, if desired. The dogs must be reliable off leash and under good control. Handling skills and combinations will be emphasized. Obstacle skills and team communication will continue to be improved and strengthened, as will speed and reliablility. Distance performance will be improved and longer sequences will be done to work on specific skills to better the performance of the dog and handler. Contact equipment performance will be practiced and improved including two-on-two-off and/or running contacts.

Advanced/Masters Handling and Skills

The theme of these sessions will vary and the classes will teach a variety of different skills and handling maneuvers. Some topics may include distance work, perfecting weaves or contacts, improvement of rear and front crosses, obstacle discrimination, distance work, etc. Competition courses will be set up for a variety of handling challenges. Learning how to walk a course and figure out how to best run it will be emphasized. You will be faced with and learn to handle all of the challenges seen in competition and gain confidence, speed, distance, and polish.

Sequencing

This class is designed to improve specific handling skills each session using short combinations of obstacles. Whether it is front or rear crosses, serpentines or threadles, better contacts, 180 degree and 270 degree turns, speed, distance, or any other skill, course sequences will be set up to challenge and instruct. The ability to "read" a given sequence and determine which handling techniques to utilize to ensure the cleanest, most efficient path for the dog, is the single biggest challenge for the handler. Practice and guidance in working through sequences provide the handler with exposure to the many varieties of obstacle combinations, and experience in applying all the available handling techniques.

Agility Run Thrus (Fun Runs)

Each session a different course is set up so you can practice your handling skills. Do the entire course or work on a section at a time. This is a great opportunity to polish up your skills in preparation for showing or to give you a new place to work your dog. We will have a novice course nested with an excellent course.

For information about the next scheduled Fun Run, please go to our Events page.

Skills Reinforcement

Waiting for the next level class to begin but don't want to lose the skills you have learned? One night a week you are welcome to use the equipment to hone your skills and keep practicing. An instructor will be on hand to offer suggestions and feedback. Mostly appropriate for beginner and novice handlers.

Puppy Agility Fun!

Take advantage of your puppy's natural curiosity and abundant energy to introduce him or her to the fun sport of agility! This class will focus on some fundamentals of agility using puppy games that will utilize targeting, wobble boards, focus and basic obedience skills. Puppies will be introduced to sights, sounds, and techniques that are helpful toward building confidence without stress on baby joints. Clickers, treats and toys will be used for focus motivators. Class will help build your puppy's confidence and strengthen your bond and partnership. The goal is to create a dog that is engaged, focused and motivated as well as one that is confident, well socialized, and eager to offer behaviors and learn.

Some goals of the class include:

  • Reliable & fast recalls, sit/down stays
  • Building drive & focus
  • Toy motivation
  • Crate games
  • Surface desensitization (things that move, make noise and are elevated; hind end awareness )
  • Introduction to some agility equipment (focusing on familiarization and confidence building initially then shifting to obstacle performance)
This class is designed for puppies 5 months to 1 year of age. The class meets one day a week for approximately one hour. Classes are limited to 7 puppies. Dogs will need to have a crate, buckle collar or gentle leader, a 6 ft. leash (nylon or leather), and lots of tiny yummy treats (don't feed dinner before class)!

The class will focus on building a positive working relationship with your puppy using play, toys, and lots of treats.

Prerequisite: graduation from Ideal Puppy class (or similar in another school) or obedience class such as Focus Foundation; or approval from instructor or Training Director. Other puppy agility classes will follow this to continue to improve your young dog's agility skills.

Private Instruction

Contact us if you are interested in private agility lessons.

Practice, practice, practice!

Join the Club and make your dog a Lucky Dog! Get a membership and use the facility on your schedule to practice whenever there is no other class or event. Membership is not required for joining a class.




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Photo Thanks:
"Roxy" (Graystone's Little Rox-Star) Mini Bull Terrier - Loretta Joy;
"Kaya" (Aussie/Husky)- Shari Sprague;
"Cheech" (CH. SanctuaryMuch TaiChi)(Chinese Crested) - Rachelle Wagner;
"Hope" (Dreamtime Hope Diamond)(Westie) Leslie Granville-Smith;
"Jake" (Ch. Mandolyn Shake and Jake)(red Aussie) - Ami Romanelli
"Chante" (CH Thornapple Straight Up)(tri Aussie) - Ami Romanelli;
"Panda" (Jack Russell)- Judy Streisand, MD;
"Bella" (Leonberg's Bella Lavannah)(white Shepherd) -Mindy Cox