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Lion is starting his agility classes next Tuesday, and we are so excited! My boyfriend's mother recommended I take him (she has a chi as well). I know I am jumping the gun a little, but I really want to show him eventually. If anyone has agility experience, typically how long do you train before starting to compete? Of course I know it is about having fun and not winning, so I am not in a hurry or anything. I used to show horses (hunter/jumper) but had to quit this year because of college, so I am really looking forward to being able to do agility with Lion to replace the absence of horses in my life!

If anyone has tips or stories to share, I would be happy to hear them :)
 

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I compete in agility with my 3 border collies and Lilo my chihuahua. I occasionally show in AKC but mostly show in USDAA. My dogs love love love it! The border collies are a little more serious about it but Lilo sees it as a great game! She has a blast and is a tunnel sucker, if there's a tunnel within eyesight she wants to do it.

My advice would be: Go slow. Start the teeter very low and build up to full height. Train weaves with the 2x2 method. Don't feed him breakfast or dinner before class or training so he'll want those treats. Lower the A-frame for learning so he gets confident really running to the top so when it gets higher he doesn't try to walk up it, run out of oomph, not be able to make it and lose confidence.

I normally tell my students that if they go to class, train outside of class, and don't have a dog with any issues such as severely fearful, they can probably compete after about a year.

How old is Lion?
 

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Yep, he doesn't need to jump anything any higher than his elbow until he is a year old. After he hits a year I start some full height jumping and start weave pole training. Contacts, tunnels, the table and good foundation skills can be taught to him now. My young border collie started foundation work, tunnel work and the table at 8 weeks of age!

Lion won't be able to show until he is 18 months old so you have plenty of time for good teaching!

Enjoy him, agility is loads of fun. I used to do 3-day eventing but had to sell my mare when I moved to a different state. My dogs are now my show animals. They are much cheaper and more portable than the horses were. :)
 

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I just found this thread, and i'm happy to see it! I really want to get Ren started in agility and my Rocky back in it, (He was getting so good !) I hope you all do well in agility!
 

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I'd love to get my Papi into Agility; I just don't think there's any classes or shows locally though. Since I've gotten him he's shown some quite dextrous stunts, so I figured when I get a little bit of extra money, I'd go to the hardware store and build a very basic set for him to run outside and see how he does/how he likes it. :) He'll be just 10 months in September, so I'm making sure to take it easy since he's still a pup.
 

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I was just thinking about this the other day! I think it would be so fun to start Roxy in agility training. I'm going to do some more research. She just turned 1 on Sunday. Do you think its more beneficial to take the dogs to a training place or is it okay to train in your backyard if you know what youre doing?
 

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Rocco is just about ready to start his first show, he's almost 2 and has been doing lessons since he was 10 months. Right now we're backing off of contacts and focusing on jumper with weaves. I can't afford to pay for contact equipment in my backyard, but I can afford jumps and weaves, so that's what we're doing right now. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rocco is just about ready to start his first show, he's almost 2 and has been doing lessons since he was 10 months. Right now we're backing off of contacts and focusing on jumper with weaves. I can't afford to pay for contact equipment in my backyard, but I can afford jumps and weaves, so that's what we're doing right now. :)
How exciting! Good luck at your first show. Lion won't be able to show until he is 15 months old, but he is still learning so that is fine with me :) We are learning the teeter and weave poles in class right now.. The teeter terrifies him! Poor guy.
 

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Are they teaching you to play the bang it game? That helped Rocco out a lot. All you do is grab the teeter while your dog is near it, bang it down, every time he hear's the bang, reward. I also had to back off the teeter completely except for the bang it game and work on a wobble board instead.
 

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Yes, we do bang the teeter and feed treats during class. Right now Lion will go across the teeter, but he is so scared that he won't take treats while he is on it. I think it is the movement that scares him, because it is the same texture as the A-frame and dog walk and he doesn't mind those.
 

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That's why I had to go back to the wobble board. You can make one yourself by just putting a tiny rock or something under a piece of plywood. The idea is that it moves juuuust a little bit, so he gets used to motion, but the move is so small he can build his confidence up. Rocco would either jump off the teeter or lay down on it when it moved before the wobble board.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just found this thread! Are you and lion still doing agility? Pico is doing well and we are having fun trialling!
Not anymore! Lion stopped liking it, but I started taking Penny and she loved it. Sadly I ended up moving and I haven't found an agility group as great as the one we were at before. She was the star of her class though.. I think a posted a video on here somewhere.
 

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I'll be starting my Chihuahua, Wynston, in agility soon. I made a hurdle out of PVC piping, at 8" high, just to see if Wyn would take to it. He's loving it so far, even though he was a little hesitant at first. There are a few different agility courses in town - indoors and outdoors. When I take him to the park, he constantly runs so I know he has the energy to exert.
If anyone has advice or videos, I'd love to see them :)
 
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