BEGINNING AGILITY

Teaching your dog obedience through something fun where your dog gets to let loose can be really productive. Agility done well provides so many benefits:

  • an outlet for your dog’s energy
  • exercise for both members of the team
  • a proactive way to work through critical training goals like coming when called and working around distractions
  • teaches your dog to listen and concentrate while excited
  • gives you a chance to learn your dog’s natural language
  • develops a communication between you and your dog where both are heard and have a voice
  • a great way to enrich your life and invest quality time with your best friend
  • teaches you so much about training

Agility requires that both you and your dog learn a lot of skills. There are many approaches and a number of starter classes that you can sign up for. In Joy offers a unique program that may or may not be the right fit for you. Foundation skills will be trained first. It is critical that your dog is able to play with you, work off leash, and you truly know how to reward your dog. It’s necessary that we progress through the training in smart steps. So, the first session of agility that you attend won’t include all of the agility equipment. If your dog is noise phobic, it’ll probably be some time before your ready for the seesaw. Please tell your instructor right away that your dog worries about sounds because we want to get you started on simple tricks that teach your dog to grow confident around scary sounds sooner than later! Classes proceed according to the abilities of each group. There are no prerequisites or age restrictions for beginning agility.

We’re really invested in your training. In Joy likes to run small classes where you get lots of personal attention. To make that possible, if you’re struggling with something really important (like getting your dog to recall), you might need to schedule a private lesson or 2 to get help working things out. But don’t let that scare you. Everybody in the group will need some training time focusing on building up the dog’s “work ethic”. That’s part of a beginner class.

For those of you who have been around the block and would like to know some specifics about In Joy’s program. Handling begins on the flat utilizing reward/distraction placement as a stand in for equipment. We will shape the dog to offer the jump at low heights early. The handling techniques are intuitive and practiced at low heights until the dogs are fluent in the handling. International style courses are our passion. You’re only choice in class is to teach 2x2s (unless you want to bring a set of channels to the facility). I am quite good at helping with channels (both WAM and straight), but I sold that equipment years ago and haven’t missed it personally…but I am happy to support you if you have a strong opinion that differs. Contacts are 2o2o and you will be pushed to make them extremely independent (weaves, too). You can train RC in my class, but I won’t be able to help you much with it. I’ve been working on my RC but I find it to be very slippery and an entire undertaking that is beyond my ability to help you with. However, classes will help you train solid stops. We don’t bother with the nose target. In my mind it’s largely about the release and impulse control, which is a focus of foundation work. If you want more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Email: injoydogtraining@gmail.com    Phone: (219) 262-4525

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