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Old 10-24-2008, 01:57 PM   #1
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Post When to start agility

Hi! Ive a 4 month border collie who is going to obedience classes and hes doing well but I would like to do agility. I know hes young at the moment but when is the best age to start agility classes.

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Old 10-24-2008, 02:14 PM   #2
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You can start teaching "puppy agility" now. You can't do full fledged agility with all the equipment until your dog's growth plates have closed. The growth plates are the soft plates between joints. These stay soft until the dog is done growing. This occurs at different times for different dogs. For a BC, it would depend on the size - probably between 14 months to 16 months. If you do too much repetitive work on growth plates, you can cause arthritis later in a dog's life.

Until the growth plates close (and you know by getting an xray), you can do much agility training with a puppy though. First the dog must have very solid agility obedience behaviors. Sit, stay, down, come - all off lead - all in heavy distractions - all for long duration. In addition, you can teach handling skills, directionals, distance, flat work (also called shadow handling), and a ton of other things. You can use tunnels, jumps with bars on the ground, chutes, tires with tire on the ground or use hoops.

Check out my blog by clicking the blog number under my name. I have a 14 month old sheltie that is in agility training. You can see what I trained and when to get an idea of what stuff a puppy needs to know for agility. His growth plates closed early...probably around 11 months to a year, so he's doing weaving and contact obstacle work your dog won't be able to get to until a bit older.

You can also check out his videos and see his training progress there at:

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xoGrAopI5k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MGd4i7kbOI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wexqsFZSMo
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:38 PM   #3
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I myself have a 6 month old Border Collie, and am hoping to be active in the sport of agility. I am enrolling him "Puppy Foundation Agility Classes" which will cover most of what agilityk9 has mentioned above. Always sit in on a lesson to see if you like the style of training that is happening!

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Old 10-24-2008, 06:44 PM   #4
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Good for you kelli. Let us know how you like the classes.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:45 AM   #5
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Il keep at it with the obedience classes as hes a qiuck learner and im teaching basic obedience at home and on walks, hes also good off the lead and listens to when he called. Il have a go at puppy agility too as I dont wanna do too much and cause problems for him when hes older. Thanks

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Old 10-27-2008, 04:29 AM   #6
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When I made enquiries on agility for April, way back when, I was told they couldn't do it until 2 y/o which is when I started taking her. Although she had been going to obedience since 3.5 m/o.
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