i was hoping somebody could give me some hints or point me toward some good resources for beginning agility. we have done some targeting (and basic obedience), but this is the first dog i've trained so i don't know where to go from here.
i'd really like to get into an actual class but between my work schedule and her extreme reativeness around other dogs (read: lunging and screaming and absolutely no dream of being reliable off-lead), it's not going to happen in the immediate future.
i'm looking for very basic handling stuff that i can do in the backyard.
thanks Emotion: smile

blogging for pit bull rescue
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i was hoping somebody could give me some hints or point me toward some good resources for beginning agility.()

Oh noo.
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i was hoping somebody could give me some hints or point me toward some good resources for beginning agility. we ... to happen in the immediate future. i'm looking for very basic handling stuff that i can do in the backyard.

Not too long ago on here, there were a few books listed as good agility books for beginners. I have two of them on my own bookshelf, and as a novice agility person, I would agree.
They are both easy to understand, and both have a few exercises and things that "backyard" agility people can set up.
The first is All About Agility by Jacqueline O'Neil, and the other is Agility Training by Jane Simmons-Moakes.
Both of my copies are outdated (from the late 90's), so some of the regulation heights/course descriptions/club affiliation info may have changed unless they've released new editions since then. Agility Training also has some blueprints in the back for making a few of your own obstacles.
Nothing is like taking a class, however! And personally, I consider basic obedience a must beyond that a big bonus! In a class where a lot of the work is off-leash, it's nice for everyone to feel fairly comfortable
that another dog isn't going to lunge or attack their dog.* Watchful management of their social behavior is crucial, IMHO. Teaching your dog to focus on you, having a reliable recall and a solid stay are also important. If you've got those before going into an agility class, it's less to
worry about! :-) That way, everyone can have a good time and concentrate on learning.
(*and this comes from someone who has one dog that likes to unexpectedly lunge out at fast moving targets , and the other from a breed that has a lot of common misconceptions as well, but is actually very well-behaved )
Shelly & The Boys:
Coda (Collie/Golden/BC mix)
Bodhi (Belgian Sheepdog)
Nothing is like taking a class, however! And personally, I consider basic obedience a must beyond that a big bonus! ... off-leash, it's nice for everyone to feel fairly comfortable that another dog isn't going to lunge or attack their dog.

My club is pretty strict about dogs not lunging at other dogs, no dog who chase little dogs like prey, etc. They want solid Basic obedience, not so-so.

I'm incredibly lucky to have a class that meets during the daytime (which is the only thing I can work into my schedule), which is also very SMALL. There are only 6 of us in the class anyway, but have a few absent for various reasons, and it practically becomes private training. This past session, there were only 3 of us there, and with 3 instructors, it was amazing. And Franklin finally decided the dogwalk was not just not evil, but FUN - he ran up and over like he had never had any issue with it at all! He's such a weirdo sometimes.
Janet Boss
http://bestfriendsdogobedience.com /
They want solid Basic obedience, not so-so.

Agreed! This, among the hip issues, is one reason why I stopped with Coda. While his obedience is solid, his behavior was unpredictable (for me, maybe someone with much more behavior knowlege than me could predict it, but usually I can catch it "just in time" which just wasn't good enough for me).
There were never any attacks, just a loud caccophony of noise and a lightening fast lunge. I felt uncomfortable with him doing that, even though he's never gotten into a fight (other than scrapping over food with Bodhi).
He gets along well with most dogs otherwise . At the time, I just wasn't equipped to deal with that behavior. I may be better now, but at the time I was (and neither was Coda) not very confident about this in class, and it showed.
I'm incredibly lucky to have a class that meets during the daytime (whichis the only thing I can work into ... practically becomes private training. This past session,there were only 3 of us there, and with 3 instructors, it was amazing.

Our class is small also, usually 5 dog/handler teams. A Belgian, a Newf, a Golden, then a Cardi & a SUPER CUTE small Spaniel mix.
And Franklin finally decided the dogwalk was not just not evil, but FUN -he >ran up and over like he had never had any issue with it at all! He's such a >weirdo sometimes.

Yes, my weirdo is like that too. He would do the A-Frame, LOVES to jump, is getting better & better at weaves, but he was NOT setting his pretty little paws on that teeter or dogwalk! I was afraid that we'd never
get past this! He'd go on the same type of obstacles at lower heights, but not raised up. So, at the recommendation of our trainer, we did some "height work". Just hanging out on bleachers, going up & down stairs, and added some cavaletti work as well.
But what really seemed to help was that after a couple of weeks of working with a contact trainer, he just zooms
right up the teeter and the dogwalk like it's no big deal. Of course, now he LOVES contacts, and I have a hard time keeping him from being sucked up the A-frame! One step at a time!
Shelly & The Boys
(Contacts=Food, Bodhi Food!)
And Franklin
finally decided the dogwalk was not just not evil, but FUN - he ran up andover like he had never had any issue with it at all! He's such a weirdosometimes.

Warning - this means that he will now develop an aversion to either the tire or the table. (But, also YAY Franklin!)
Sassy - who LOVES the table because she KNOWS she does it right - has taken to running right over it in trials. Spenser has, at times, spent many seconds during trials circling the table as if he'd never seen one.

As we're working out Sassy's table issues - we have literally cut the legs off our practice table - she's starting to avoid the tire jumps but only the ones at trials.

~~Judy
Spenser - Carbor Talk of the Town, NA
Sassy - Can CH Carbor Back Talk
As we're working out Sassy's table issues - we have literally cut the legs off our practice table - she's ... ones at trials. ~~Judy Spenser - Carbor Talk of the Town, NA Sassy - Can CH Carbor Back Talk

And then there is the teeter which many dogs don't care for. Not all and some love it. Clovis felt it was the most evil thing there ever was.

Gwen
he LOVES contacts, and I have a hard time keeping him from being sucked up the A-frame! One step at a time!

That was Spenser when he discovered the teeter. He went through a period when he would run past a TUNNEL to get to the teeter. Now he's back to tunnels but teeters still call to him.
Shelly & The Boys (Contacts=Food, Bodhi Food!)

We have run into this periodically with our dogs. We had to remind ourselves to make just as big a deal - at least once in a while - over jumps and stuff we were taking for granted. It's just so easy to keep treating contacts. We have actually set up jump sequences and run the dogs through them treating after every jump or every other jump.

And at last weekend's trial, I was faced with a sharp turn following a jump - twice turning him from heading into a tunnel. We used the practice jump to reinforce taking a jump and then turning toward my voice immediately - and getting a treat. So we got that part of the course right when we ran it.

~~Judy
Spenser - Carbor Talk of the Town, NA
Sassy - Can CH Carbor Back Talk
i was hoping somebody could give me some hints or ... basic handling stuff that i can do in the backyard.

Not too long ago on here, there were a few books listed as good agility books for beginners. I ... then. Agility Training also has some blueprints in the back for making a few of your own obstacles.

thanks, i'll look into those.
Nothing is like taking a class, however! And personally, I consider basic obedience a must beyond that a big bonus! ... class, it's less to worry about! :-) That way, everyone can have a good time and concentrate on learning.

oh i know. we're working on the overreacting to other dogs, and it's going slowly. she was just terrible in basic obedience. she would scream and throw huge fits. it was totally embarrassing. i need to try to get her into other beginning type classes just for the socialization, i know.
she's a really bright, eager dog when i can get her attention. it's just she prefers carrying on at other dogs to pretty much everything else in the world.
which is why i'm looking to learn stuff we can do on our own. i figure the more i work with her in just the backyard while we're working on the socialization and desensitizing stuff, the more she'll be focused on me and the better our bond. plus it'll be fun.
but it's very very very frustrating to know she would not be welcome in any agility class as is, because i've put in a lot of work with her the past seven months that i've had her.
there's also the small detail of her being a pit bull, so if she did go after another dog in a class, even in play, it would be a much huger deal than most dogs :-/
(she's not really dog aggressive but she does a good imitation with the screaming and lunging. what she really wants is to meet the dogs. when she is allowed to meet them and sniff, she is ok. but there is no reason she should have to meet dogs, thankyouverymuch. i actually had her evaluated by a professional because i couldn't tell if she was being aggressive or not and i was afraid to "test" her on another dog. but we did and she was totally playing. but i still wouldn't trust her not to throw down in the right situation.)
(*and this comes from someone who has one dog that likes to unexpectedly lunge out at fast moving targets , ... common misconceptions as well, but is actually very well-behaved ) Shelly & The Boys: Coda (Collie/Golden/BC mix) Bodhi (Belgian Sheepdog)

blogging for pit bull rescue
project-blog july 24, 2004.
http://shattering.org
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