Introduction to Agility
At the introductory level, dogs are on a five- or six-foot leash and
the handler uses food and toys to reinforce and shape fundamental
agility skills. These skills include:
· Introducing you and your dog to all of the obstacles
· Learning the names of the equipment
· Building a good foundation with terms, commands and handling
· Negotiating obstacles and moving in different directions
according to course designs
By the end of the session, you and your dog should feel successful
running a short sequence of obstacles. Depending on the extent
of your obedience background, you may run a course off leash for
graduation. This class is for dogs older than six months. Puppies
under six months can learn agility obstacle imprinting in puppy
The advanced introductory level builds on the foundation skills
from the beginner class. The goal of this class is to work toward
performance of obstacles and control between obstacles. The dogs
will start to understand obstacle discrimination and independently
handle obstacles. Handlers start to work on moving with their
dogs as a team.
Agility in the Works
Handler strategies come into play at this level, including crosses
and more advanced handling techniques.
Dogs are working off leash, performing obstacles with distance
and speed and expanded sequencing.
The saying "run fast, run clean" has meaning in this
class. Class work focuses on the handler's timing, strategies
and ability to direct the dog efficiently through a course. You
should now be comfortable performing side changes, back, front
and half crosses, reverse flow pivots and directional calls. Dogs
should have solid contacts and stays at the start line. Motivational
runs and obstacle discrimination should be coming together.
If you're not sure which class would be the best fit for you
and your dog or if you would like to schedule a private lesson, call Blairwood at 773.235.7489.