Thursday, June 16, 2016

13 weeks - Agility training for babies

Kenna is 13 weeks old and full of energy! She loves to play with toys and discs, but we need to work on bringing them back! She knows her basic commands (but we need to work more on her stay as I have been neglecting it, bad momma!) and walks nicely on lead with lots of reinforcement and minimal distractions. Her recall is coming along nicely and she enjoys the company of people and other dogs. All this is to say she's off to a good start as a dog, so now it's time to start thinking about agility.

Lots of the basics are important for agility. It is good to have a confident dog who is not afraid of other dogs or people (there are always people on the course, and there are always other dogs at trials). You need good basic obedience for start line stays, coming when called on course, etc. But of course, there are specific skills for agility as well.

The main ones we have been working on recently are tunnels and wrapping jump standards. Tunnels are often a dog's favourite, and they're safe for a young puppy since there is no jumping and no risk of falling. Wrapping jumps helps teach the dog about jumps (without the jumping) and also teaches them to turn tightly. My jump standards have a centre bar that is slightly off the ground, but Kenna is such a large dog that this isn't so much a jump as a step, so I'm not worried about it. We don't jump young dogs because we don't want to damage their growth plates.

I'm really loving how she's looking at this young age! She's enthusiastic, brave, and she catches on really quickly!

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