Agalty training in Southern ontario, what to look for?

Discussion in 'Agility and Dog Sports' started by DjEclipse, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. DjEclipse

    DjEclipse New Member

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    We are looking for a trainer in the southern Ontario area, more so Niagara Region. If anyone knows of one, or even where to look i would appreciate it.

    Also, what do I look for in a god trainer? I am new to this and am not even sure what to look for.

    Our dog is still a pup, 7 month's, but loves to run so I figured Agility would suit him well.
     
  2. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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  3. DjEclipse

    DjEclipse New Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Tee creek is the one I was thinking about going to.

    What have you heard of them, are they good? What do I look for in an instructor?

    Thanks.
     
  4. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    I used to live in St Kitts.. but Cider was too young for agility, as we hadn't done much on normal manners. I called them, they never called me back, but their site has gotten far more detailed in the last 4 years. They look good.

    You want to find someone willing to teach foundation behaviours in the first classes, not someone who just gets the dogs on all equipment to run sequences as early as possible.

    Things liek recalling over a jump and through a tunnel are great, but they should spend time teaching you to teach your dog to target, playing with the downside of the aframe and the target to start off contact behaviour, not just having the dog start running the aframe. We always had the table available in one corner set low to work on sending our dogs progressively from slightly further away to the table to make it routine. A good foundation is really more about you being taught skills than the dog at first.. I had a better foundation than many people I've met, but it was still lacking. After a year and a half of classes, I started working with someone who had been on the world team. The first class I was unhappy, as we'd gone back to basics. By the second one, it clicked for me. Some of our basics on contacts were lacking. So we went back to fix them, which was a longer process than having done it right from the beginning, but I could see the changes in both of us.

    Sorry for the novel ;) You want a class that doesn't stress sequences, and getting dogs onto every piece of equipment asap. You want some handling skills being taught to you in there too and there's only so much time in a beginner class.
     
  5. DjEclipse

    DjEclipse New Member

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    Again, thanks for the reply.

    I am a complete noob, basically all I know is my dog loves to run and I think he would enjoy Agility. What I am saying is that being a complete noob some of the termonology you used I am not familiar with.

    What are foundation behavoirs? And what are sequences?

    I was told that the beginner class is one on one so there are no distractions, and they get the dog used to some of the obstacles, show him how to be safe on them.

    What is "teaching your dog to target"? And what do you mean by the above paragraph? I am slightly confused.

    Thanks.
     
  6. DjEclipse

    DjEclipse New Member

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    We had our first class with Tee Creek in Welland and it was a lot of fun.

    Ollie wasn't afraid of any of the equipment, went right up the "mini" a frame, through the tunnel etc.

    He can do higher jumps, but we were told not to make him jump any higher then his joints until he is 18 month's of age.

    Can't wait to go back next Sat.
     
  7. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Hmmm what foundation behaviours did you learn. Most agility places don't have you on much equip the first set of classes, let alone the first class. Was the 'mini' frame used so you can train contact behaviours? Really they should have you teach your dog to target first.

    As MP said you want to avoid places that let the dogs 'play' on the equip to early, it is dangerous and will hamper you if you wish to continue on and compete one day.
     
  8. DjEclipse

    DjEclipse New Member

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    What is a contact behavoir?

    After walking around the "dome" (it was inside since there is snow on the ground here), we started with the table.

    He had no problems jumping up on it so we let him get familiar with it and practised (sp?) him laying down on it few times.

    The mini a- frame we used treats to have him walk over it and placed the treat on the yellow part of the frame so he would get used to putting that one paw in that zone. As we were talking about the a-frame, and that some dogs may be afraid of it, Ollie was already walking over it, lol

    We then went to the "plank" (not sure what it is called I forget), and had him walk over it and again getting the treat in the yellow zone.

    Then we got him used to going over the jump (which was pretty much 1" off the ground to start), he did well there.

    Then we went to the tunnel which he had no problems coming through it to get a treat.

    What foundation behaviours are you looking for? All rewards were given using the correct hands so in the future he gets used to you using your hands/ body to direct him where to go etc.

    He seemed to pick up on it very well, our recall is good even when we don't offer treat rewards, and he seemed to have fun. Slept for the rest of the day when we got home, lol

    EDIT: Keep in mind the lesson is private with puppies so there are no distractions. It also gives us more time to practise. He wasn't left alone to play on the equipment on his own. We were also told not to let him jump off of anything higher then his elbow joints (if that is what they are called), even the couch and our bed are too high for him to be jumping off of at such an early age.

    Also, can someone explain to me what it is meant to "target"? Or teach him to target?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  9. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Hmm it doesn't sound horrible. But I am kinda suprised that they had you just simply giving a treat in the contact zones. A contact behaviour is what a dog does when they get to the contact. There are running contacts (by far the most difficult to train) then there are all sorts that involve the dogs stopping. (2 on 2 off, one rear two on, four on the floor and many others. The 2 on 2 off or 2o/2o is the most common.) Here is a pic of Dekka doing a 2o/2o.

    [​IMG]

    She had already touched her nose to the ground, which is part of the criteria. And no matter where I am (ahead, way behind lol, or to the side, she should stop in that pose and wait for the next cue.

    We do plank work and stuff too. But a lot more drive building exercises, and control exercises along with targeting and flat work.
     
  10. DjEclipse

    DjEclipse New Member

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    Maybe in future classes we'll do more contact stuff.

    But he told us that in competition all the dog has to do is touch one paw in the yellow zone.

    What is Drive building exercises? Targeting?

    I guess I'll see how things go next class.

    They are holding an agility event April 12th, we are going ot go watch and see what competition is about.

    Do you have any vids/ pics of your og doing agility?
     
  11. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Yes in compeition they must get at least one toe in the yellow. But that isn't how you train it ;) Most classes I have given, taken contact training beggins with targeting on the flat. Then moves to contact equip... I don't know if its a good idea for the dog to have history of just leaving the contact zone, and then retraining after the fact. It is much harder to change criteria than to implement it.

    Drive building.. um restrained recalls are one type.

    It doesn't hurt to be informed, it will help you get the most out of classes. And you can ask about things. Some places that have a heavy recreational client base will skip stuff (I don't agree with it, but I see it) if they notice you are more keen to do it right, they may better ways to do things.

    Watching agility is a great way to learn about the sport. If you see someone who's run you really liked you can ask them (after they put thier dog away) where they train etc etc. Most agility people LOVE to talk about agility and their dogs.
     
  12. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    I agree with everything that has been said so far. We don't start out novice dogs or pups on the equipment. They are first taught on the flat foundation skills and targetting. Building toy/tug drives, releases and agility obedience which is far different that regular obedienc. Focus games are also a big part of the training. And long before they get on the equipment, mini or lowered, they are taught hindend awareness.
    Some of the foundation skills needed are sending them out and around objects, recalls, walking and then running figure 8's with the dog on the outside (easy) and the inside of the handler (much harder). It is also typical to train a solid down first before pause table training. We also teach Front crosses and rear crosses on the flat as well.
    I suggest you purchase some books from www.cleanrun.com or www.dogsportmagazine.com. An excellent book to get is Agility Foundation Skills.
    Puppies are not jumped at higher half the height between the elbow (front leg) and the ground. The larger the breed, the more important it is too keep those heights lowered and having the growth plates x-rayed is also a good idea especially with larger breeds.

    I see a lot of titles in many other events and very limited agility titles on their own dogs and what is posted by their students. You may want to ask, how often they compete and win/title in agility and who they are training with now for agility. Which seminars or workshops they have attended for agility and when..........in short what are they doing about continuing with their education in agility. Methods that were used 10 years ago can be very out dated now in this sport and if you are wanting to compete in the future (keep in mind you may change your mind if you don't now), then you don't want to have to retrain, which can cost you more in time and money in the end.
    Ask them if they compete in the AAC Ontario Regionals and the Nationals and if so what were the results and which year/s>
    One of the World's leading agility competitors and trainers in just west of Hamilton, which isn't very far from you. Susan Garrett's Say Yes Dog Training.

    If you have any other questions please ask. And please keep in mind that we are not trying to trash your new trainer, but posssiblity helping you to avoid problems in the future. That we do have the best of intentions with the knowledge and experience of people that do compete and title in agility.

    Take care
    Lynn
     
  13. DjEclipse

    DjEclipse New Member

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    Thanks for both replies. I will wait and see how the next class goes, ask about what dogs they are training/ competing with etc. and see how it goes.

    I will keep you informed.

    His off leache recall is pretty good, he usually comes running as hard as he can when we call him.... usually, lol

    The down we are working on at home, we really haven't trained it at all. After having him jump up and lie on the table, the 5th time he jumped on the table he automatically laid down before he even saw the treat. We are working more on it at home all this week.

    Our dog is Coton de tulear, so he is a small dog. The height between his elbow and the ground is only a few inches. Our bed is well over his head and he has been jumping up and off it for a while now. I hope we haven't hurt him by allowing him to do this.

    We wanted to get class that was close to see if Ollie was going to like agility. We'll see how it progresses.
     
  14. Brandyb

    Brandyb New Member

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    Sounds like you got some good advice here. Foundation exercises can be practiced anywhere, which you can work on at home, at class, at the park etc. I find recalls/call offs and stays/waits imparative on course, and I would suggest getting a solid foundation of these behaviours as well (ie. for start line stays, call off wrong course etc.) as well as a solid down as Lynn said (I see so many dogs who do not want to down on the table, and are even worse in different conditions). Practicing control over your own body is very important as well (I learned that the hard way - I'm pretty un-coordinated). Practice front and rear crosses without the dog, get the hang of the steps, practice by yourself around jumps and other equipment. I found this very useful, and easier to figure out without the dog, then gradually introduce them to the steps.
    Contacts can be trained in different ways, and I will say that I trained contacts similar to how you've explained here (treating in the zone) and Brandy is about 99% accurate on all of her running (well I wouldn't call it running - hehe - maybe jogging or brisk walking) contacts. I would, however, suggest some sort of target behaviour for distance contacts, or a go-to behaviour which can be easily taught the same way you've been doing.
    There is an April 5&6 trial, which is the CPE one. Its a great idea for you to go, see what competing is all about, and hopefully you'll be able to see how some of the instructors work, get a feel for their methods.
    Good luck with your training. :)
     
  15. DjEclipse

    DjEclipse New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. It's good to know the way we are learning contact behavoir is not unusual and works.

    We are working on the lay down command at home now. He will drop like a rock now instead of just putting his head down with ass in the air.

    His stay is real good, and same with come. Here's a little vid I made where he stays even when I am out of sight. There are no distractions mind you, but I think it's a good start.

    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=G1NEyIMdzro

    They are holding an agility event on Aprl 5-6, I am not sure if I can make it (soccer tourny that weekend), but my GF will go check it out.

    We can't wait to go back to class on sat.
     
  16. DjEclipse

    DjEclipse New Member

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    i just found out that the event Tee creek is holding is a CPE Agility Trial - April 5, 2008.

    What is AAC and CPE?
     
  17. Brandyb

    Brandyb New Member

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    CPE and AAC are two different clubs that hold agility trials. AAC is the more popular of the two, also more competative and challenging. AAC concentrates greatly on skill and speed, and their classes consist of standard, jumpers, steeplechase, gamblers, snooker and team (allowing folks to run in regular, special and veterans classes).
    CPE also requires skill, but I find it less competative and more laid back, allowing a little more fun involvement. CPE concentrates more on the games, offering classes such as standard, jackpot (gamble), jumpers, snooker, colours, wildcard and full house (allowing folks to run at about 4 different classes).
    In AAC you have to begin in starts level. In CPE you can begin from level 1-3, handlers choice.
    I enjoy competing in both very much - there are always more AAC than CPE trials throughout the year - both hold Nationals - however, there are very different qualification requirements to get their between the two.
    CPE is a great venue to begin in if you are at the start of your trialing career. I highly recommend getting involved in both when you're ready. :)
     
  18. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Just a note. It works with slow dogs/and or teaches slow contact performances. It does not work with drivey dogs, this is why most places no longer teach it that way. (as it takes longer and is not always successful and leads to slow performances) So it is becoming unusual.

    Also the only reason some of us are posting to give you tips, is that we have been there. We have taken less than comprehensive foundation classes. Kaiden (my Masters/advanced dog) and I are still struggling with issues arising from a less than thorough start 4 years ago. We are to trying to pick on you or anything, we just don't want you to be regretting it later.
     
  19. DjEclipse

    DjEclipse New Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. It seems the CPE is more laid back and the AAC is more competaive.

    Is there anywhere I can read about the different challenges like full house, jumpers etc?

    Thanks again for your reply.
     
  20. DjEclipse

    DjEclipse New Member

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    I completly understand what you are saying. I am very blunt and like when people are straight with me. I don't feel like anyone is picking on me, just giving me the facts form their own experience, and that is exactly what I want.


    I don't know what kind of a dog Ollie is, he seems to run hard, not really prance around.

    I feel like we made our choice and have to stick it out. We weren't ready to drive 2hrs to a agility class only to find out he/ we don't like it. It was only the first class, and so far he seems to respond well to it.

    I'll keep you updated on the classes, I will keep an open mind and see how it progresses. Ollie and my GF are having a lot of tun with it in the first class, we'll see how it goes and how Ollie responds to the stuff he is learning.

    On a side note, he has learned the down command in 4 days. He even does it mid run while he is coming to me, I say down and he drops, it's kind of cute, we're so proud of him. I think he won't have any trouble figuring out that as soon as he is on the table he has to lay down... we'll see though.

    We also had him going around the kitchen chairs last night, we used 2 and made him do a figure 8, he did well with that also.
     

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