Best agility foundation resources

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Laurelin, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    What are your favorites? Starting to try to stock up before puppy comes next year.

    I've got Silvia Trkman's foundations DVD and Agility Right From the Start so far.

    what about equipment? I'm still not going to have room for a full yard but right now I have 6 weaves and 3 jumps. I think next purchase will be a tunnel.

    I really want to start off agility well with Nextdog.
     
  2. Catsi

    Catsi New Member

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    I remember really liking Deb Jones and Judy Keller's rather small book - In focus - developing a working relationship with your performance dog.
    They also have a puppy foundation book which I haven't looked at yet.

    I loved Susan Salo's puppy jumping and jumping foundations.

    Susan Garrett's Crate Games is something that I use all the time. I know it's not exactly agility foundations (but it kinda is, if you know what I mean).

    For equipment - I only had a box for rear-end awareness and a home made wobble board for ages, but we had a lot of fun (and still get them out to play with sometimes!)
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Oh yeah I have crate games too. I forgot about that one.

    I've heard good things about puppy jumping. I'll have to put that on the list.
     
  4. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I'd also suggest ST's Ready Steady Go, which is sort of an agility foundation DVD too. And taking her online classes could be a great resource (Puppy and Foundations) And especially if you get a PyrShep :)

    Equipment wise, you can teach a lot of what you need for agility at home with a plank, a tunnel and some jumps.
     
  5. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I've decided I need more money. :p Hahaha. That's going to be the biggest factor. All the money goes to agility stuff.

    I was planning on Silvia's puppy/tricks class. I think that could be a good investment.

    I'm kind of running into an issue in that I had always anticipated taking the puppy through quite a few of Sandy's puppy and beginner's classes since she did a lot of positive reinforcement and her puppy class was made by Kristen (I dunno if you know here) to lead into agility work. But now that Sandy passed away, I have no puppy classes. :( We do some puppy classes here but they're infrequent. Or I could probably start the pre-agility classes early on and just repeat that a few times before moving on. Mostly for socialization's sake. I figure especially if I get a pyrshep I'll need some classes pretty right off the bat.

    Which tunnels do you guys like? Affordable agility has some 9' $80 ones. But I can't tell how sturdy they are or if they bend from the pictures. Do you NEED a competition sized one? I want something that will last a few dogs and it is highly likely that I will have a larger (belgian-y size) dog eventually. Something that curves well would be nice.
     
  6. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    I vote for the on line courses of Recallers and the puppy classes/tricks, then Foundations of Trkman's. For a tunnel, a good choice would be a 6 " pitch, 10-15 ft, ligher and easier to store/move, durable but cheaper than the 4 pitch, 20 footers. A good tunnel is an investment and will last for at least 10 + years if cared for.
     
  7. Raegan

    Raegan Member

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    I don't know what you use for a handling system, but I've used Mecklenburg's Developing Handling Skills and Developing Jumping Skills in addition to ARFS.
     
  8. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Yeah I really like Mecklenburg's stuff for foundation jump and handling training, but her stuff is geared more toward medium/large dogs. To a certain extent, the very small dogs pretty much run in extension all the time, so while the information is still good it may not be quite as pertinent for your current dogs -- as for the future, that depends on what future dog is... :).
     
  9. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Yeah it'd probably help if I knew for sure what Nextdog is. :/ Bigger than the papillons probably doesn't help much, lol.
     
  10. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Personally I didn't find Agility Right From The Start to be any kind of treasure trove of information... it was more "let's collect a bunch of stuff from everybody else and put it in one big book." Handy for somebody who hasn't been around for a while/has never heard the name "Greg Derrett" - not so much for somebody who's been doing agility for a while.

    I'm still working my way through Trkman's foundations DVD, there's sooo much information. I watch it, then watch again to take notes... I've only gotten through an hour of note taking.

    So far my favourite other foundations DVD has been Q-Me by Dave Munnings. I also have Greg Derrett's foundations DVD, I'm still watching through that too (we watched Q-Me first.) Lots of stuff I already knew but I am picking up an exercise or two from Derrett's DVD that are handy. I also have this:
    http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=2625&ParentCat=175

    SIX DVDs... I've only watched two. Of the two I've watched it's again stuff I knew but with some cool new exercises in there and LOTS of troubleshooting, because it's actually video of a seminar, so you see a variety of dogs with a few different challenges and how to work through them. The troubleshooting is by far the best part for me.

    I also have Susan Garrett's Success with One Jump DVD, again I've actually only ever watched the first because there's SO much information on it I keep just going over and over that one and have ever moved on to the second LOL. I should do that... maybe I'll have an agility DVD watching night...


    My first tunnel came from a place that no longer manufacturers them (bummer!) I just bought a second tunnel earlier this year from an NTI Global megasale. I went ahead and bought a 15' with AKC regulation pitch because the difference was only something like $15 for one with a non-regulation pitch... it was really important to me to have tunnels that look and feel to the dog like the ones I would find at trials so I'm not sure if the AffordableAgility ones are a good idea or if I would just save until I could buy a more regulation-type tunnel.
    I think my first tunnel is only a 12'. Both cost me about $200 each. I am so glad I have two tunnels now instead of just one, but my first tunnel I bought five years ago - buying two at the same time would be a bit much for me!

    I have ten jumps, a tire jump, a triple-jump, a set of 12 stick-in-the-ground weave poles, a set of 2x2s, a set of weave-a-matics, and a very janky set of six weaves I built for Auggie a loooooong time ago. Also a table and mini a-frame, and now that I am blessed with a large yard, I'm working on a teeter and either a mini or full-sized dog walk (haven't decided yet.) I would say just for necessities, at least one tunnel, five jumps, and a set of twelve poles. My equipment has grown over the years as I've found it necessary to buy a few things to work on trouble spots with Auggie, but I would say those would be the bare minimum that would let you work on just about everything. I mean, regular jumps can be place together to simulate a triple jump!
     
  11. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Honestly one of the best things you can do is go to trials, plunk yourself down, and just watch. And watch. See all the difference performance styles, the handling styles, the contact performance options. Watching people's videos online is great but really being there and feeling the courses and seeing all these runs with so many skill levels and partnerships all on the same course back to back...and decide what you want your team to look like for the type of courses you expect to run. Develop that picture in your mind, and then tackle people and trainers and the great resources here to figure out how you are going to accomplish that. But without starting with the picture of what YOU want, your training will inevitably lack focus and consistency, and you will do a lot more retraining later.

    Just my 2 cents though
     
  12. Raegan

    Raegan Member

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    If I had one equipment wish, after 3-5 jumps and a tunnel, it would be a dog walk. More and more it looks like running contacts are becoming standard practice. I know with Trkman's method you need to get a lot of repetitions in while slowly raising the height, and that's just really hard to do if you don't have your own.

    I don't know, for me I have a weekly run thru night. My training at home is mostly handling practice (Haha I'm terrible at handling). So having a lot of equipment at home isn't necessary for me.
     
  13. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    There's a trial next weekend here. I'm kind of jealous, a local girl scout troop is volunteering o they don't need volunteers. Why didn't my girl scout troop ever do anything that cool?

    I'm so new to everything, I figure I need as much help as I can get. I don't want to try to do EVERYTHING though, because that's impossible. But I really could use some pointers for some good exercises we could do in the yard. And some good pointers on how to raise a sports pup and build drive, etc. I mean... I've never done it before. I messed up enough with my first two and spent literally years doing agility wrong. Not really looking for anything to use as the agility bible, just looking to read and watch some stuff before Nextdog comes so I have a better set of tools to pull from for Nextdog.
     
  14. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Brilliant.

    I went into Gusto thinking I was Going To Do It Right This Time. I was getting a puppy and I knew what I was doing and it was going to happen. Who knew there were so many ways to do it right?! What I really had to do was settle myself (and him) on a general system/style/whatever that works for us. I skip some really convenient seminars now, because I know that they aren't right for us, however great the presenter may be.

    As for equipment - I'm jealous of all of you. I get by with two jumps and a set of 2 x 2 weaves. I don't have any yard to speak of, so it's more than I can use at once. I'd love to have more, but I make sure I hit up as many practices/run thrus as I can, and invite myself over to friends' houses if they have good equipment!
     
  15. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Yeah I have serious DW want. I had sworn I would not get a puppy until I had my own adjustable DW lol. We'll see how that works out with Mirapups coming so soon though. Pretty much any more I can squirrel away for breeding related emergencies is going there for the foreseeable future, so no DW for me.

    That said, have you considered building your own down plank? It really does help...I built a regulation downplank (12') for working at home, and by adding something in the middle it can double as a baby teeter trainer. it's just a 12' x 12" wood plank with slats, painted with a good exterior paint for weather proofing then sanded & colored. It's not the same thing, but it at least gets you started.

    Also the dog that just won 26" AKC Nat'ls has stopped contacts, just sayin' ;). A lot of the dogs in the finals did. You gotta run fast and clean to make it to finals after all. I really need to get vid of my friend's BC and his stopped contacts...they are a thing of beauty.
     
  16. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I would say most dogs running in the taller heights at AKC nationals did stopped contacts.
     
  17. Raegan

    Raegan Member

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    Did you see the stride by stride video of Daisy Peel and, um, whoever? Very cool.

    Marsh just has managed contacts, but we'll see what our 2o2o winter training looks like when run thru start in a couple weeks (provided the ground ever dries up!).

    I just don't have the space for 12'. :( it would have to be stored in the basement and id never drag it up to work with. This fall I'm moving though, and every likely destination has much better access to equipment!
     
  18. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Yeah, Daisy Peel/Solar vs. Desiree Snelleman/Pace in the Challenger's round. Very cool.

    For those who haven't seen it, I linked it below. (Pace went on tto win the 26" Finals and earn his NAC). Regarding the contacts, I think it's interesting that due to the turn off the DW Pace's contact performance might have been just as good as Solar's but because he shot forward toward the OC jump along basically the same path as Solar's running DW, any path length savings were lost and Solar's additional speed across the contact was able to make up time there:
    [YOUTUBE]4c44fphAuZo[/YOUTUBE]

    I have a 4' board too lol. Because I move too much and that was more portable. But yeah, I get the frustration. It's just not the same.

    (sorry for the derail, Laurelin)
     
  19. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    My 2 cents...

    I don't think you "messed up" with your girls. There are SO many things I would do differently with Auggie given the chance... but I don't consider it having messed up with him. My journey with Auggie may not have been the one I dreamed it would be - I kissed away my dreams for a MACH to settle on a PACH instead, then I buried the PACH dream as well - but I do not believe even for a second that our journey was the wrong one or that it was a mistake.

    I've linked this before, but:
    http://susangarrettdogagility.com/2010/04/there-are-no-ordinary-dogs/


    Next, as far as what to do with your agility puppy. My story with Payton is a lot like BB's with Gusto. "I have ALL THE BOOKS and ALL THE DVDS. We are going to do this RIGHT!" I had schedules from big name agility people. Puppy should be doing THIS by THIS age and when he's THIS old you should have THIS mastered...
    And it caused me so much anxiety because I would look at those schedules and freak out. "He should be doing WHAT by now?? We haven't even STARTED that!"

    It took a while for me to figure out it was a waste of my time to be worried about it. Would I have preferred things to be a bit different? Oh yes. Do I regret it? No. Payton and I are doing what Payton and I were meant to do together. Regardless of anybody else's schedule, Payton and I will ALWAYS be on OUR schedule.


    So what you should do with your agility puppy is play with your puppy.
    If you haven't watched Trkman's foundations video yet, you'll hear her talking about the same thing - in fact she flat out says the way she trains her dogs is not nearly as organized as the DVD makes it out to be. She plays with her dogs! Lots of chasing games, she teaches them a lot of tricks. With Payton it was (is) a lot of impulse control games too, balanced with a lot of tug. Busy encouraging his drive and yet working on how to harness and control it. The foundation that I laid with Payton is the foundation of a relationship... not just a foundation for a sport dog. And the fact that we have spent almost two years building a relationship has made all this agility stuff much easier than if all I was doing was trying to tick boxes on somebody else's schedule that dictated what Payton and I should be doing by such-and-such age.


    Cliff note's version: read whatever you can, learn cool games and ideas, but don't make your journey with your dog try to somehow match up with any other journey. Because it just plain won't and the point is to enjoy your unique journey rather than be busy comparing it to any other journey and moaning about how behind you are comparatively speaking.


    ETA: Oh yeah - as for suggestions of what to set up in the backyard, Clean Run has two agility sourcebooks. I use them to play and when I have to sub an agility class as well. I don't always have the space to set up the full exercise exactly as it is on paper (in my parent's backyard or in our unusually shaped agility building) but I still am inspired by the intent of the exercise and use it to set up something similar that still gets the job done.
     
  20. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    So much yes.

    I've said it before but I was all worried that I wouldn't bond with Mira :)rofl1:) because she was the first dog I really got with Hopes and Dreams and Expectations attached. I got Kim and Webster because they were (and are) cute and I wanted a dog. That's really all there was to it, for better or for worse, and all their accomplishments and their ability to function in polite society is really gravy lol.

    So I made a completely arbitrary rule that I wasn't going to train for any competition behaviors til Mira was a year old so there would be no pressure or frustration if she wasn't learning something the way I thought she should. So we...played. For a year. Hikes in the woods, restrained recalls, getting to know and respect on another, bobble boards, interacting with every weird thing I could find from agility tunnels and PVC bars to unstable logs to skating around the house on a sleeping bag (very fun by the way) to throwing a sheet on her and cheering as she waggingly found her way to the edge to just sitting at the park and watching kids play soccer while I read a book. Yeah we did some pivot games and rear feet targeting and once we ran down a big line of chairs (with her leaping from chair to chair) because it seemed like an entertaining thing to do lol.

    And then she hit a year and during all that play time in which I was getting crap from people about "when are you going to start actually training her?" I had figured out how she worked and she had figured me out and trusted me. Three months later she had her CD with solid scores. At 18 months I introduced her to jumping and actual weaving and at 23 months (she went into heat at 22months for the first time...right when I had entered her in her first agility trial lol) she went to her first trial on 5 months of training on random hodgepodge equipment in my neighbor's sideyard and did great and Qd despite never being in a trial environment before, simply because she trusted me.

    And more importantly, I have a dog I cannot live without. She is perfect for me.

    And even so, despite having two prior dogs and all these resources to draw on, there are things I would change about how I trained her foundations. Mostly small things, but there is always something. Even if I had trained her perfectly, behaviors inevitably erode over time and I would be doing periodic maintenance/retraining work. And NextDog, no matter who you are and who that dog is, will always be at least a little different, and things that worked this time around won't work next time, and that's okay too.

    Give me a dog with whom I have a good, solid relationship and we will have more success on course than I would have with a more athletic, better trained dog whose relationship is less sound. Webster is a perfect example -- structurally he is a bit suspect -- training-wise he is...well Webster isn't really trained lol -- but he's earned the moniker "The Double-Q'in Machine", routinely collects a respectable number of points in a day, and has a fan club because he's so **** cute and happy about the whole thing lol.


    I guess the reader's digest version is just what I quoted lol...play with your dog and relax. It'll be okay. As long as you have a good solid relationship with your dog, any training "mistake" is surmountable because you trust each other, and you understand each other enough to adjust what you need to do in order to succeed.


    ETA: Omelet and a coffee if you made it through all that. Apparently I shouldn't post before I get my own breakfast lol.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

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