Is a GSD a good Agility canidate?

Discussion in 'Agility and Dog Sports' started by LEM, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. LEM

    LEM KEANU & SAGE!

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    I was thinking about signing Keanu up for Agility Classes. He has this obession with balls. Like he has to play with them, he constantly wants to play fetch. its kinda like, he sees it, and its his, doesnt matter who it previously belonged to. I had to stop taking him outfront when the kids would play football, because he would steal it from them.

    So I was told my a trainer that i needed to find away to channel his energy, because it will not only help him bond with me, but make it more so I can....I dont wanna say control cause its such a strong word....more like listen when I request something of him. Anyway, Agility came to mind, and I was wondering if it would help?
     
  2. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Any dog who is active and enjoys working with their people is suitable for agility.
     
  3. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    this :) I love seeing all breeds and energy/drive levels running!
     
  4. LEM

    LEM KEANU & SAGE!

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    Does the dog have to be trained? Obviously leashed trained, but i meant, like, basic training, cause Keanu, he listens, but he gets loud and distracted in the presents of strange dogs.
     
  5. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I have a spastic ADD dog. Agility has helped her focus sooooooooo much. You'll want to talk to the trainer at whatever facility you want to take classes at and find out what sort of prerequisite behaviors there are before starting the class.

    Your dog will likely need to be able to work around other dogs without freaking out, but the trainer (if they're any good) will be able to give you strategies to help build his focus on you.
     
  6. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    The most important thing he needs to learn first is how to handle being in a class and paying attention to what you want him to do. I'd suggest taking a basic obedience/manners class before agility, just so he gets used to training class. He'll probably also need to know sit, down, recalls, stay, watch, and a few other basic cues before starting agility.

    When you do start agility, I'd also highly recommend taking a Foundations class before taking a class where you actually get on the equipment. A foundations class will, again, get him used to working in a class with other dogs and listening to you, but the exercises will be catered a little closer to what he'll actually be doing when running agility. Agility trainers will also be able to help you use that ball drive to reinforce behaviors, which you can use when you actually start doing the obsticles; basic obedience trainers will likely use primarily treats as reinforcement.

    Have fun!
     
  7. LEM

    LEM KEANU & SAGE!

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    [​IMG]
    Jordan (younger brother) & Keanu

    I actually have no set schedule for the Agility classes. I have been calling around though and pricing. Talking to the trainers and all that. Just to get a feel for it.

    I have to agree with the basic obedience class, he could use it. Especially since he doesnt focus on me around distractions.

    Unless you have his ball in your hand, like in the picture above. lol.
     
  8. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Agility is TERRIBLY distracting. Most dogs are going to be unfocused in the beginning, but they still need to have SOME notion of how to focus on their handler. Many agility trainers require a basic obedience class before starting agility, I think it would be a good idea.
     
  9. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Call around and see what they want. Some foundation classes teach focus and such, others expect you to already have the basics.

    (I prefer my students start in agility foundations, but then foundation one teaches you to be the most exciting thing in the environment)
     
  10. LEM

    LEM KEANU & SAGE!

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    okay, i'll have to work on him with that, and see where it goes, because i'd like to get him into something he can enjoy, you know, besides fetch.
     
  11. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    For your first question, yes! GSDs are athletic, energetic, and intelligent. I've seen some great GSDs in agility. Certain lines, though, I'm not even sure how they walk, let alone jump, but that's a whole other topic.
    I recommend the book "Control Unleashed." It's directed towards agility, but there are lots of confidence and impulse control exercises in there that are great whether you do agility or not.
     
  12. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Just a side note when looking for a place to train.

    Make sure the facility offers instructors that can prove that they compete and to a high level. That their students do very well too. Lots of people out there that have some equipment but don't have any or little success in the competitive ring or did many years ago. Agility is very progressive and trainers/instructors have to be up on the current information and able to apply it.
    Even if you don't want to compete, why settle on a mediocre or worse trainer? You don't have to pay top dollar or be with a 'name' but finding a good instructor is the difference between someone with the knowledge and skill to avoid frustration for you and your dog. And the ablility to problem solve, instead of saying those dreaded words, 'Just do it again'........with no feed back or how to fix the problem or better yet how to avoid it in the first place :)

    Good luck!!! oh yeah, and be warned.........Agility can be VERY addicting lol.
     
  13. AgilityPup

    AgilityPup Agility freak!

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    I bought a GSD puppy with the intention of some serious agility. Of course, after being a pet. So yep, they sure can do it! :) And it makes me incredibly happy to see GSDs out doing it!

    And a basic obedience class never hurts anything, I don't feel. But that said, like someone has mentioned, some classes do teach the basic focus stuff in their foundations, however, the dogs are generally expected to know sit, stay, etc., I believe.
     
  14. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    Use this at home. If he loves fetch, turn it into obedience fetch. he has to sit, you throw the ball, he has to heel, you throw the ball. he has to run out around something, you throw the ball. He earns his fetch. It's fun, a game, and you can do it at home. When you become so fun to him, distractions won't be an issue. you'll work thru them easy enough.
     
  15. AgilityPup

    AgilityPup Agility freak!

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    Crash's obedience came SO far by doing this. He loves loves loves to fetch, and so he does something for the ball, always. He has to come (so I would throw it, and even though he was naturally coming back, I'd say "Crash, here!" and big "yay! good boy!" when he brought me the ball), he has to sit, down, circle work a little bit, etc.. He is always working for it. And recently I've started using the ball as his reward for his agility training, and he's really loving it.
     
  16. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    This! Teaches dogs to think when they are "high". I also agree 100% with what Ado said, also, go watch some classes. Are the dogs happy and relaxed? Watch a foundations class, are they boosting the dog's confidence or forcing them on equipment? Taking an obedience class at the facility you want to take foundations at is also a good thing because you will get to see their methods first hand and decide if they are a good fit.
     

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