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As part of our training course we did a little agility last night. There's only 4 of us in the class and all the dogs are just under a year old, and they made it appropriate for the age (i.e the jumps were probably 6'' high, and all is done at walking pace). We had to go through a curtain, then weave, then jump, come around and jump again, go through a hoop and then through a tunnel. Cooper didn't want to go through the tunnel at first (bless him!) so I had to crawl in and call him from the other end. We practised a few times and then tried it off lead one dog at a time.

When it was our turn to go up Cooper walked to heel perfectly to get into position and was totally focused on me. By the end of the night we did it twice off lead (can only use a treat for the weave) and Cooper did very well and was clearly having the time of his life - big smile and big tail wags.

He is getting to a point where he is learning to ignore other dogs, so much so that he stayed in his sit while other dogs were coming up to him. The only thing he can't resist though is if someone else has a treat!

Next week we are back to doing obedience, but I'll have to start looking up agility classes near us!
 

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Agility is my favourite pastime. I now compete with Merlin as well as run both dogs on my club display team.

Cooper is doing much better than Cadbury! Cadbury turned 6 on Monday and he is finally learning to listen to me rather than run off after other dogs :roll:
 

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Thanks everyone!

Chocice - Cooper is not that interested in other dogs with a few exceptions, so that helps.

I've tried looking at agility clubs in SE London, but please let me know if you have recommendations.
 

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I've tried looking at agility clubs in SE London, but please let me know if you have recommendations.
I don't know of clubs that way as I am in Suffolk, what I would say however is decide now whether you just want to do it for a bit of fun, or might consider doing it competitively.

I say that because the difference between fun agility classes and competitive agility classes can be quite vast. For a person just starting I would suggest go for fun classes at a club that encourages good behaviour (meaning it doesn't treat agility as an excuse to let dogs run wild) and where classes are supervised all the time (yes, some clubs do just throw you in an agility field and leave you with no trainer/tuition!)

Competitive classes will be much more strict on things such as perfect touches, tight turns, front and rear crosses, etc, etc. Great for those who want to compete, but daunting for newbies just starting. You can always move on to competitive classes if you want to take things further.

Lastly, try to find a club that has a range of breeds attending their classes. When you enter an agility class and all the other dogs are collies that tends to ring alarm bells, as it suggests the trainer is catering for that breed and forgetting others do agility too. A good trainer will have experience with a range of breeds, the different ways they learn and also the different ways they physically move around the course.

At the end of the day agility is about having fun, so don't be afraid to try a few different clubs until you find one that 'fits'. :wink:
 
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