Agility Training

Class schedule TBA starting in May, 2010.

Agility is drawing people from a wide range of backgrounds. Everyone loves it as the dogs speed around the course, working with tails wagging, hair flying and muscles rippling. Now doesn't this sound like something you and your dogs would enjoy? My involvement in agility includes having become an approved judge with the Agility Association of Canada (AAC). I am a member of the AAC, the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), and both the Canadian and US Associations of Professional Pet Dog Trainers. I have attended numerous seminars given by some of the top handlers in North America.

Dog agility is the fastest growing canine sport because it is both great fun and a sport where purebred and mixed-breed dogs alike can participate. Even older dogs enjoy it - one of my dogs began agility training at 9 years and loved it. Dogs learn to jump different obstacles, race through tunnels, climb an A-frame, negotiate weave poles and more. Just as in the Home Obedience Program dogs are motivated with food and toys to make the learning experience a positive one. Dogs learn on safe, state-of-the art equipment in a flat, fenced training area in Slocan Park.

What is Agility?

An agility course consists of many different obstacles, which will require your dog to bend, climb, balance, go through, jump, and stay! Your dog will be challenged by different types of jumps, a pause table, an A-frame, dog walk, tire jump, weave poles, teeter-totter and tunnels. Pet owners are discovering that agility is one of the most enjoyable activities you can share with your dog. Incentives such as toys, food, and praise keep the learning fun! Training in agility helps to build confidence, and to maintain a dog's physical condition. Young or old, purebred or mixed breed, any dog can play. agility is a great way to spend quality time with your dog. Pet owners often get hooked on the excitement and start competing!

Agility Classes

Introductory Agility - Level 1

This course introduces dog and handler to the equipment used in agility. Dogs learn about the "contact" equipment (teeter-totter, A-frame, dog walk), tunnels (collapsible, flexible) and jumping skills. They also learn about weave poles and the "table" This class is a fun, safe introduction to the challenges of agility.

Pre-requisite: Successful completion of Puppy-Smart, Basic Home Obedience or instructor's permission if basic training was done elsewhere. Dogs MUST have basic obedience skills, be non-aggressive and handlers must have reasonable off-leash control of their dogs.

Introductory Agility - Level 2

Builds on the skills learned in Level 1. We work towards a solid performance on each piece of equipment, and work on longer simple sequences of equipment. Handlers will begin 'sending' their dogs over jumps and learn how to use body language to control their dogs. This course also works to improve weave pole and tunnel skills, and build confidence on the contact equipment. Most dogs successfully completing this course should be ready to compete at the entry level in agility competition.

Pre-requisite: Successful completion of Introductory Agility - Level 1.

Intermediate Agility - Level 1

Continues to build on skills with emphasis on learning the mechanics of 'front crosses', 'rear crosses' and 'wrapping'. Handlers work towards handling the dogs further away from the equipment which requires further honing of contact skills ("park"). Attention will also be paid to 'flatwork' which is necessary in order to navigate the dog around equipment it needs to ignore while on a course.

Pre-requisite: Successful completion of Introductory Agility - Level 2.

Intermediate Agility - Level 2

Here more handling skills are introduced including 'away' and 'get out', along with teaching our dogs about 'serpentines' and 'pinwheels'. At this level we begin to work seriously at handling the dog from a distance.

Pre-requisite: Successful completion of Intermediate Agility - Level 1.

Advanced Agility

Continuation of skill development for dogs in competition.

Pre-requisite: Successful completion of Intermediate Agility - Level 2.

dogs doing agility