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Agility training for Shiba
  • SakuSaku
    Posts: 372
    Post edited by Calia at 2012-10-13 09:11:23
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    I want to enroll my little guy in agility once he's old enough, but I have one big concern:

    The dogs need to be reliable off-leash. I suppose it's a non-issue for indoor agility classes, but a lot of the competitions (even just for fun ones) are outside. And (in my area at least) the only 'fence' they have are the low orange mesh fence, for keeping geese off lawns or marking off areas of grass you don't want people walking on.

    Not exactly something sturdy enough to keep an excited Shiba contained. So, how does everyone handle that? Are Shibas an indoor-agility-only dog? Are other people lucky enough to have more secure fenced in outdoor facilities?

    I know that starting out you keep the dog on-leash, but as they progress it's expected they'll be loose.

    So how does everyone deal with that aspect in regards to stubborn Shibas?
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    Thanks for the info @lindsayt! I don't have the little guy yet (NEXT WEEKEND OMG! :D), but I definitely am more interested in the classes as a for-fun, energy burning, bonding exercise. Not so concerned with trials and winning ribbons. If he never gets to that point, that's fine. I'll still have fun (and it'll be a good excuse to force me out of the house now that I live alone - especially in winter when I just want to hibernate, haha).

    If he DOES get to the point of reliable agility-focused recall and I can do trials and whatnot, then awesome. I can collect ribbons to show off to friends. XD

    I think all the entry level classes use leashes anyways, even when they're indoors, so hopefully using the leash in a fun game will have the added bonus of helping him learn to love the leash? :D
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • Post edited by sandrat888 at 2011-10-07 10:58:14
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
  • AsterixAsterix
    Posts: 90
    I have Chibi enrolled in something officially called "Puppy Gymboree" (risking the wrath of some trademark lawyer somewhere), and unofficially called "Puppy Agility."

    They've said it's not official agility in that they're not training the pups the way you would for formal agility, but just getting them used to the equipment. It's been great. Chibi is a scaredy-cat in general, and it's been a great way to get him to try new things out.

    He doesn't do everything - he refused to go through the tunnel when it got too long; he wouldn't go on the teeter totter when it got to teetery, but he's usually been game the next time we come back to class.

    Anything to help improve his self confidence and diminish his fear of new things is great in my opinion - even if it never turns into competitive agility.
  • mattzmattz
    Posts: 418
    This all sounds awesome, I'm definitely going to research some of the classes mentioned in here for my Etsuko!!! I think she would LOVE them!
  • Since I've got a decent sized yard, I've built some agility jumps for Aika. I've thought about taking her to a class but not sure if i can commit to the times the classes are held. I really want to look into this foundation class. Then build more equipment! hahaha
  • MarijeMarije
    Posts: 114
    Shiro and I were supposed to start the foundation Focus class (prerequistite for the agility class lol) this fall, but the classes were on nights that I have class myself. So now we will start in January. I also started thinking of agility to increase Shiro's confidence a bit, and to give us some one-on-one time away from the 2 other dogs :)
  • SakuSaku
    Posts: 372
    Post edited by Saku at 2011-10-07 17:46:43
  • micomico
    Posts: 242
    Suki's just moved up to the obedience class from the puppy class. After being hyper at her first class, so many new dogs and people fussing over her, we were a bit hesitant to go back but we repeated what exercises we could remember at home and she knew what was expected of her, if that makes sense.

    When we went this week she managed most of the exercises (DD needs a bit of handler training) and the instructer compared her to a child copying older siblings. He competes nationally in agility classes and, after a bit of research cos Suki's the first Shiba he's ever worked with, he thinks she could do well if we stick at it.
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    For any Shiba owner coming across this post, it has a lot of good reminders in it. I wanted to add my two cents in on my current experience.

    I fell into a agility for fun type class after 12 weeks of obedience. This was not a foundation type agility class, it was one that was about getting your dogs to do each piece of equipment. Bear was very willing to do each type of equipment and seemed very good at jumping, so I began to wonder if we could have fun working towards doing future trials even if only for a fun goal.

    I know though to ever reach a point of doing future trials, there is foundation work that I would need to be done beyond what I would probably worry about if Bear wasn't going to be in a trial type setting. I know proofing that drive to work with you and stay focused through lots and lots of distractions is a huge key to trialing.

    We did a 6 week fun agility class all on leash, then moved to a 6 week class that started off leash work, but no foundation skills to proofing the drive to work or targeting skills. The first three weeks of our second round of classes I was on a high, Bear preformed well (by my judgement) when it was his class turn off leash (2 other dogs in class with us) he was remaining attentive and completed multiple obstacles returning to table well behaved keeping his eye on me.

    It wasn't until class 4 (and part of class 5) recently that Bear decided when it was his turn off leash that "tag your it" doing Shiba 500's around the room was more fun. Okay, so that got me thinking about if Bear and I would really ever have a future in trials. As others have said in this chain, that is why finding the right foundation courses before worrying about equipment, is important. Shiba's are smart enough to master the equipment, it is everything in between the equipment though that will really matter.

    Now my challenge is not to discount all I have done and learned along the journey we have been on, but find a trainer who is able to build off of it. Finding just that right trainer with agility experience who is ready to take on a Shiba is stressing me out.

    I think it is stressing me out because like my Shiba, I need to find the trainer who is excited about working with me and knows how to shape my independent sometimes stubborn proud nature. The one that is most recommended in my area for agility so far leaves me with a very luke-cold feeling the two times I met her, so now I don't know where to turn at this moment.




  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @sandrat888

    Thanks for your continued encouragement and keeping me on track. I appreciate that you have shared a somewhat similar path as that alone gives me encouragement.

    Yes, he is only 10-11 months old, we have a long way to go which is why I need to try to do it right before I have created way too many bad habits.

    I will have to look at the other thread on those exercises. Again thanks! I really need that encouragement and support right now for my own sanity.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    Just thought I'd ressurect this thread to say Oki and I go to puppy agility once a week. We've attended three sessions so far, and I can honestly say it's the highlight of my week! I absolutely love it. I'd to work towards competitions. The classes do start imediately on the equipment, but they make us do the contact points properly. Oki seems pretty willing to try any of the equipment. The first session on the long walk, he hated it! But second session using it, he was up and down like a pro by the end of it. Then we did a shallow A frame and he conquered that in no time. Tunnels, hoops and tiny jumps, tiny see saw, he just does automatically too. He'll be 5 months old in a week and I hope with all my heart he continues on this vein as I would just love to fun competitions with him! I know 3 sessions is nothing and he might turn around and hate it at any point, but I can hope :) he is by far the youngest there! (the equipment is so low it's not much different from ordinary walking).

    Basically I guess I'm just being vain with this post as I just want to express how much I enjoy agility! I knew I'd enjoy it, but I didn't think I'd like it so much that I am actually very sad at the thought of having to miss a few sessions in the near future due to a spate of enjoyable weekends away! (If where I was going was close enough, I'd seriously consider coming back to go to agility!)
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    I'm lucky and found a great club within 30 minutes (50 in the winter where we train in a horse arena if it's too wet to use our outside arena). I helped with our Have A Go ring on Saturday at a country fair type event which is basically geared at dog owners. I'll be doing it again all weekend when it comes to my town in July. I just love it.

    Anyway, we now attend a recall class on Saturdays in which we do flatwork too. We do agility training on Sundays which is stuff like focussing on drive, wing wraps, contact points, left and right, chasing etc. We might do the odd bit of equipment like low jumps, tunnels or a very low dog walk but it's mostly flatwork. I am really enjoying learning how to do it. Like you say, it's very complicated sometimes, especially as I have trouble knowing my own left and right let alone thinking about it from the dog's perspective lol

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