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Agility Classes

 

 

Dog agility is a sport in which both the handler and dog are challenged to make their way through and over a series of jumps and obstacles. It provides both mental and physical stimulation as well as strengthens the canine-human bond. Go Dogs offers a wide variety of agility classes with some of the top handlers competing in the area. New dogs and handlers would start with the Foundations series which focuses on building a relationship with your dog and putting value on the obstacles using positive reinforcement. You may then move on to various agility skills classes that focus on learning important components of agility, whether it is specific obstacles like the weave poles or specific handling challenges. We also have an ongoing Handling series for dogs ready, or almost ready, to compete. Agility is a sport that requires many different skills and ongoing practice with these skills so the classes are not meant to be linear and handlers may wish to move around between classes depending on what their dog’s needs are.

Please look at our calendar for class offerings each session. We will also have mini-classes or one day workshops on specific topics in agility. 

Agility Basic Foundations- Here is where your journey into agility begins! In Agility Basics, handlers new to agility will learn about shaping behaviors with your dog and building reward on obstacles. We work on relationship-building activities such as toy play, recalls, impulse control games, and games that build drive. Other skills like focus and engagement, hand-end awareness activities, and shaping tricks will be introduced here. This is a great starting place if you are interested in pursuing agility, or just building a better relationship with your dog!

Prerequisite: Intro to Go Dogs Class (1 class that lasts 1 hour) and some obedience training (Life Skills or similar recommended). 

Agility Advanced Foundations- This class follows Agility Basic Foundations for new handlers or can be the start place for experienced agility handlers with new dogs. This is also a great class to repeat if you need more work on relationship-building and focus work in all venues. In Agility Advanced Foundations, you will build on activities like restrained recalls with distractions, shaping more advanced behaviors, shaping obstacles such as the tunnel, tire, and the beginning of contact obstacles. We will work on sit/stays with distractions, focus forward, and commitment to obstacles, jump skills, and basic handling skills.

Prerequisite: Completion of Agility Basic Foundations  or previous experience training and competing in agility. All students should have a solid understanding and knowledge of shaping, good relationship with dog, and value on obstacles etc. 

Agility Skills- The class content will change based on the needs of the agility students that graduate from Advanced Agility Foundations or those more experienced that need to work on particular issues. This class can be taken by any student, from newbies to people already competing with their dog, if there is a particular skill that they need to work on. Tell us your needs and we will work to create a class that will help you whether it is learning independent weave and contact performance or how to do all those fancy handling moves!

Prerequisite: Advanced Agility Foundations and/or Beginning handling class. Dogs should have around an 80% success rate on obstacles, and have the ability to focus and be engaged with their handler off leash

Agility Beginning Handling- This class will focus on getting your dog ready to do small courses. Your dog might not have perfect contacts or weaves but you will need to have this skill before you can move to other handling classes. This class can be taken concurrently with a skills class to reach those goals.

Prerequisite: Advanced Foundations and some agility skills classes or exposure to some of the other skills (for example contacts and weaves). Dogs should be focused and engaged with the handler and stay with them off leash through distractions. A good sit-stay at the line is also recommended. 

 

Agility Handler 1- Students that graduate from beginning handling or have previous experience with handling in agility. This is the class where we go in depth into the handling needed to be successful at an agility trial.  H1 will cover all the basic skills, or “tools” needed for your handling toolbox.  Emphasis will be on sequence work, with the occasional longer course to see how it is all coming together.  By the time you are ready to graduate from H1, you will know exactly what tools work best for you and your dog. Such skills include: lead-out pivots, front crosses, rear crosses, blind crosses, directional such as a ‘switch’ command, discrimination, threadles, 270s, and dog should have the ability to find lines.

Prerequisite: Beginning handling class with additional training in skills classes for contacts and weaves. Dogs should have around an 80% success rate on all obstacles, and have the ability to focus and be engaged with their handler. 

 

Agility Handler 2- Agility handling 2 is the class where everything comes together. Teams will have the foundation skills, the obstacle skills and the handling skills to be able to maneuver through anything that can be thrown at them!  It is for the competition-minded handlers, who are looking for the blue ribbons, and enjoy being tested on what they have in their agility tool box.  We will include the “bread and butter” moves, as well as the current “sexy” moves that can make the difference between a winning run and just getting a “Q”.  We are always trying to find that fine line between success and failure, to keep raising the bar.  Want to win?  Come play with us!

Prerequisite: Handler 1 class, dog is proficient in handling skills, instructor approval to move up. 

 


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