Agility Classes

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dog-agility border collie (450x371)Get your dog started with this exciting sport. Our agility classes are designed for  owners and dogs to enjoy the many benefits of this active sporting activity together with your best friend..

We introduce agility obstacles to you and your dog in safe enjoyable, relaxed and fun environment and allow each dog to move at his own pace, gaining confidence as he becomes familiar with each new obstacle.

Dogs begins to learn the name of each new obstacle. For beginners to sport this class forms a solid foundation for all dogs.

 Agility is a popular canine sport in which a handler directs a dog through a variety of obstacles such as a tunnel, teeter-totter, tire jump, weave poles, pause table, and standard jumps. During competitive agility events, handlers attempt to navigate dogs through a course as quickly and as accurately as they can.Agility training is a great way to exercise your dog and fulfill his natural instincts. Find out how!

If you want to have fun with your dog and learn a new sport together, why not give agility a go? Our Beginners Agility Class covers all of the basic foundation exercises and techniques to develop you and your dog’s speed and accuracy. We will work on a perfect start line wait, teach directions, learn how to use your body language to guide your dog around the obstacles and we will also have lots of fun! Agility should not be undertaken by dogs under 12 months of age due to their bone development but the foundation exercises are suitable for younger dogs and we will take them from 7 – 8 months providing there is a good solid bond with the owner.

Here are the four main benefits of agility training for your dog and why you should try it.

 

1. Agility will fulfill your dog’s natural instincts

In the wild, dogs are natural hunters, chasing and running after a variety of prey. While in pursuit of food, dogs must often follow rabbits and foxes through a forest and navigate though a variety of barriers. Their natural instincts involve jumping over fallen logs, climbing up steep slopes, and squeezing through bushes and vegetation. Since the end goal is to catch up with prey, time is of the essence and the faster a dog runs, the better their chances of ending up with a satisfying meal. Agility courses are designed to mimic these types of natural scenarios and fulfill the hunting and chasing desires of your dog.

2. Agility is great exercise for your dog

Agility is a great way to get rid of your dog’s excess energy. Running through a course that involves passing over and through a variety of obstacles will challenge your dog’s mind and body. Involving your dog in agility will help to strengthen his muscles, improve coordination, keep him fit, and increase endurance.

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3. Agility will help you get in shape, too!

As the handler, you will be running alongside your dog, and assisting him with soaring over jumps, weaving through poles, and crawling out of collapsed tunnels. While you and your dog compete to swiftly finish the course, you will be treated to a heart-healthy cardiovascular workout.

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4. Agility helps strengthen the bond between you and your dog

Agility courses are set up so that dogs would not be able to complete them without the help of the handler. As the dog must rely on the verbal and hand instructions from the handler in order to navigate the course, the trust between owner and dog will be increased. Helping your dog to pass through agility obstacles will help reinforce basic obedience commands, improve dog/owner communication, and ultimately help to improve your dog’s behavior outside of the agility course

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Class Schedule: March 23 – 7 pm to 8 pm

Class Fees:

  • $140 for 6 weeks.
  • Class fees and a Registration Form are required to reserve a space.
  • Class will reschedule on rain date to following week. You will not lose a class.
  • Classes are held at Joyner Park.

Class Prerequisites:

  • Dogs must be at least one year old.
  • Completion of Training Your Best Friend Obedience Class or Public Manners Class (evaluation by a Training Your Best Friend instructor required).

 Handler & Dog Skills:

  • Tugging
  • Motivation
  • Targeting to the hand and to a target plate
  • Stretching
  • Circle Work
  • Straight-line running
  • Reinforcement & reinforcement zone
  • Front crosses
  • Rear crosses
  • Start-line stays
  • Introduction to agility obstacles (except teeter)

Again, there will be some overlap with both the Puppy Agility/Socialization and Obedience , but in Beginners Agility, we’ll take what you’ve learned in previous classes to yet another level.  Think about Beginners Agility as being junior high school for you and your dog.

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Advanced Beginners Agility (Level 2)

For those who wish to take agility to the next level we offers advanced agility course  to increase your skills.

Class Schedule: To be announced

In Beginners Agility, you and your dog established the foundation work necessary to be a successful agility team.  You and your dog have decided agility is going to be lots of fun, so let’s go on to high school.

Class Fees:

  • $145 for Advanced Agility- 6 weeks.
  • Class fees and a Registration Form are required to reserve a space.
  • Class will reschedule on rain date to following week. You will not lose a class.
  • Classes are held at Joyner Park.
  • Completion of Beginners Agility.   

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Handler & Dog Skills:

  • Obstacle sequencing (negotiating a series of obstacles)
  • Body language
  • Verbal cues
  • Determining where to put a front or rear cross                                
  • Finding the most efficient path for your dog
  • Handling

After completing both Beginners and Advanced Beginners Agility, teams move to Level 3 (college!) and continue to progress to each higher level (Level 4 through Level 6) based on their handling skills, teamwork, and space availability at the next level.  All training continues to be positive with emphasis on teamwork and having fun.

 

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Handler & Dog Skills:

  • Using body language to direct your dog                                                     
  • When to use verbal cues
  • How and when to do front & rear crosses
  • Proper footwork for positional cues
  • Decision-making to develop the best course strategy
  • Finding the most efficient path for your dog
  • Finding and working the dog’s line
  • Obstacle discrimination
  • Lead-outs and lead-out pivots                                                             
  • Straight lines vs. turns
  • Serpentines and threadles
  • 180’s and 270’s
  • Push-thrus
  •  Working your dog from a distance
  •  Acceleration and deceleration

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Class Structure:

Our Trainer Billy Dewalt personally instructs all of the agility classes at Training Your Best Friend with the help of several experienced instructors.  Most agility classes are split into two groups of students and dogs, and both instructors have an opportunity to work with each group during the class (classes average 90 minutes in length).  This teaching plan allows each student/dog team generous practice time on the agility equipment (5 or 6 sequences per class), as well as more individualized attention from the instructors.

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Class Fees$145  for 6 week session

Consecutive classes, paid prior to or at the first class attended. For handlers with two or more dog in training, the  fee  is discounted to $125 per dog

All classes meet once a week for approximately 6o to 7o minutes

All handlers wanting to do 3 or more classes- the fee is discounted to $100

Dogs need to be in good physical condition conducive to agility training.  Instructors will help make recommendations for the health and well-being of each individual dog.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your class is to begin.  This gives you time to potty your dog and be ready for the start of your class

If there is a dog with special needs, like an ARF dog (aggressive, reactive or fearful), we highly recommend private lessons or enrolling in our classes to assist with behavioral issues to help set the dog up for success before enrolling in classes.

Pre-requisite:  For level two agility,dogs must be one year old old to join and have completed basic obedience certification or level one  agility.

Class Schedule: To be announced