Saturday, October 10, 2009


Youtube is a great place to see lots of different videos. I enjoy it as much as anyone else...

But the comments or private messages on videos I post sometimes just make me go WHAT!?!!?

I received a message from an individual stating that they wondered why I wasn't showing my puppies running courses...and if I had contact (two on two off) portions of my puppy videos, why I wasn't showing the puppies doing their contacts. Same with weaves. Was I hiding something?

This not only surprised blew me out of the water!!!!!

First off...two on two off criteria. We work that about once every MONTH. On a lowered A-frame. My puppies don't do any contact equipment...NONE. They do bits and pieces (aka slam-its with the teeter--some position work)...but honestly, not much at all. When they are grown up and ready to take on repetitive tasks and have all their feet in order, then we will tackle those things. Until then. I don't do them.

Courses? No---I do little tiny sequences...4 max. Rewarding HIGHLY and working on foundation skills such as: collection, extension, tight turns, front and rear crosses...all on the FLAT. No bars are up. I don't work real jump training until my dog's growth plates are closed. Everything I do is on the flat. So we work on these things maybe once or twice a week, for about 5-10 minutes. way. Haven't even started them and I won't for awhile. What is the hurry...they are not super hard to teach and don't take least from my point of view.

What DOES take the longest is foundation work...RELATIONSHIP.

Things I do work on throughout the weeks are:

Impulse control--waiting at the door, rules with toys, stays, waits, etc.
Manners around the house
Drive training (who to go over the top and then come back down and still think)
Rear End Awareness

Things that do not even involve agility equipment. I don't set training sessions for these things normally...just day to day activities bring them up to work on.

I don't see what the rush dogs normally come out at 18 months just as everyone else's do...the obstacles are the easy I save them for last, always. I work on my dogs being good dogs first, as that is what they are 98% of the time...then relationship and foundation skills...

So please...if you are working obstacles with your baby dogs...STOP. Go back and work on foundation things...there is no shortage of things to work on :)

Trust me, I was there once, I did things WAY TOO EARLY with Zip, and now she has injuries...were they DIRECTLY from what I did as a puppy to her growing body..maybe it was all the fun obstacle training and not much foundation stuff that taught her not to care just run FAST....we will never know. But I waited on my next dogs and they have FAR less injuries...might be a coincidence...might not be. I am not willing to take that risk that it is.

Don't be in such a I am always saying in my blog...enjoy the puppy phase..they become adults SO SOON.


manymuddypaws said...

good post

i love browsing through youtube videos and watching all these people "train" their five month old puppies to do the dogwalk and such...

i think that people feel pressured to have the next super fast rock star that they stop thinking about teaching basics, and rush towards what they think is the fun stuff.

i also think that the blame falls not only on the owner but on the instructor aswell. We make it very clear to our students what the plan is for puppies, and what you can do and not do. We also encourage them to enter trials only when they are "Ready"

i think it would be safe to say that the people in a rush don't build relationships with their dogs very well also don't have a very good relationship with their instructor!

fulltiltbcs said...

Totally agree with you! I am sure my students get a little irritated with me when they ask me if they are ready and I tell them no. I want them to be successful and not overface themselves or their dog...much more fun to be OVER-prepared :)

Kara said...

Excellent Post! save it for a "copy paste" when you need it : )