Success in any discipline relies on strong foundations—and agility is no different. Long before you start tackling equipment or running courses, you can take the vital first steps to launch your dog’s agility career. If you get it right from day one, shaping his mental attitude and honing his skills, you could be nurturing the agility star of tomorrow.
In Foundation Fun and Games, Connie Sellers, (a Grade 7 handler in the U.K. who specialises in training young dogs and their handlers) has devised a series of games that work on developing your dog’s drive and motivation as you build a strong, interactive relationship with him. Self-control is a major issue for some dogs, and help is on hand with some valuable information on teaching focus and impulse control.
Preparing both the mind and the body for agility is essential, and Connie shows you how to achieve this by teaching a series of tricks and fitness techniques. You’ll also teach basic handling skills—front and rear crosses, pivots, Ketschkers, and blind crosses—through flatwork games which require minimal space and no equipment. The games are based on 100% positive training methods with abundant positive reinforcement, so learning is always a fun, enjoyable experience for young dogs.
As you progress through the tricks and games, your dog will start to accumulate all the knowledge he needs to find his way round an agility course. He will have been handsomely rewarded at every step of his learning so, when you are ready to try it for real, you will have a dog who not only knows his job—he also loves doing it!
When your dog has matured and is physically able, you can introduce some basic pieces of equipment such as jump wings, or you can improvise with cones or barrels so you can teach him to wrap an obstacle or work independently by introducing fanwork. Finally, you can introduce tunnels, and jumps at micro height to proof his learning by building small sequences.
Illustrated with over 100 photos and diagrams, plus a bonus section of courses to run with your dog.