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We've had our 8 month old minipoo for two months and we are starting to get to know each other. I think he would really like agility work, based on how much he likes any of the tricks that involve putting his body somewhere ("place" to get onto a certain spot, "weave" around my legs, and he loves the flirt pole.) I will certainly continue regular obedience for its own sake, and we are not looking for a real class in agility yet, but just some thoughts for fun things to teach him, that may or may not be useful in the future. I know he can't do a lot of jumping yet. I'm thinking about balance beams, tunnels to go through, poles to weave in and out of. Other thoughts? I have limited (and poor!) internet access so I haven't looked at many youtubes to see what is actually done. Thanks!
 

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Until your dog has finished growing and the growth plates have closed you should not do repetitive jumping or weave pole activity with your dog. It’s okay for your dog to decide to jump on furniture or over a branch in the yard, but not for you to training jumping over jumps or the twisting motion dogs need for weave poles in puppies.

You can buy a child’s tunnel quite inexpensively and that is safe to train. I found jumps and weave pole cheapest at Affordable Agility. They are flimsier than some but work perfect for my minipoo. They aren’t the best choice for my friend’s Bernese mountain dog who is large and happy to knock things over. You could start training jumping but just having your dog go through the jumps walking over the pole on the floor and slowly lift the poles up once they are over a year old. You can also start the 2x2 weave pole training as long as you don’t move the poles at too much of an angle where the dog has to twist their body. Finish training when they are physically ready.

You can teach hind end awareness, getting into boxes etc as fun tricks. TeAchyour dog to walk backwards etc.

Look to see if your dog training club has classes for puppies in agility. Mine does - lots of preparation work can be done safely now so when the time comes they are ready for the obstacle training.
 
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If you're looking for an Agility career, there is so much that you can be doing!

Wobble board work is great for body awareness. You can get these that are made for human yoga activities or ones made especially for dogs. Get the pup to learn to put just the front feet, just the back feet, or all four feet on the board or pod. Teach the pup to back up, to sit up on their haunches ("beg," or as I call it "Pretty!"), to go out away from you, Crate Games and
for vital self-control, recall activities, basic obedience like sit and down--all of these will help so much with a future Agility dog.

And yes, you don't want to jump puppy at any sort of height yet, but if you're serious about Agility, one of the most well-known names in foundation jumping skills, Susan Salo, has a video specifically geared to teaching puppies how to use their bodies correctly right from the beginning.

Have fun, nothing too stressful on pup's growing body, but you can do a lot to lead to a great career!
 
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