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Discussion Starter #1
We're moving out to the country next week and I always thought Sunny would enjoy Agility. There are probably Agility classes in one of the "big" towns about an hour away but I wanted to teach my boy myself since we'll have lots of room to play unlike previously. Are there any recommended portable jumps, poles, tunnels, etc. that aren't hugely expensive but aren't really cheap either? Hopefully so portable that I can just put them in a bag in a closet but not so poorly made that they just fall apart after a couple of uses. And also any recommended books or DVDs or You-tube videos to learn the terms and variety of things to work on? I'm not sure that we'd ever compete except in a very informal way but I think he'd find it fun to learn and play on.

~Haley
 

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Agility is great fun, but it may be worth doing a class - or even a day school - to get to understand how to use the equipment safely. I have done several beginners courses, and have learned so much that I would not have thought about, from the importance of careful warming up to how much easier it is to train a dog with a tug toy habit!
 

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I think it would be a lot easier to take a class first. A lot of dogs have a problem with the teeter totter (see saw in the UK). Also, you learn about how to plan the course, taking into account how your own dog works. Teaching the weave poles is also a lot easier if you have someone to show you. There are various methods. The way my dogs learnt was by having the poles spread apart almost on the ground, but there are other ways.

I suppose you could learn from a book but I think it would be easier to have someone watch you and tell you what you are doing wrong. My instructor always says -- the dog never does anything wrong -- its always the handler.
 

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I don't do agility, but have a dog that would like to, so my friends/sister are always showing me good agility DVDs. I watched part of Susan Garrett's One Jump DVD (from a seminar she gave) and it looked like good foundation work. My friend loaned me Agility Foundation Training (also a DVD) by Greg Derrett, and apparently that is also something of a classic.

My sister found super cheap decent quality jumps on eBay. You can also make your own out of PVC pipe from Home Depot if you are semi-handy. I have seen plans/instructions/kits for sale on the internet.

You can also check out JJ Dog, but their stuff isn't so cheap.
 

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On lessons: I agree with everyone about taking classes first, especially the contacts like the teeter...that's a tough one for my girls

As for equipment: check these links out...I made a few bar jumps already, my next project are weave poles. They're just as good as the one's you can buy at your local pet store but half the price if not more. I don't glue the fixings together so I can take them apart and stick them in my yoga bag! I'm no handy woman, so if I can do it, so can you.

Part 1 and 2


 

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I am not in the slightest bit handy but I made my own jumps from white pvc piping from Home Depot. I got some T junctions etc. and slotted the piping ino them. I used what I call bulldog clips and had the wire pieces sticking out to rest the horizontal bars on. If the dog hits the bar - it falls off quite easily. I had the black part around the vertical pole and the wire bits were the opposite way from shown in the photo. I made weave poles with the same pvc piping and I put coloured electrical tape around them for decoration. I stick lengths of rebar in the grass and put the poles over top. The only trouble is if you want to change the angle, you have to totally move the rebar to another spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've been looking around for agility classes in my new area and all of them that list prices on their websites are big bucks. Is almost $100 per class normal? Sunny's looking for fun not serious AKC competition and titles.

~Haley
 

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Our classes are $95 for seven weeks. But, we are going to enter competition so it is worth it for us.

I know it seems a bit steep but you have access to a trainer who will train you the correct way to train. If you don't train correctly, it is a beast to retrain your dog.

Hope you get yourself squared away one way or the other. Would love to see photos of you working with your dog.
 

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While I do agree the class is the best way to go if you can find a trainer that you like or a group who might train together..I belong to a club where all the teachers are volunteers so our classes are pretty reasonable $50 for a 6 week class and $25 for each additional dog taking a class (they don't have to be in the same class) plus I teach a class so I get one class free..*G*G*

I haven't read this book yet but plan on getting it as I've had several people tell me it is very good including a couple who went to see the authors in a seminar..

Clean Run: Agility Right from the Start by Bertilsson & Vegh

Be warned agility is very addictive ... I started out 12 years ago ..no plans to show just wanted to wear out a 6 month old lab puppy...I am currently competing with 3 dogs ..LOL..(the lab is retired)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So far it sounds like $100 per lesson in a 6 week course ($600 total) is quite a high rate. I'll keep looking for something way more reasonable. A book and some make it myself equipment might be the way to go since we live an hour+ from all the classes I've found so far.

~Haley
 

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Ouch - I thought you meant $100 for the course of lessons! I would call that exorbitant, rather than quite a high rate - round here, two or three of you could buy the equipment and hire a personal trainer for not much more than that. I pay £50 - £60 for the 4 or 6 week Intro courses - around $75 - $90.
 

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Debjen where in wa are you i might be moving in the next few years and want to continue doing agility w/ my dogs, but i dont know anyone out there if i moved it would be to either the tri city area or to the bremerton/port orchard area, as for fees our classes are 65 for a 5-6 week course (cant remember exactly how long)
 

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Debjen where in wa are you i might be moving in the next few years and want to continue doing agility w/ my dogs, but i dont know anyone out there if i moved it would be to either the tri city area or to the bremerton/port orchard area, as for fees our classes are 65 for a 5-6 week course (cant remember exactly how long)
I'm in Yakima...We have several Tricities people that come up on Saturday's to take classes if you end up in that area.
 

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So far it sounds like $100 per lesson in a 6 week course ($600 total) is quite a high rate. I'll keep looking for something way more reasonable. A book and some make it myself equipment might be the way to go since we live an hour+ from all the classes I've found so far.

~Haley
NO! NO! $95 for the six weeks not per lesson. Whew, I would be out of agility if it were that expensive.
 
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