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  1. 2thedogs

    I have done agility with my lab for the past three years. It is great fun for both dogs and people. In terms of training commitment it really depends on how serious you become in the sport and what your level of interest is. We have a 1 hour lesson each week and I try to spend a little time each weekend training. I go to trails three or four times a year and that is enough for my dog and I.
    Originally we were doing it “just for fun” and I did very little agility specific training out side of class. Over the past 12 months we have gotten a little more serious about it and have purchased and jump and some weave polls for my yard to help with training.
    Some people that I train with go to trails 3-4 times a month! Train 1-2 times a day and have great sucess. I simply don’t have that much time (although I wish I did!). But even with 20-30 minutes on the weekends and 1 hour class each week we have learned a ton! You can train without the equipment at home as well, working on handling skills, turns, stays, come etc. A guy in my class makes his (little) dog jump over a laundry basket to practice. Creativity is definitely a plus.
    As far as finding a trainer near Monmout county I would check out http://www.cleanrun.com go to the events page and you can search out a trainer in your area. Agility is very popular on the east coast (we started up in Mass before heading south to Texas) and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a class. Chris Parker is a world famous trainer based out of NJ, http://www.speedoggie.com she trains top level competitors, but would probably be able to recommend some good people in your area. I trained with a student of her in Mass.
    Good luck and have fun!

  2. FitLine Activize OxyPlus

    It all depends on the dog you have. I have a dachshund. He had his own ideas on what he wanted to do. After a year of once a week classes there is marked improvement. He is still not qualifying, but this past weekend he had 2 ‘full runs’ and came within 5 seconds of qualifying.

  3. dog MD

    Formal training once a week for 45 minutes.
    Homework training 15 minutes in the morning. 15 minutes in the evening every day. I set up the training to coincide with meal time.
    Some basic things like socialization are always being trained. In agility your dog should be ok around other dogs, people (ie judges in hats) good at waiting or sleeping alone in their crate.
    Occasionally go to 2 hour working seminars.
    For first time handlers trialing should only start after at least one year training. (the dog being 18 months or older)
    Training is most efficient when you have their favorite treat.
    check out USDAA, NADAC, DOCNA or TDAA( for small dogs) for lists of clubs in your area.
    Agility is more fun if you put a little time in!

  4. WP Robot

    I had my 2 dogs do it for fun for several class cycles. If you are doing it just to build a relationship with your dog(s), it can be as little as 1 hour formal training a week. But like with all canine training, everything can be an opportunity to reinforce your dog’s skills.

  5. Marna O

    My daughter and I have been agility trainers and competitors for 14 years. GREAT FUN! The training is very different, very thought provoking. Rather than “telling” your dog what to do, one “shows and encourages” the dog. Positive with toys and treats…because agility is FAST!
    Weekly classes. Training daily…..but in very brief segments. And you look at the training as “play”. You don’t need all the equipment….at some point you will need to get weave poles as they are most difficult to train. Most training at home is “groundwork”…teaching through “play” to watch you, turn with you, “go on”, “come” and running at your side.
    Go to http://www.cleanrun.com
    they have a list of trainers and clubs and links to the different agility organizations. They also have a calendar of agility trials….you might want to go and watch!!! You will learn a LOT
    Good luck! Training agility creates an incredible understanding, bond, between dog and human!!!!

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