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Puli Puppy Agility
can I start my Puli puppy in agility training? As soon as he/she can walk!!!
I think that
you can start training a very young puppy in agility. There are many obstacles
that can be taught that do not put any strain on the growing puppy frame.
Agility is NOT all jumping.
all puppy-training sessions should be kept short. Leave them wanting to do more.
obstacle requires a Sit or Down and a Stay. The Sit, Down and Stay commands can
and should be taught as part of your beginning puppy training. When they are
older, the jump to the table can be added always with the sit and/or
down stay on the table.
Poles tend to be the obstacle that takes the longest to learn and perfect. There
is no reason that a young puppy can’t start this training— take food and
lead them through the weave poles; teach them the proper entry to the weaves;
send them out to the weaves.
A tunnel is
safe for any puppy to run through. Start with a straight tunnel, when the puppy
is comfortable with that, then curve it in all directions; add the chute.
Teach them to
walk through a ladder that has been laid on the ground (this helps them learn
where they are putting their feet). This is very important for later Teeter and
Dog Walk work.
A very low
A-Frame-like ramp (maybe 1 foot at highest) can be taught early. Even a low
Teeter is okay. The goal is to teach these obstacles early to get the puppy used
to the different pieces of equipment and to put ‘names’ on the obstacles.
should NEVER be allowed to fail, they should be helped through all obstacles
and encouraged, never forced. Agility has to be fun. To get the best performance
from your dog in competition, he/she has to be working in ‘play’ mode.
Jumping can be
taught before the puppy is fully-grown, as long as the bar is kept very low
(maybe 4 - 6 inches). The major
part of jump training is to get the dog to do the jump that you ask; actually
being able to jump full height takes far less training. The full height A-Frame,
Teeter and Dog Walk should wait until the puppy is more fully-grown and totally
coordinated. One fall from a contact obstacle could cause not only injury, but
fear of that obstacle.
Any age puppy
can begin to learn obstacle discrimination commands (tunnel, table, etc), they
can start to learn that they can work away from your side, and they can begin to
learn directional commands (out, come, left, right).
jumping full height and full height contacts are left until the dog is 12 months
old, if all the rest has already been learned, you should still be ready to
compete almost as soon as the dog is eligible.
The AKC allows
dogs that are 12 months old to compete in Agility, USDAA and NADAC require that
the dog be 18 months old.
wait to start your puppy on agility training - get out there and have some fun!
Puli News February, 2000
Copyright © 2000-2016 Puli Club of America. All
Copyright © 2000-2016 Puli Club of America. All rights reserved.