This thread is primarily addressing those who do agility "seriously" with the corgis - I think we have a couple people on the boards who regularly compete in sanctioned matches. I would like to know your opinion on a couple things.
Try Rally with him. Not as"fussy" as obedience but requires training and teamwork. Rosie and Rocky enjoy it and so do I. It might be a good place to start anyway since you can start training them pretty young. The only jumping is a single bar type jump or broadjump which for most Corgis is the 8" jump. There is one jump in the Advanced and up to 2 jumps in the Excellent courses.
Just a thought!
Finding a place that does obedience in my area is... well, it just doesn't exist, period. I have found a handful of agility clubs, and some for protection, but as for obedience as we know it in competition, it just doesn't happen out here. I wouldn't mind giving Rally a try as I have seen videos of it and it appeals to me. But I just don't have the first place to start it.
Go to AKC.org (I think org, could be net) and find the Rally section. It give the judging standards. You could make a good start figuring it out for yourself from them. Is there a dog or kennel club anywhere near. Some of their members could help you. Print out the signs from AKC. There are directions along with the signs. You can make your own jump out of PVC pipe, kids sand buckets (the cheap plastic ones) make good cones. Signs can be laid on the ground to practice with. Go to a few shows and watch the competitions and talk to people. See where they are learning and working out.
Oh er... I live in France. :D I should have specified that!
As for making equipment, I have started making weave poles on my own as it's zero-impact and something to master in the long-term, for agility.
I don't do serious agility but I did dabble in it a bit for a while...but to be honest the possible health issues did concern me, more so with my cardi than my pem. I do see a lot of very successful agility corgis, but to me the cardi body just does not seem meant for repeated jumping. It's a hard thing to decide for me. Right now we are just doing rally. There are actually a lot of how-to videos on youtube, I know that's not ideal obviously but it's fun to play around with.
Ace is still pretty teenager-y isn't he? He might end up less leggy than you think once he's all filled out and what not. Luke was a tube on stilts for a while but seems to have somehow grown into his legs a bit.
Yes, Ace is 11.5 months and he really is a tube on stilts, as you describe. He is so slim and leggy in comparison to the stump-trucks I see on photos. I do not want to put his physical well-being in danger but it seems that many well-versed breeders are happy to hear of their progeny earning agility titles. Perhaps it's alright provided that the dog isn't heavy of bone and too low to the ground?
Not the best comparison, but here is Luke at about 9 months versus almost 2 years. 27 versus 41 lbs! I thought he would end up SUPER leggy, but he's actually not too bad now. Ace might still fill out quite a bit. :)
But yeah I would definitely think a lighter boned dog would do better in the agility word. I've seen corgis end up with neck issues from obedience heeling too (looking up all the time), so I think whatever is chosen there is always going to be some risk involved. If only we could live in a bubble hehe.
Oh wow, what the hey? 41 pounds and still so lean looking, he must be quite a huge dog in person!
Ace is just a sliver of that - he's nowhere near 27 lb at 11.5 months. I have been unintentionally underfeeding him thanks to a faulty kitchen scale, though, so maybe he'll pack on a couple more kilos. I think though, that he's just going to be small even as an adult. He was such a tiny puppy!
I don't do serious agility but have played around with it as well as work as a vet tech so see many agility dogs so I"ll give you my opinions :-)
1) In my area they have agility centers where you can rent out space as often as you want, since it doesn't sound like you can do this, you can buy some agility equipment (just real light weight stuff) and bring it to a local park to practice. I'd see if you can find any local agility people who may let you use their equipment or may know of a place you can rent space. I didn't know of 2 different places near me until after I started taking classes and my instructor had an "in" with the people. May be worth going to a few events and talking to people about where/how they practice.
2) Agility is tough on joints, no matter the breed. If you plan to compete seriously, you WILL see joint problems. Its a high impact sport and there is a risk of fractured bones, torn ligaments, dislocations, etc. I have seen it all from agility at the vet I used to work at. It stresses the body the same way a horse would be stressed in show jumping. You will see most of the impact in the front legs, however I have seen hind leg dislocations from agility competition. I found obedience to be ridiculously boring, but rally was a bit more fun. May be something worth looking into for a low impact yet more fun sport. Franklin has broken his front foot twice now so vet says no more agility because it puts too much stress on his already delicate foot. Also take your time in teaching things like the catwalk and A-frame. Teach contacts before even attempting those obsticles because they can seriously injure themselves by falling off and/or jumping too soon. If they know their contacts they won't jump from super high up on the A-frame or catwalk.
Hi Ludi. I am not sure if I would say we do "serious" agility because we goof off too much. :) Daisy has been in agility classes for about 1 year and we have been in trials monthly since last October. This month we are going crazy and entering 3 trials! We usually only attend class once a week and do not really work at home. I did make weave poles for home a few months ago and we practiced them only 10 minutes a night for awhile. It took her awhile to get it but she is much better now. Daisy has a blast when we do agility and I encourage you to do it with Ace. We started with only weekly classes too. Once you get involved with a class and are able to network you may be able to use the facility's equipment or meet someone with equipment. Where I go you can use the equipment anytime during the day for $5 an hour as long as you are in classes and have been trained on how to use everything safely. Honestly though, we have only used their equipment to practice on twice and each time stayed only 15 minutes. Daisy has been doing great at the trials and we have moved through several titles successfully. Try to find a group of people that do it for fun and aren't "title motivated". Once you and your dog start having fun the titles will come anyway!
As far as health and safety goes, we have only been doing this for a year but it can be hard on joints. We have not had any problems but have seen some in other dogs (not corgis yet). Most of the injured dogs were high speed breeds that were pushed through contacts running and repeatedly for training. We have met one corgi at a couple of trials that is 9 and a half years old and still having fun at agility. His owner keeps him in a preferred class and they jump 4". She said he has never had an injury. We have met many Pembroke and Cardi corgis and their owners are always awesome. We definitely have a lot of fun doing agility and have made many new friends. If Daisy or I stop having fun or I think it is too hard on her in the future I will definitely stop and not push her. You may also want to post this in the Agility Group and see if you hear from some of the people who have been doing it for awhile. We are off to an AKC trial this weekend! Wish us luck!!
Thank you so much for your reply! Best of luck at your trial this weekend, make the Corgi race proud!
I've been practicing agility now for a couple years. Baxter just started trials in AKC and UKC this year. Ziggy will be starting beginner classes next week. =) At first, I did private classes with Baxter every couple of weeks. It was important to me to get him on the equipment and get him use to it. Then we did weekly group classes and that's what we've been doing since. I've started meeting with a couple clubs in the area to work on weekends doing drills and sometimes full courses. While weekly classes are important, doing "homework" even for just a little bit each day is really where you will see improvement.
1. I also do not have a backyard. I live in an apartment complex and I drag all my equipment out to the tennis court to practice. It's a perfect spot, fenced off, and there are lights so I can practice at night. I would suggest making some PVC pipe jumps and a table to start. I have four jumps and I can set up a lot of drills to practice handling. If you can get some weave poles you'll be set. Those are typically one of the hardest obstacles to train. You want to make sure you always practice handling. For awhile, we only practiced weaves (I was tired of dragging everything out to the court) and when it came to handling, we both had regressed.
2. I was told that while agility will take its toll on a corgi, by keeping active you will help keep them fit and could reduce other health risks they might face as they age. I have been using a supplement called Dasaquin to maintain joint health. Like one of the other commenters said, making sure you teach the contacts properly is also very important. The two feet on/two feet off method is really good at making sure they come down to the edge of the contact and slow down enough to stop and wait for your next command. Teaching a good "slow" or "easy" is important to slow the little bugger down when they build up a lot of speed. Too much speed on a teeter can be really dangerous.
You will have to watch your corgi to see how he does as the years go on. You can always run him in "preferred" classes where he jumps at a shorter height. Baxter is a tall corgi and he jumps 12" in the AKC trials. So far, he does very well, but maybe one day we will switch to preferred.
There is also a corgi agility group you can join on this site.