We'd like to start Agility once Mikey is done obediance-I think he'd love it. We just want to do it for fun-not competitively. (He's very adventurous and loves playground equipment too)

Anyways-we're starting by building things in our yard-as the ultimate goal is fun and tiring him out-we'd like to be able to start now and continue in the yard as well as on a real course.

***Does anyone have any links on equipment specifications (for building equipement) so that we build them properly?

***Does anyone have any links on rules and specifications on hand signals etc-so that we don't train him incorreclty?

We don't care which kennel club (american, canadian, united kingdom etc) just any regulations would be a good start. :)

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i highly highly highly recommend NOT starting backyard training before doing formal training, in agility, particularly since you want to run him on a real course at some point.

it's a lot harder to break bad habits than to simply prevent them in the first place. And most of the problems will come from *you*. There aren't "hand signals," per se, everyone is just pointing at the next obstacle. :) Most of the direction comes from your body language, and less from verbal cues.

We started out doing agility for fun, and we still do it for fun - but we compete too. ;) It's hard to resist once you've got the agility bug!
Thanks!! It's going to be winter here soon (and cold) so putting the backyard agility on hold isn't too tragic ;)

Soo-there is a facility near us that has a course and you can pay by the minute to use it-would you say go for it-or wait until we start training?
i would definitely wait for a class- agility is much more complicated than you would think, and it is very easy to mess up your dog. If you did decide later on that you wanted to do agility more competitively or just continue to play around it could be difficult if your dog has had bad experiences on the equipment.
As far as links and resources, check out www.akc.org or www.k9cpe.com for rules (AKC and CPE). Clean Run is a great magazine, and it also is a catologue for equipment, videos, books, toys, etc. (www.cleanrun.com).

I'd get some foundamental agility training with instructors first before attempting any backyard training.
Thanks all!!
I know I'm stepping in a little late on this discussion but I couldn't agree more with Susan and Merlin. You really do need to take lessons before you put your dog on the equipment. A lot of facilities won't let your dog on their equipment if they haven't taken lessons or been formally trained on it, particularly the A frame, dog walk, and teeter. Also you need to find out what venues have trials in your area and train for that venue. In my area we have a lot of different venues, USDAA, TDAA, CPE, AKC, UKC and NADAC. We compete in AKC, NADAC and sometimes CPE. The different venues have different equipment specifications, performance criteria, and rules. Until you start competing you don't have to worry about the rules, but you will want to know the equipment specifications when you start to train on the equipment. I say that because I compete in AKC and NADAC which have lower A frame specs than USDAA. At our classes a lot of the time the A frame is set to USDAA specs and we have to lower it to AKC height. Some people train for USDAA so that's where the frame is set when we get there for class. In USDAA the A frame height is 6'3" while AKC height is 5'6" and NADAC height varies from 4'8" to 5' depending on ramp length. It is good to be familiar with the equipment specs for the venue you're planning to train for.


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