May 09, 2006

Agility Equipment

What I have been trying to do with Dusty in agility obstacle training is to teach her various concepts, generalised behaviours which she can then apply to the real agility obstacles. This is only partly because of my tiny-yard/no-storage-space limitations of access to agility equipment. I actually think it makes good training sense.

Helix Fairweather in her article Home Schooling Your Clicker Trained Agility Dog quotes Julie Daniels - Agility has three major categories of obstacles and one oddball one: the go-overs, the go-ups and the go-throughs. The go-overs are the various types of jumps — bar jump, tire jump, broad jump, panel jump, spread jumps. The go-ups are the contact obstacles; the A-frame, the dog walk, the teeter, the table. The go-throughs are the tunnel, the chute, the tire jump. The oddball obstacle is the finesse obstacle — the weave poles. So we have been training these skills - go over, go up, go through, weave - using a variety of makeshift, found and cheaply purchased odds and ends.

But with two dogs now doing agility training it might be worth my effort to set up a collection of 'better' equipment so that at least training exercises are more consistent. For example, my found jumps are not height adjustable, so I either set them up for Thommo and put the bar on the ground for Dusty, or I set them up for Dusty and Thommo walks over them.

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