Success in any discipline relies on strong foundations – and agility is no different.
Long before you start tackling equipment or running courses, you can take the vital first steps to launch your dog’s agility career. If you get it right from day one, shaping his mental attitude and honing his skills, you could be nurturing the star of tomorrow.
In Foundation Fun and Games, Connie Sellers, who specializes in training young dogs and their handlers, has devised a series of games that work on drive and motivation. They also teach basic handling skills without the need for equipment. The games are based on 100 per cent positive training methods and abundant positive reinforcement, so learning is always a fun, enjoyable experience.
As you progress through the games, your dog will start to accumulate all the knowledge he needs to find his way round an agility course. He will have been handsomely rewarded at every step of his learning so, when you are ready to try it for real, you will have a dog who not only knows his job – he also loves doing it! Illustrated with over 100 photos and diagrams, plus a bonus section of courses to run with your dog, Foundation Fun and Games is a must for everyone who wants to give their dog the right start to his agility career.
This is the perfect book for those starting out on their agility journey with a young dog. It teaches basic handling skills through a series of games which are designed to make learning easy and fun. Finding the right reward lies at the foundation of all good training, and the first chapters are devoted to discovering what works for your dog, how you can encourage his desire to play, and how you can work at building a strong, interactive relationship with him. Preparing both the mind and the body for agility is essential, and this can be achieved by teaching a series of tricks and fitness techniques. Dogs love this form of learning, which helps them gain physical strength and suppleness and also produces dogs that are flexible and adaptable in their outlook. Self-control is a major issue for some dogs, but help is on hand with some valuable information on teaching focus and impulse control.
At this critical stage of learning, no agility equipment is required. All the basic handling moves – front and rear crosses, pivots, ketschkers and blind crosses – are taught through flatwork games which require minimal space. You can work on your own, or with the help of a training partner. As your dog matures, and he becomes more physically able, you can introduce some basic pieces of equipment such as jump wings, or you can improvise with cones or barrels so you can teach him to wrap an obstacle or work independently by introducing fanwork. Finally, you can introduce tunnels, and jumps at micro height to proof his learning by building small sequences. The games outlined in this book will give a solid foundation to puppies taking their first steps in agility training through to young dogs who are mastering the skills they will need throughout their agility careers.