Beginning Agility

/Beginning Agility
Beginning Agility 2018-05-09T15:42:07+00:00

Beginning Agility – Get Your Motor Runnin’…!!


This series of classes serves as a launchpad for you and your dog into the sport of dog agility.  We’ll start you off right, by providing a balanced training program which incorporates both agility obstacle performance and core dog training skills.  Our Beginning Agility Program is open to dogs and puppies 8 months of age and up.

Opportunities are provided to get dogs up and on the agility equipment in a safe, fun and effective way.  We also maintain a Focus & Motivation Training Program, where topics such as core dog training skills, agility handling and performance fundamentals are taught.

All of this will make for a happy and well-balanced family pet and stellar agility dog that is highly engaged and in tune with you!  Get your motor runnin’…



Beginning Agility

  • Handling

Core components of the Derrett System of agility handling will be presented. Key rules of handling, front and rear cross handling maneuvers, and body mechanics are covered.

  • Contacts

Performance preparation for contact obstacles (the A-frame, Dog Walk, Teeter Totter) are covered. The key behaviors that are typically trained so that the dog hits the yellow contact zones are explained. This includes “Two Feet On/Off”, “Four-on-the-Floor”, and “Running” and “Modified Running” (some handler dependency). Choose what contact obstacle behaviors are best for you and your dog. Learn to set clear criteria and start training.

  • Jumping

Independent jumping is one of the most important skill sets a dog can have in agility. It is critical so that (1) the handler can get ahead on course and be better positioned to direct the dog, (2) the dog is more confident as they know what their job is, that they are expected to take jumps in their path, that the handler is facing/running towards/positioned by, (3) the dog can jump more safely as the handler is not in the way and is more closely positioned to upcoming on-course obstacles, (4) the dog is faster, as his pace is not dictated by the handler’s pace. Key components to train your dog to jump independently are introduced.

  • Weave Poles

The mechanics of weaving are introduced. Various techniques on training dogs to weave are presented, including channel weaves, utilizing guide wires and the 2 x 2 method. Learn the basics to turn your dog into a weavin’ demon.


Focus & Motivation

  • Reward Zone

If you are the ultimate reward, your dog will be immune to whatever distractions there are in the environment and look to you for reinforcement. We’ll cover establishing a ‘learn-to-earn’ environment where work = play and play = work. We’ll help you develop solid dog training skills by working on good timing and reinforcement, and setting clear criteria and being consistent.  “Crate Games” will be introduced.

  • Focus

We lay the groundwork for Resilient Recalls, Stellar Sit-Stays, Linear Line-Ups, 3D’s: Distance, Duration, Distractions, Circle Work (the basics of agility all wrapped up into one core exercise).

  • Motivation

Increase your dog’s motivation and build confidence by playing with your dog! Take advantage of your dog’s natural prey drive, by engaging them in an interactive game of tug. Get your dog driving ahead of you and increase their speed on the agility field. Keep them interested, spirited yet connected, and agile. We will teach you how to get your dog tugging with toys and tug-n-treats and how to incorporate this into your agility training regimen. We also focus on training go-on’s and tight turns by introducing the core principles acceleration and deceleration; handlers learn to cue dogs to extend or collect strides by adjusting their own stride length and speed when running.

  • Tricks

Designed especially for agility dogs, our tricks teach dogs to love to learn, stay engaged, and promote body awareness, balance, coordination and strength (for a fit and injury-free agility dog). They also make ‘we the people’ better trainers by improving timing, setting criteria and reinforcement. Clicker training is introduced and utilized.

  • Crate Games

Building upon Crate Games skills introduced in the Reward Zone Training, this session brings impulse control training to a higher level.  Utilizing dog crates we work on shaping behaviors and improving dog’s impulse control by working sit-stays and increasing distractions.  We also focus on getting the dogs to drive out of and send to their crates.  This is then a building block to getting solid start-lines and go-on’s out on the agility course.


Details / Registration

The Beginning Agility Series includes 6 classes to be taken over a 6 week period. Students attend class the same time and day each week and all the students progress together. At the end of each 6 week session, another session begins. Each student is allowed one make-up per session for a missed class.

Cost:  $180 per six-week session.

Class Times/Locations:  Please send us an email using our Contact Us page for specific class dates/times.  Classes are offered periodically at our Sun Studios training facility and run for 1 hour and 15 ~ 30 minutes. Class size is kept small; typically 3 – 6 dogs (8 max).

Prerequisites:  Successful completion of an Introduction to Agility class.  Dogs must be at least 8 months of age.  For younger dogs, please see our Puppy Foundation class.

Registration:  Please send us an email using our Contact Us page.