The foundation class sets up the handler/dog team for success in all agility training. Handlers will learn the basics that prepare their dogs to perform on the agility equipment by way of developing the dog’s focus and rear end awareness. These foundation classes are structured to train for safety on agility equipment and are progressive, pills in that all exercises are geared around the individual dog’s needs. Contact obstacles are lowered. All class participants will play the “watch me” game, work wobble boards, a plank on the floor and do ladder work.
All students will crate their dogs for a short time period. Off leash training will commence usually the third or fourth week of class. All teams will begin working on the flat and use equipment that builds the canine athlete, with a strong focus on safety and teamwork. Therefore, all dogs must be well behaved and socialized in a group setting. Additionally, all dogs must be receptive to being handled by the instructor, if needed.
Along with the “watch me” game, targeting, shaping, general fundamentals of handling and contact skills will be introduced. All these techniques will help build the needed focus and confidence to build a great working agility team between the Handler and his/her dog.
With the progression of all that is fundamental in foundation training, we will introduce the tunnel; single bar jumps; chute and the channeled weave poles. Work on the plank will progress to a raised position and the dog will be introduced to the lowered Teeter, A-Frame and Dog Walk. Students will now be using verbal commands to teach their dog recognition of obstacles in the directions given and the dog will now begin to build greater self-confidence as they progress through their short runs. A stronger focus and a lot of safe fun is now the name of the game!
Prerequisites: All dogs entering this class should have prior experience in a group class environment in Obedience training. It is recommended that the dog have a reliable Sit/Stay and Recall. All dogs should be well-socialized and well-behaved around other dogs. Pre-registration and evaluations are required for all levels.
We hope you will enjoy the journey into the Game of Agility!!