Madly in love with Agility
When a sport becomes your lifestyle.
Nowadays when the courses require more accuracy and high speed from competitors, we put the health of your dog in the first place, since only a healthy dog can accompany their owner with precision and high speed. If your dog has health issues, you have to consult with your veterinary.
It is also recommended that your dog has basic obedience training. Agility is a sport practiced without a leash and a collar, so you should have good voice control and positive bond with your dog, furthermore you have to know how to successfully motivate your dog. If you haven’t participated in any of the obedience or socialization courses, I strongly advise you to visit one offered by Madly Muddy.
Dogs starting to practice agility should be at least 10 months old. Trainings are adjusted by the age of the dog, so they are not too overwhelmed. At the same time dog can slowly learn basics and strengthen their muscles, in order to prepare for overcoming the obstacles. If the upper description fits you and your dog, I invite you to your first agility lesson.
Agility is a sport, that gives you the opportunity to connect with your dog on a whole different level. The competing team – the owner and their dog – have to run the course, build from different obstacles (jumps, contact obstacles) without faults, idealy. The dog runs the course without leash or collar, the handler is forbidden to use a toy or treat to motivate the dog. Dogs of all breads and mixbreads can compete, no matter the size. The only thing that is important is that dogs are older than 15 months in Slovenia and more than 18 months in other European countries. The handler can be anyone who likes to spend some time with their dog in an active way.
At competitions the dogs are divided in three categories by their size; small (35 cm measured in height at the peak of their withers), medium (dogs between 35 and 43 cm), and large (dogs taller than 43 cm). Each competition is composed from two runs. The first one is named agility and includes contact obstacles (A-frame, Dog walk, see-saw) and shows the accuracy of your dog. The second one is called jumping and has no contact obstacles. In jumping the speed and good handling are most important. The courses at competitions are unique and we cannot prepare in advance. The competitors walk the course, build by the agility judge and think of the best way to later run the course with their dog. The agility discipline is usually described by the spectators as easy, since the dogs look happy when running the course, some even wave their tail or bark from excitement. But behind the most synchronised dog-owner couples are hours and hours of hard work and practice.
At Madly Muddy we offer you trainings with professional agility obstacles, which meet the Commission for Agility standards. I also developed some extra equipment in order to help the beginners with more complex obstacles. With the help of these obstacles dogs can strengthen their muscles and improve their movement.
Agility practices are usually on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays afternoons. I can also adjust to your timetable. Dog and handler will improve the most if they have regular trainings. This also depends on your free time, but ideally you should train two to three times per week. Once per week trainings are enough for steady progress and to remain in shape.
Since I would like to focus on each and every agility couple, I only accept 2-3 trainees per hour and as much as 9 in one morning or afternoon. I want to be as concentrated with the first trainee, as I am in training the last one.
- The handler should be dressed in loose, sports clothes and appropriate outdoors footwear. You should also bring a bottle of water.
- You dog should be walked but not too tired. It is recommended you don’t feed your dog 2-3 hours prior trainings. If your dog likes toys, you should bring their favourite one, and also treats, collar and leash (not retractable flexi dog leash). Bring also water and water bowl.
You didn’t find any course corresponding to your timetable? Do you know someone with the same problem? Contact us for more info about organizing seminars and workshops tailored for your needs.
Agility trainings are divided into three difficulty groups:
Agility course for beginners, composed from 20 lessons is intended for anyone who wants to get familiar with this discipline. On this level we learn the basics of correct handling, the dog tries out obstacles, learns different commands and basic obstacle combinations. If you participate at the course regularly you should be prepared to run a short agility course.
Advances course lasts 15 lessons and is intended for anyone who already participated at beginners class and want to continue trainings to prepare for competitions or just to extend their knowledge gained through beginners class. The course program is made in order to prepare you for competitions, since we will work on improving your handling, overcoming the obstacles and the strategy of walking the course.
The course is intended for competitors and consists of 10 lessons, visited by the trainees who already compete and want to improve their work. I usually design course or parts of a course which I encountered through competitions, so we are practising on current course designs.