Dog Agility Classes
Our agility classes and programs are designed to provide the training dogs and owners need to enjoy the many benefits of this active sport.
Classes run in 6 and 8-week sessions and progress from introducing the fundamentals through to competitive levels. The Schedule page details the upcoming class schedule, but please contact the Gym for more information on pricing, prerequisites, required health documents, and any scheduling changes.
Agility Focus Sessions are shorter classes that focus on specific behaviors such as Contacts, See-saw, Handling and the like.
For any of our Agility classes and Focus Sessions, you can sign up online on the Class Schedule page or print off the Class information and Class Application form.
Here's a run-down of the classes we offer:
- Beginner I (8 weeks) - Getting Started: Start at the beginning to introduce a dog or puppy to both the agility equipment and the vocabulary. Our Beginner classes use clicker training-a cooperative, positive, motivational method that's a natural for this sport. We focus on safety and enjoyment, allowing each dog to move at his own pace, gaining confidence as he becomes familiar with each new obstacle. Dogs begin to learn the names of each obstacle ("tunnel," for example, to race through the tunnel; "jump" to leap over a jump), as well as "left" and "right" to give directions to the next obstacle. For beginners to the sport, or seasoned competitors, this course forms a solid foundation for all dogs.
There's no prerequisite for enrolling your dog in Beginner I, but we recommend our Manners class first. Students can progress faster and further when they start with this training foundation. Alternatively, you might try a few individually targeted private foundation lessons through our Pre-School program.
To learn more about our training methodology, we encourage you to attend the Manners Class Introductory Workshop to gain some familiarity with the fundamentals of clicker training.
- Beginner II (8 weeks) - Forming the Agility Partnership: Continuing through our program, this class strengthens the communication and teamwork necessary for a true partnership with your dog. Students train for off-leash control and proficiency on the equipment. Sequencing of obstacles, for example, jump - tunnel - jump - A-frame. Emphasis is on building speed safely and having fun. For both the pet owner and the future competitor, this course lays the groundwork for a true partnership to enjoy this sport to its fullest.
- Intermediate I (6 weeks)- Strengthening the Partnership: Hooked on agility - it's so much fun! - this course emphasizes sharpening and refining skills - your dog's and your own. You'll learn to truly work with your partner-to recognize your dog's body language, as well as understand how your body language affects your dog. You'll work on building distance, targeting, increasing speed, more advanced sequencing and handling skills. For the competition-bound, this course is an excellent practice forum. For those who just love agility, love the camaraderie of class, and enjoy a night out, this course is a wonderful way to have some fun and strengthen rapport and communication with your dog.
- Intermediate II (6 weeks) - Creating a Winning Team: Learn the fine points of handling. You'll learn course handling strategies, practice working your dog at a distance, and build speed while managing your dog's performance for both safety and accuracy. For high drive dogs, learn how to utilize your dog's natural talents. For dogs with less drive, learn how to get the most out of your dog's performance, exhilarating and inspiring him to give his best. Fast, speedy weaves, dead-on contacts-building speed in everything while maintaining reliability is the goal of this level. For the competitor, this course gets you into Novice/Starters. For the non-competitor, you and your dog will continue to have fun and practice skills your dog loves.
- Advanced (6 weeks) - Perfecting Skills for Top Performance: Learn from top competitors! Our Advanced classes are taught by people who compete in agility. You'll learn winning strategies, how to get the very best from your dog, how to have success at the highest levels of competition. Practice includes games, game strategies, and continuing to work toward the highest levels of performance, including Masters, Excellent and Elite classes.
Our advanced classes are on-going. Drop-ins are permitted, although we firmly believe that to get the most from our program, it's important to understand the foundation, have a training goal, develop a plan and stick with it. We can help you accomplish this, and to achieve everything you want in agility.
And just for Fun: We have lots of students who haven't got a competitive hair on their heads - but they love doing agility with their dogs. Our Agility classes offer everyone a weekly opportunity to practice, kibitz with friends, and give your dog an outlet for his energies. Many of our Just-for-Fun students make up our demonstration teams that perform at fairs, fund raisers, and performed at the Verizon Wireless Arena at Wolves and Monarchs games. And we have lots of other students who come . . . just for fun.
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