Aerial photo of arena
Progression through the series of lessons:
The Foundation to Agility sessions focuss on flatwork skills, forward drive and motivation. We look at rewarding your dog well and in a timely way along with turns towards and away from you on the flat.
The Beginners & Improvers course develops the bond between you when working together; introduces equipment, basics moves and simple sequences of obstacles.There is a big focus on your dog being and staying motivated and driving fast ahead of you and also able to turn towards and away from you over jumps.
You and your dog will learn about rewards, timing and positive praise, this will form a huge part of your agility lessons.
You will learn to handle each piece of agility equipment and begin to link them together, looking for drive and enthusiasm.
You will begin to learn some simple turns and will be beginning to complete simple sequences with independence (4-8 obstacles)
You learn how to handle changes of direction at increasing speed.
The Competition level prepares you for competiton by completing longer and more complex sequences of obstacles; developing knowledge about where best to use different methods of handling. Dogs and handlers can negotiate simple sequences involving straight lines and simple turns. Sequences are completed accurately (8-15 obstacles) Dogs are weaving using competition weaves and are able to hold a 2 on 2 off position on the contact equipment or have good understanding of running contacts. Handlers begin to 'proof' these positions in simple ways. More complex turns are taught in short sequences.
Show preparation is covered and rehearsed.
The Advanced level courses are more challenging for both dog and handler, a coaching style rather than a teaching style is generally used, so that handlers compare methods of handling on sequences to see what suits different partnerships in different situations and moving from supported course walking to independent thinking and own analysis of methods. Handlers can complete more complicated turns and manoeuvres. Weaves and contact positions are proofed in training and this is encouraged at shows which allow it.
Most people who have agility lessons join a group as this gives them chance to see how other people are getting on, watch and see what works/doesn't work when handling a sequence of obstacles and gives them chance to catch their breath!
Many people learn well by watching others.