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Old 01-09-2013, 10:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default When can a puppy start agility?

The place where Gustave went for puppy class has agility classes and they looked like so much fun!! But I read somewhere puppies shouldn't do agility because their bones aren't strong enough.

So, when can we start? He's 7mo and 5.5lbs.


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Old 01-09-2013, 11:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not sure it would probably be best to ask the trainer. I love watching maltese in agility and i know Gustave would have a blast!
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When I was teaching agility, we told people at least one year old. The jumps are hard on the growth plates, which aren't fully formed till then, or a bit later.

It is a ton of fun, I traveled with my Aussie all over. But it did mess with his spine and he retired himself.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Some places have classes for puppies younger than a year where they learn the early stage stuff, but yes, you are supposed to wait until at least a year for them to do jumps and some of the obstacles.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Some places have classes for puppies younger than a year where they learn the early stage stuff, but yes, you are supposed to wait until at least a year for them to do jumps and some of the obstacles.
So this place does have puppy agility classes. I wasn't sure about it but I am inclined to try them out since you mentioned it.

If I do, what is the stuff I should look out for? What height is OK for jumps? Which particular obstacles are bad? Any guidance would be very helpful.


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Old 01-10-2013, 12:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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When I was teaching agility, we told people at least one year old. The jumps are hard on the growth plates, which aren't fully formed till then, or a bit later.

It is a ton of fun, I traveled with my Aussie all over. But it did mess with his spine and he retired himself.
You taught agility??? That's super cool.

Sorry to hear about your Aussie. Does this mean agility will cause health problems in most dogs?


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Old 01-10-2013, 12:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm not sure it would probably be best to ask the trainer. I love watching maltese in agility and i know Gustave would have a blast!
Trainer says he can do puppy agility, but I want to make sure.

Gustave loves jumping through the hula hoop at home, I'm sure he will love this stuff. He jumps through, then comes running to me for treats. The hoop is touching the ground all the time, haha.


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Old 01-10-2013, 02:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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So this place does have puppy agility classes. I wasn't sure about it but I am inclined to try them out since you mentioned it.

If I do, what is the stuff I should look out for? What height is OK for jumps? Which particular obstacles are bad? Any guidance would be very helpful.


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I honestly would keep the jumps to the floor until he is older. I would also be very careful about doing much on a full height dog-walk or teeter. Both can be very scary for small puppies.

I honestly have focused on obedience with my guys and have not done much agility. Our training club when I lived in Georgia though had a class that was supposed to transition dogs from basic obedience to competition and it incorporated both obedience and some pre-agility (tunnels, jumps and weaves and a few short contacts). It was great fun. I try to get my guys familiar with tunnels for play anyway by buying those kids play tunnels. They love to run through them.

Are you on Facebook? You can find me and friend me there. I have a group that I set up for Performance Maltese. Several of our members there work in Agility and you might wish to ask them as I know many have much more experience with this than I do.

I love seeing these little guys out competing in performance events. I think it shows our dogs talents off. Those talents are often under-appreciated.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you so much, Carina. This is very helpful. Added you on Facebook.


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Old 01-10-2013, 07:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I did teach. My boy had many titles, we just did it for fun. A Maltese will have a 12" jump. It is determined by their height at the shoulder, not their weight. You can/could start not with the non jumps/contacts. The chute, weave poles, etc. be aware, when he's ready for it all, he will need to go all they way on the teeter because of his weight. And the 9 foot Aframe may really be hard for him. It was for Vulfie, he had a 20" jump.

But for now, no jumping. And yes, they should know basic commands, sit, stay, wait. For the start line and table.
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