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How quickly do boxers learn agility?

Discussion in 'Agility/Obedience' started by larrygs, May 28, 2010.

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  1. larrygs

    larrygs Super Boxer

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    The place were we are taking classes offers a variety of levels. Each level has strict requirements before a dog/handler can move up. It is rare for a level not to be repeated several times and many never make it beyond intro. I appreciate the need for demonstrating the required skills before moving on.

    We were recently promoted to the intermediate level, which is great. However, I already can see at this level we'll spend much of our time waiting on others. Boxers pick things up pretty quickly.

    I am considering changing to another facility once this class ends, if it would accelerate things.

    Just wondering what the experiences are of those who have done this before. How did you learn? How quickly? Is training the same everywhere?
     
  2. DiverDiva

    DiverDiva Boxer Insane

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    At the club where we train, the advice I was given is that it takes approximately1-2 years from the time you start training until you are ready to enter a trial. For Oscar and me, it was 2 years. Oscar does not pick up things quickly, but once he gets it, he's got it down pat. There are as many ways to train as there are trainers. I know I did not like hearing this when we started, but it is SO important to have really strong handling skills 'on the flats'.
     
  3. larrygs

    larrygs Super Boxer

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    Thank you. That helps put things in perspective. Sounds like we have a long way to go yet.

    BTW, what is 'on the flats' I am guessing, with the help of Google, it is the cumunication between obstaticles.
     
  4. chrystel

    chrystel Boxer Insane

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    I am part of an agility group.. so nice people!!

    They all do trial.

    The lady who is the leader does agility with her dog. her husband is a at-home trainer and does field work with his golden retriever.

    We meet up every sunday morning. We are a little group, they have all the equipement, stored in a field behind a vet/boarding facility who allows us to use their field.

    My friend's westie is ready, he is doing jumping trial, the small one around Forth Worth, in a horse barn (He is not AKC registered)
    When Oxy will be ready (we are still dealing with the ADHD with an express shot thing:LOL:), we will participate!

    It's fun and low key. I like it, I do not wish to do HUGE trials so it's perfect for me. We only pay $80 yearly, have fun BBQ and do local shelter and rescue events to get people involved with their dogs.

    cool2icon
     
  5. whiskers

    whiskers Boxer Insane

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    Not that I have much experience, but I think in the long run staying at each level for a period of time will be most beneficial. Even if it appears that they are "getting it," I think for agility especially, it is important that those skills are SOLID before you move forward. I suppose class is a little boring when your dog is capable of performing the skills that others are still working on, but I don't think you want to push through it too fast either. I kind of made this mistake with Juno's obedience classes. It was the same "move forward when your dog knows the skills" sort of thing, and so I would spend the whole week just drilling the skills into her so we could move onto the next level.... I didn't want to spend 4 weeks in each level. And for that, I think it kind of defeated the purpose of taking the classes, because I never worked on those skills long-term... I just blasted through them to the point where she understood them and would do it, but they weren't really ingrained in her, if that makes sense.

    The foundations class we're in now is a 6 week course but the trainer told us that typically, most dogs are not ready to move forward at the end of the 6 weeks. Which seems crazy to me because, at the moment at least, the things we have been working on are not terribly difficult.

    I will agree that boxers are quick learners! I can reward Juno for something only once, and then she'll just keep doing it over and over and over....
     
  6. DiverDiva

    DiverDiva Boxer Insane

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    Yes, that refers to the handling in between obstacles, such as (but not limited to) turns, crosses (where you and your dog switch sides), distance handling, and layering (where there is an obstacle between you and your dog). If you don't have the skills when you start entering trials, you will possibley get through Novice class, maybe even Open class, but once you get to Excellent or Elite class, you will have a very tough time. In the long run, I'd say it is more about the handling than the obstacles.

    I'm still giggling about all the comments regarding Boxers that are quick to learn. Oscar is NOT a quick learner. foolicon
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  7. IluvLucy

    IluvLucy Boxer Insane

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    I would say that if you don't have the skills, you will find Open very difficult and be lucky to get through Novice at all. I can recall some very tricky Open courses and because there were a couple of things that J.C. didn't do really well, we didn't qualify. If there is a weak spot in your skills, some judge will find it!
     
  8. larrygs

    larrygs Super Boxer

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    Just wanted to say thank you to all for the insights. The obstacle work has come relatively easy and Layla really loves doing them. However, I am not sure how much is her enthusiasm for doing what ever is in front of her vs understanding my rough guidance. I will definitely pay more attention to getting better "on the flats."
     
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