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FAQ’s

Will my dog be off leash?
Yes! Dogs will stay on leash for the first couple of weeks of introductory class, but quickly move to working off leash so it’s important that your dog comes when called – even around distractions. Agility class is not the environment for your dog to learn how to come when called.

What age can my dog start?
CCATS allows dogs 12 months and over that are in good health to participate in our agility classes.

Is agility a good way for my dog to lose weight?
Your dog needs to be in good shape prior to starting agility training. Jumping is physically hard on dogs, and this is made even harder by any extra weight they are carrying. It is in your dog’s best interest to ensure they are trim and fit before starting agility training.

How much time should I dedicate to training?
The short answer is little but often. Ideally, you should train something (any trick or behaviour) almost everyday but only for short sessions, 5 – 10 min max. This is easy enough to do in an advert break while watching your favourite TV show! You can even practice your wait training every time you give your dog their dinner.

Why does my dog have to be 12 months to start?
The New Zealand Kennel Club has specific rules around what age dogs are allowed to do certain obstacles due to physical immaturity. Dogs must be 16 months old to graduate from our introductory course into our skills course with weaves and contact equipment – if they started at 4 months in introductory it would be a long 12 months repeating the introductory course!

What things/behaviours/tricks should my dog be able to do before coming to agility training?
Even though our agility classes start at 12 months, there are a lot of things that are important to teach your pre-agility dog!

  • Come when called around distractions
  • Wait until released
  • Play tug with a toy
  • To follow you and your movements if you change direction

What breeds of dog can do agility?
Any breed of dog is capable of participating in, and enjoying agility! At our club we have a wide range of breeds including border collies, welsh & english springer spaniels, cocker spaniels, heading dogs, samoyeds, miniature poodles, miniature schnauzers, lots of mixed breeds, a schipperke and a portuguese podengo! Unfortunately under Schedule 4 of the New Zealand Dog Control Act (1966) we cannot allow the following breeds/types to attend training at our club: Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Perro de Presa Canario and American Pit Bull Terrier.

What fitness level should my dog and I have before starting agility?
Your dog should be in good physical condition before starting agility. Jumping puts stress on the joints and if your dog is carrying excess weight this adds to the strain on those joints. As for the handler, the fitter you are, the easier it is to keep up with your dog. In saying that, there are training techniques you can learn and use if you find keeping up with your dog a physical challenge. We have members of all ages, fitness levels and physical abilities competing in agility.

How long does it take to start competing?
This really depends on how much time you put into your dog. If you complete the 8 week Introductory Agility class you should have the basic foundation skills to get around a simple course at competition, however, this is just providing you with the basic skills. Most people usually start competing after they have learned a few more handling skills and have built up their confidence as a dog-handler team. This is usually around 6-12 months.

Is agility a good way to socialise my dog?
Not really, agility is all about you and your dog learning to play and work together. Your dog should learn to think you are the most exciting thing at training, not the other dogs.

Do I need to practice at home?
The more you practice what you learn in class, the faster you will improve. Many skills do not require equipment and some things can be taught with objects from around the house and a little imagination.

Do I have to register with the New Zealand Kennel Club (NZKC) and Dog Agility New Zealand to run a dog?
Nope! Dogs can compete in ribbon trial events without being registered with the NZKC or Dog Agility New Zealand – they do need to be measured though. Please see the handy guides below about entering ribbon trials and champ shows

http://dogagility.org.nz/information/Guide%20to%20entering%20a%20Championship%20Competition.pdf

http://dogagility.org.nz/information/Guide%20to%20Entering%20a%20Ribbon%20Trial.pdf

How do I register with the NZKC?
Joining online is the easiest option – http://www.nzkc.org.nz/membership-application.html  

 

 

 

Dog Agility @ CATs