Starting Puppy Class

Starting puppy class for the first time can overwhelming for you and your puppy. Some handlers and pups take it in their stride and settle in immediately, others will take time. Often it will depend on the previous dog owning experiences. In the first session you will be given an induction and encouraged to join in the training but sometimes if puppy is a little nervous we are very content if you just sit back and watch. This can be the best lesson as it will set the precedence for future training, teaching you the handler and your puppy how to relax when in a stressful environment.

No dog or handler combination is the same and we all learn at different rates.

How do Dogs Learn? by David Ryan.

Arriving at class: Please try to arrive at least 10 minutes before class starts, it can be very disruptive to the class when a puppy enters. This is the time to pay your fees and get to know the other puppy owners before we start training.

Toileting: Puppies do sometimes have accidents while training, this goes along with the territory, we don’t mind if you just stop and go outside during training for a toilet break. Try to take them out regularly. If they do have an accident don’t worry we just clean it up.

Treats & Toys & Praise: You can use the pups own food and an array of puppy treats for training. Please make sure they aren't crumbly, as it makes it difficult for the puppys to take their noses off the floor if dropped.
Quite a few treats will be consumed during class and puppy can get thirsty, so make sure you take him to the available water bowls frequently. If you run out of treats we always have them for sale in our little shop. Puppies favourite toy is a great reward and motivator. So please bring this with you too. We do have supplies of toys if you forget. We encourage clicker training.

Puppy versus Puppy: One of the reasons puppy owners come to class is to socialise their puppy, to learn to interact with other dogs, meeting people and learning obedience and good manners.
At SIT Dog Training we rarely have on mass puppy play. The reason for this is that we don’t want pups to learn that this is what they do when meeting every dog, this will get them into trouble in the adult dog world. They learn to interact calmly on lead, but the centre of their world must be you, their owner, carer and provider. This will keep them safe in the future. Please make sure that there is plenty of space between yours and other puppies while we are training. Do not let your puppy meet another without asking the owner.

Consistency: It is important to train everyday, little and often. Just incorporating the training throughout the day as you carry out your normal routine. Attending classes every week will help you to address problems quickly and take home skills to practice. Classes run weekly but are not a set course, so you can miss the odd one. Puppies can stay in this class until you feel ready to move on.
Some stay and some feel they have learnt enough for their needs and just stay a few weeks. Please let us know if you are leaving or wish to move to a different class.

If Puppy is poorly? You are encouraged to attend without puppy so that you don’t miss out on training. The skills learnt can be taken home.

Handouts: I do not as a matter of course give out training handouts, however if you would like me to email you any training information that we covered at class just let me know. There are some handouts available at class.

Puppy Handbook: I have produced a puppy handbook which will be for sale at class for £4 for a paper copy or pdf format. A pdf copy will be sent to you on booking and payment is received for the six week option.

General rules can be found in our Dos & Don’ts.

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Puppy Class Payment Details

Starting Pre-Agility

Starting any class for the first time can feel very overwhelming for you and your dog. Some handlers and dogs take it in their stride and settle in immediately, others will take time. Often it will depend on the previous dog owning experiences for the handler and socialisation for the dog. It doesn’t matter if you intend to compete or just attend to have fun and socialise. Our aim is to always make it fun for you and your dog. All we ask is that your dog is comfortable in a group situation.

Pre-Agility is for any age of dog from puppy to elderly and is designed to build confidence and control with out the stresses of large equipment or high impact to put stress on young or old joints. Pre- Agility prepares your dog to eventually join the Fun Agility when they are old enough or feel confident enough. We teach you to do it right and safely to enable you to compete if you so wish to in the future, but we don't pressure you to compete. Most just want to attend the regular Fun Agility sessions.

No dog or handler combination is the same and we all learn at different rates.

Arriving at class: Please try to arrive at least 10 minutes before class starts, it can be very disruptive to the class when a new dog enters. This is the time to pay your fees and settle in.

If you should arrive late then please do not enter the training area whilst another dog is going around the course.

Toileting: Please encourage your dog to toilet before class and please do not let your dog soil the equipment.

Treats & Toys: We use treats and toys to reward and motivate our dogs when training. Please make sure that treats aren’t dropped on the ground when completing the course as this can be very distracting for the other dogs. Treats should not be crumbly. We encourage clicker training.

Equipment: If working on lead then a flat collar and a normal lead is best. A good length would be about 1.8cm. You will need footwear with a good grip, designed for running or walking on rough terrain. Clothing should be in layers but not loose.
Be prepared for any weather. If you can get to training we will be running it. If the weather turns bad we have a shelter in the field and we have an indoor training area. However this is not heated and so outdoor clothing is advised. If you are not sure please check with Sue on the morning of training.

Warming Up & Feeding! Please do not feed your dog within 2 hours of rigorous exercise, make sure you move your dogs around and give their joints a little massage before any activities to warm their muscles up.

Dog versus Dog One of the reasons dog owners come to class is to socialise their dogs. Some dogs struggle with other dogs in their space and so we keep our dogs on lead when not completing the course. Make sure that you ask before approaching other dogs and please resist treating them. If your dog is friendly don’t presume others are. All movements of dogs are well managed and monitored.

The Agility Equipment: Cones for direction control, poles at ground level, hoops and low dog walk and a-frame, V-weaves and 2 by 2 weaves. Rigid tunnels. Contacts and Targeting.

Please read our Dos & Don’ts on our website for further information.

Your Trainers are Rachel Holmes, Christine Lucas & Sue Fryer

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Pre-Agility payment details

Starting Fun Agility

Welcome to our Agility class. Starting any class for the first time can feel very overwhelming for you and your dog. Some handlers and dogs take it in their stride and settle in immediately, others will take time. Often it will depend on the previous dog owning experiences for the handler and socialisation for the dog. It doesn’t matter if you intend to compete or just attend to have fun and socialise. Our aim is to always make it fun for you and your dog. However your dog does need to be fit enough to do it. Being overweight will put undue stress on their joints. There is normally a bit of running on your behalf but we cater for all ages and ability. Just ask or advice.

If you haven’t done agility before then you will have been asked to complete an induction. This session does not mean that you will have learned everything, the process to becoming a competent team working in harmony takes time.
At the induction you and your dog will be introduced to each piece of equipment and reminded of the safety element to using the equipment. When you join the group session for the first time it can be easy to feel overwhelmed but remember some have been coming for a long time, however they had a first time once. and are extremely patient and helpful.

No dog or handler combination is the same and we all learn at different rates.

Arriving at class Please try to arrive at least 10 minutes before class starts, it can be very disruptive to the class when a new dog enters. This is the time to pay your fees and settle in, you can walk the course, so that you know where you are going.
If you are late then please do not enter the training area whilst another dog is going around the course.

Toileting Please encourage your dog to toilet before class outside of the training areas. Please do not let your dog soil the equipment or training area, keep an eye on your dog and interrupt any unwanted behaviour.

Treats & Toys We use treats and toys to reward and motivate our dogs when training. Please make sure that treats aren’t dropped on the ground when completing the course as this can be very distracting for the other dogs.

Equipment If working on lead then a flat collar and a normal lead is best, A good length would be about 1.8cm. You will need footwear with a good grip, designed for running or walking on rough terrain. Clothing should be in layers but not loose.
Be prepared for any weather. If you can get to training we will be running it. If the weather turns bad then we have an indoor training area. If you are not sure please check with Sue on the morning of training.

Warming Up & Feeding! Please do not feed your dog a full meal within 2 hours of rigorous exercise, make sure you move your dogs around before jumping to warm their muscles up. I like to do a bit of obedience and trick training in-between goes.

Dog versus Dog One of the reasons dog owners come to class is to socialise their dogs. Some dogs struggle with other dogs in their space and so we keep our dogs on lead when not completing the course. Make sure that you ask before approaching other dogs. If your dog is friendly don’t presume others are. You may be asked to muzzle your dog in-between goes.

The Equipment is of competition quality and the contacts are rubber coated.

Contact Equipment ; See-saw; Dog Walk; A Frame;
Other equipment:- Jumps; Tyre; Weaves; Wall; Rigid Tunnels; Pause table and Long Jump.

Jesse Jump equipment for indoor training.

Please read our Dos & Don’ts on our website for further information.

Happy Training - Sue and team

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Fun Agility payment details

About Agility

Dog agility is a dog sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Obstacles include the following:- Jumps; Rigid Tunnels; Dog Walk; Seesaw; Weaving Poles; Tyre jump; Long Jump; Wall; Table and ‘A’ Frame.

It started as a new spectator event at Crufts in 1977 to fill in between other activities. Little did we know that it would take of as a worldwide sporting event.

In competition, dog and handler are required to complete the planned course against the clock clearly. Faults will be given for not completing within the time, for knocking jumps down, refusals, and failing to touch contact points. Faults will be given for handling the dog or touching the equipment. Taking the wrong course can result in elimination. I liken it to Show jumping for dogs.

Agility is a very active sport and will require some running and so please ensure that you and your dog are fairly fit, if unsure please check with your doctor/vet before starting.

As with any exercise it is wise to warm up those muscles before starting to avoid injury.

All dogs are born with a need to work. Agility will provide mental and physical stimulation. All breeds large and small are welcome, dogs from 12 months and handlers of any age as long as they are capable of controlling their dog. (Under 16's must be accompanied by an adult)

When you first start the training can be on lead, however basic obedience is essential and it is far easier to run your dog off the lead which can knock the equipment down.

Essential commands are, Sit, Down, Wait and Recall. So start practicing now.
Find out what motivates your dog, treats, or toys? Do you clicker train? Although these cannot be used in competition they are very useful tools for helping your dog learn Agility.


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