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Contact:
geoff@k9powersports.com
(970) 462-6660
2578 I Road
Grand Junction, Colorado
81505

K9 Powersports

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Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Professionals

 

Cartoon Dog Taking a test

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can any breed of dog do agility?
Pretty much, yes. I have seen just about everything from Chihuahuas to Mastiffs in the ring, so anything is possible. The herding breeds are truly exceptional at agility, and usually constitute the majority of entries at agility trials.

My dog is a mixed breed, can he compete in agility too?
Absolutely!

Does my dog need obedience training before enrolling in agility classes?
No, but it is helpful to have at least a fairly reliable “come”, “sit”, “down” and “stay”.

Does my dog need to be vaccinated before enrolling in classes?
Yes. All dogs need to be up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Can I enroll if I just want to play with my dog on the equipment and have no plans to enter competition?
Absolutely! But beware…..when the “agility bug” bites, you might find yourself entering competition anyway somewhere down the road!

If I do want to compete, how long will we need to train before we should think of entering?
No two dog/handler teams are exactly the same, but figure about a year or so of training before most teams are consistent enough to start entering trials.

How old does my dog have to be to start classes?
For the Puppy Classes, the dogs need to be at least 4 months of age. For all other classes the minimum age is 1 year.

What would you consider as the upper age for a dog to enroll in agility class?
Different size dogs age at different rates, with small breed dogs generally living the longest and giant breeds the shortest. 5-8 years depending on breed/size and whether you plan on competing with the dog. Any dog in this age range should be checked out thoroughly by your vet prior to enrolling.

Will I be training my dog on-leash or off-leash?
The Puppy Classes and Beginner Classes will be on-leash, but classes after that will primarily be off-leash.

Will I need to practice with my dog at home?
The more you practice what you learn in class, the faster you and your dog will synchronize as a team. Many of the skills you will learn in class can be practiced at home without special equipment. Some equipment, like jumps for instance, can be easily and cheaply fabricated with materials from any home improvement store.

What types of training methods do you use?
Positive reinforcement ONLY! We want your dog to be motivated and never “shut down”! Classes will be upbeat and highly rewarding for the dog. We want your dog to be amped up about coming to class each week! You will be bringing only the best of treats to class- hotdogs, bacon, chicken, steak etc….NO KIBBLE! If your dog is toy driven….so much the better….bring his/her favorite toy as well!
The Puppy Classes and Beginning level classes will also utilize clicker training. This is easy to learn and really helps bridge the “language-barrier” between humans and canines. K9 Powersports will supply the clickers.

Can I enroll two dogs in one class?
Yes, but it is generally a good idea to have another person (family member etc…) handle the second dog in the Puppy/Beginner Classes. These classes move pretty quickly and new handlers can get confused trying to juggle two “green” dogs. If you are the only handler it would be better to enroll the dogs in separate classes.
This is usually not a problem for advanced handlers in the Advanced/Competition classes, who are used to “multi-tasking” at agility trials.

How old does a child have to be to handle a dog in class?
The minimum age for children at K9 Powersports is 13. The classes are formatted for adults and the pace can be rather quick at times. The child must realize that agility training is a long term commitment and they must be able to be attentive to the instructor in class. Any minors in class must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Can other family members or friends attend classes to watch us train?
Sure. They will have to watch from outside the ring and as long as they do not cause a distraction to the handlers or dogs in the ring this is fine. Please keep in mind some dogs can be nervous around new people so all spectators need to be sure to ask owners of dogs they do not know if it is ok to approach their dog.

My dog does not get along with other dogs/people, can he still take agility classes?
Your dog needs to enroll in an obedience type of class to work through an issue like this. Agility stimulates dogs, gets them all excited and wound up, and is conducted off lead. This can lead to a bad situation with an aggressive dog. Also, for some exercises the instructor will be needing to hold your dog. For the safety of all dogs/people in the class, aggressive dogs will be asked to leave.

My dog can be nervous around new things or people. Can he/she still do agility?
Most likely yes, and it might be very good for them! Grasping the concepts may take a little longer, but with all the new things they will encounter (people, other dogs, noises and objects etc…) and the treats they will be fed, it could be a big confidence booster for them!

What if I miss a class or two, can I get a refund?
Sorry, but no. This is a school, and after enrollment and payment are processed you will be expected to attend all classes. However, if you are in a month-to-month continuing upper level class and know ahead of time you will be on vacation for a week or two the following month, you can pay the “drop-in” rate for the classes you know you can attend.

K9 Powersports will give a full refund for the Puppy/Beginner classes providing the student withdraws before the beginning of the second class in the series.
If the instructor cancels a class for whatever reason (weather, illness etc…), the series of classes (Puppy/Beginner) will be extended a week. If in a month-to-month upper level class, a refund will be reflected in the following month’s tuition.

How high does my dog have to jump?

See chart below....

The vertical column on the left contains the name of the agility organizations in the USA. Numbers listed horizontally across the top are the jump heights utilized by the agility organizations. The numbers inside the squares are the dogs' measurements from the withers (shoulders) to the ground (the "down" arrow means measuring less than the number indicated in the square). An "X" in a square means that organization does not use that jump height. Example: If your dog measures 17" at the withers and you wanted to compete in both AKC and USDAA, he/she would jump 16" in AKC and 22" in USDAA. Each organization has a special division where your dog can jump a lower height if you choose (see "Notes"). For more details on these rules, there are links to each organizations' homepage on the K9 Powersports "Links" page.

Jump Height chard

click here for larger version