The sport of dog agility has dramatically evolved within last 7-8 years. If we look at contemporary international competition courses and the performance of top athletes — it is very easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated with the amount and complexity of skills that are now required from both the dog and the handler.
It might seem that if your are not doing it as a professional full-time sport and you can’t afford to keep multiple dogs or are not willing to re-home those that don’t seem fit for the job you might as well quit the sport all together. This creates a very understandable yet avoidable sense of overwhelm, especially when people get a new puppy and start the training.
When to start what? What skills to prioritise? How much body awareness versus agility skills to introduce at the same time? How much training is enough? How to raise a comfortable companion at the same time as successful performance dog? All these questions swirl through the minds of new puppy owners no matter how new and eager or wise and experienced.
It is very easy to get discouraged and frustrated, and to overburden the puppy with doing and expecting too much. There is a lot of discussion and even judgement in the public field right now about overtraining and starting too early with the puppy. However, I believe, most new puppy owners do it without bad intentions. They genuinely love their puppies and want best for them. But just don’t know what to do otherwise and how to keep up with the modern agility, other than to start equipment work way too early.
In Puppy Diary 2.0 we create a system of age-appropriate exercises that will ensure that the puppy learns the most important aspects of training that will allow all future skills to get layered on solid foundations. We concentrate on raising a confident puppy that understands the rules of the game well: has good balance of toy/food/social and environmental reinforcement, learns impulse control as well as drive, is developing good proprioception and body awareness that will decrease future injures and enhance overall well-being and performance, a puppy that develops into a comfortable everyday life companion as well as a professional athlete without you having to spend hours a week training and sacrificing the rest of your life for it.
And we will approach basics of equipment work introduction in a safe age-appropriate manner that will ensure that future skill work will go smooth and easy. Join us on the journey of Reina the border-collie puppy and Ony the-sheltie in Puppy Diary 2.0 by Anastasia Egorova.