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Helping Build Stronger Relationships 734.751.0061 7275 Joy Road Dexter, Michigan 48130
 
 
Class Descriptions




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Students are welcome to join classes midterm -
private lessons, etc. will be arranged so that the class is appropriate
for the dog/handler team joining the class.

Fundamentals for Obedience

Fundamentals for Obedience (for puppies & adult dogs) - For dogs to fit into our human families and human society well, they need to possess certain basic skills and exhibit socially acceptable behavior, self-control & self discipline in many situations.  This class will help the dog and handler develop/build Teamwork  - TLC i.e. Trust, Leadership and Confidence. Along with this relationship building the goal is to create a flexible, participative learning partner in the dog, so that work ethic is achieved and the dog has the desire to learn.  Specifically the commands of "Come," "Down,"  "Sit" and "Stay," "Leave It" will be taught along with methods to teach safe/not grabby treat delivery, walking the dog without being dragged,  etc.   If the class makeup is such that it is appropriate, there will also be a puppy/dog socialization period in each class, since the dogs also still need to know how to function appropriately within their own species as well.  Puppies or adult dogs will be divided appropriately by size, temperament, etc. so that play sessions are always positive canine social experiences.

GOAL:   FUN bond building and skill learning with your puppy/dog!


Foundations/Fundamentals for Agility Teamwork

Foundations/Fundamentals for Agility Teamwork (Levels I - III) - In a FUN, positive learning environment the dog and handler will learn the basics of dog agility. Initial training emphasis will be with "flatwork", connecting/teaming with the dog and stationary positions to teach handler maneuvers and safely familiarizing the dog to all agility obstacles.  This progresses to the handler learning how to perform the basic handling maneuvers and side switches in motion with the dog.  The dog will continue to learn and clarify their understanding of the performance of all obstacles, with some obstacle sequencing.  Then the handler will learn how to evaluate and incorporate all of the handler maneuvers and side switches into "running" a course so that communication with the dog is appropriate.  The dog will learn how to "read" the handler maneuvers and perform obstacles in longer sequences.

GOAL:  Is to have FUN while learning basic agility skills with the dog, so as to establish a dog/handler team
that is confident, communicating, connected and collaborative.

Puppy Agility -
In a FUN, positive learning environment the puppy and handler will learn the basics of dog agility as they are appropriate for the age of the pup.  FUN learning, development of work ethic, handler connection/teamwork, teaching drive, obstacle vs. handler focus, toy/food transitions and down scaled/controlled agility equipment introductions can never start too early!  The pup will also learn how to handle/use their physical body with rearend awareness exercises, etc., so that they can be coordinated and safe on the agility equipment.  This prepares the pup for success in all future agility endeavors!

GOAL:  Is to have FUN with the puppy while teaching it the basics of agility skills and teamwork.


Agility Sequencing/Handling

These are not simply runthrus, they are exercises designed to analyze, train and perfect handler maneuvers so that they provide clear, concise and timely communication to the dog so he can have the cleanest, most efficient and motivational direction and path.  They will also elucidate/evaluate the dog's understanding of obstacle sequencing and handling and pinpoint those areas that the dog needs additional training and skill building.

GOAL:  Is to have FUN while perfecting handling skills, to continue to build a dog/handler team
that is confident, communicating, connected and collaborative.

Novice Sequencing/Handling -
Positive/motivational techniques and exercises will be utilized to continue to train the dog & handler to sequence all possible agility obstacles in all possible sequences with confidence and success.

Intermediate/Advanced Sequencing/Handling -
Positive/motivational techniques and exercises will be utilized to continue development of the dog and handler as a team.  Increased length and complexity of sequencing will be incorporated, as well as, handler analysis of the course to provide clean, clear and timely communication to the dog.

Masters (Excellent) Sequencing/Handling -
Positive/motivational techniques and exercises will be utilized to perfect the teamwork and communication between dog and handler, so that sequences flow and the team is always "in sync".   Sequences will include Masters/Excellent level options/challenges i.e. obstacle discriminations, distance handling, course analysis, etc.


Specialized Agility Skill Classes -  Learning & Mastery

These classes give the agility dog/handler team the opportunity to concentrate on a specific discipline within the sport of agility to attain proficiency, consistency and success within that skill while continuing their progress with handling and sequencing skills.
GOAL:  Is to have FUN while perfecting a specific agility skill, to continue to build a dog/handler team
that is confident, communicating, connected and collaborative
.
Agility "Game" Handling/Strategy -
Positive reinforcement exercises will develop/enhance the dog/handler teams understanding of the rules, strategy, training and handling skills necessary for success in the myriad of agility competitive "games" i.e. AKC FAST, Gamblers, Snooker, Pairs, Jumpers, Fullhouse, Colors, Wildcard, etc.

Agility Proofing -
Class exercises will assess the dog/handler team's skills to meet the challenges presented by agility competition i.e. obstacle discriminations, difficult/odd weave pole entries, odd angles into all obstacles, down contact performances in a variety of presentations, sends & distance handling, fluctuating between obstacle & handler focus, layering (and when it is and is not appropriate), serpentines, threadles, wraps, etc.  If gaps in training and/or understanding are discovered then the methods and techniques to develop and enhance those skills is concentrated on.

Contacts Quandary??? -
Evaluation/analysis of dog and handler understanding and performance of down contacts on dogwalk, A-frame and teeter.  What does the dog understand?  What is the handler cueing?  How can the dog's performance become more consistent & reliable?  What type of down contacts does each team have/want or need i.e. true running contacts, 2 on 2 off, handler managed moving contact,  one toe on, 4 on the floor, etc.?

After identifying the issues involved, the class concentration will then be on addressing and resolving the issues via positive reinforcement methods and techniques to produce faster, more reliable and consistent down contact performances on all of the contact obstacles.

Contacts/Table Proofing -
Positive reinforcement exercises will be used to develop/enhance the dog/handler teams contact obstacle and table performances and increase the dog's understanding of the correct/appropriate performance of these obstacles in a wide variety of presentations. The effect of handler maneuvers and positioning on achieving the optimal contact and tables performances will also be analyzed and clarified.

Contacts & Weaves Success!! (Conquer the dynamic NQ duo) -
Positive reinforcement exercises will develop/enhance the dog/handler team's correct performance of these obstacles when they are in combination with each other.  As if they are not challenging enough on their own, class exercises will work them together to proof distance, discrimination, sends, handling options/analysis, various entry & exit challenges, etc. to enhance the team's success in meeting these challenges in competition.

Directionals & Discriminations -
Positive reinforcement exercises will develop/enhance and confirm the dog's understanding and the handlers delivery (verbal and body language) of directional commands  ("GO", "OUT", "HERE", "RIGHT", "LEFT", "The dog's name", etc.), particularly in the case of obstacle discriminations and on course challenges/options, to provide clear, efficient and motivational direction to the dog. 

Distances & Sends with Ease! -
Positive reinforcement exercises will be used to develop/enhance the dog/handler teams distance and send performance skills and increase the dog's understanding of the correct/appropriate performance of this skill thru a wide variety of presentations that are directly applicable to competition.

Dog Motivation - Need/Want more? -
Class sessions will identify and investigate the factors that lead to decreased dog motivation/speed and then present and work thru exercises and techniques that can restore and/or build speed, motivation and desire for the agility game in the dog and handler!  To yield more joyful, faster, rewarding runs for the dog/handler team.

Jumping Skills -
Positive reinforcement exercises will develop/enhance the dog/handlers jumping skills, including extension and collection and the handlers indication of such, tight turns, correct jumping style for all jump types i.e. single bar, double, triple, broad jump, panel jump, tire, etc.) and the appropriate running/handling of a Jumpers course, which is very different from a Standard type course because there are no stops (contacts, table).

Jumping Skills with Weaves -
Positive reinforcement exercises serve to combine the Jumping Skills and Weave Proofing classes to yield enhancement of the dog/handler teams performance of both skills together.  How jumps are handled prior to the weaves can significantly influence the success of the dog in getting their weave entry - this will be analyzed and clarified.

Start lines, Stays, and Leadouts -
Positive reinforcement exercises will be used to clarify and analyze start line and leadout positions for the dog and handler to yield an efficient and motivational path for the dog. Clarification of the Stay position/command will be clarified and proofed, thereby allowing effective usage of start line and leadout techniques. 

Weave Proofing -
Positive reinforcement exercises will be used to develop/enhance the dog/handler teams weave pole performances and increase the dog's understanding of the correct/appropriate performance of the weave poles in a wide variety of presentations.  The effect of handler maneuvers and positioning on achieving the optimal weave pole performance will also be analyzed and clarified.

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For more information...
Call 734.646.7695
Email Deb@AgilitySynergy.com
Phone 734.646.7695 Email Deb@AgilitySynergy.com
Photo by Cathy Winkles