How long until first agility trial?

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addieNmel
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How long until first agility trial?

Postby addieNmel » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:23 pm

Just curious.. how long did those of you in Agility train before trying your first agility trial? Addie and I have been in classes for a year now.. i'm eager to at least try a trial ( Id like to get her use to the environment), but unsure if we're ready. I've heard about CPE which is suppose to be a bit more laid back.. any info would be great!

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Leslie H
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby Leslie H » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:32 pm

We did our first CPE trial after about a year-18 months of training. Soleil and I started w/CPE, it's way more beginner friendly. After about 6 months of trialing we tried NADAC, which is tougher. Tried UKC in there somewhere (also beginner friendly, but some oddball equipment). Tried USDAA after about a year of trialing. Now after nearly 2 years of trialing we stick w/CPE and USDAA, though we're much less competitive in USDAA, which requires 0 faults to qualify, and even the lowest level has 12 weaves.
I've never done AKC, and we're hopefully trying ASCA next month. But I think hands down CPE is the most beginner friendly. Relatively low jump heights, a variety of faults allowed, and generous standard course times. People in all venues tend to be very supportive.

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addieNmel
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby addieNmel » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:44 pm

Thanks so much for the info! I may look into a CPE trial in June or so, theres one pretty close to where we are. It sounds like a good starting point. I know theres AKC trials up north which I went to go watch one day.. its amazing how different all of them are.

I was a bit discouraged, one the girls that was in my class ( I'm in an intermediate now) proudly proclaimed ( not sure why.. ) it took them 2 years before they even thought about trialing, and they're still working on improving! Gave me a bit of a setback, it seemed. I have hope yet.

I certianly want to go at it and have fun, but am a bit worried about the environment being too stimulating and addie going crazy ( shes a bit A.D.D) LOL... I guess we wont know until we try ;)

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Sarah
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby Sarah » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:37 am

I've gone anywhere from 6 months to a year, just depends on the dog. CPE is a pretty relaxed venue, go ahead and give it a try! The worst that can happen is that you find out you need some more training time. Don't sign up for all the classes in your first trial, CPE has a lot and it could be overwhelming, just pick a few you think you can do well in.

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addieNmel
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby addieNmel » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:59 pm

Thanks for the info and encouragement :)

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DogNerd
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby DogNerd » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:22 pm

Do any of the schools in your area hold fun matches? That is another good way to get your feet wet in a trial situation but without the pressure of it being an actual trial. In fun matches you can bring treats in the ring, you can train in the ring and work on basically anything you want during your allotted time.

I trained my first dog Abner for at least a year but then was never able to trial him because he blew his knee when we were getting close. I started working with my second dog Q-tip because I was just itchy to do agility but the reality was that she wasn't very good at it. I worked with her for close to a year, and then stopped because she was shutting down on me. I brought Abner back but he then eventually blew the other knee so then went back to Q-tip and changed handling systems and saw a lot of improvement. We finally started trialing this year in both CPE and AKC. She still isn't very good - she is pokey and inhibited and not particularly drivey, but she is Q'ing and placing at the lower levels and is having fun. We have finished the first couple of levels in CPE and novice AKC. I think if we are able to get through Open in AKC, that will be the end of that for us. I'll stick with CPE with her after that. No one ever really thought we'd even get this far so I am pretty proud of both of us. I've been itchy for a "real" agility dog though so I just adding a new family member, another mixed breed that is about a year old. I really want to take my time with him so I expect we will take anywhere from a year to a year and a half before we are ready to trial. The schools I train at recommend waiting until you are training at the masters level before starting trialing and I think that is a good recommendation if you are really wanting to be competitive, but unnecessary if you don't take it as seriously and just want to get out there and have fun.

I agree with everyone recommending entering some CPE trials. The level 1 courses are really easy and have generous time allowances and more allowances for mistakes. They are also really fun and friendly!

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addieNmel
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby addieNmel » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:20 pm

Thank you!! :) Unfortunatly I live in a small town, the place where we train doesnt have any fun matches as far as I know :(

There is a CPE trial scheduled unfortunatly either Jan or Sept in my area, I think I'll shoot for the September one.. we'll have been training at that point for 1 year and 9 months.. good to know its so beginner friendly. Addie loves agility ,but shes quite ADD, i'm afriad of what will happen at a trial setting LOL.

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Leslie H
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby Leslie H » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:28 pm

Do they offer any run-throughs at the training facilities around you? The site about an hour away that hosts lots of events host run throughs about once a month. They set up a course (actually usually 2 courses, one easy, 1 harder). They charge $5 per 2 minute run. You can run the course, or practice whatever you want. You can bring treats out on course, a toy, leash, whatever. Some people get out and work their start line, contacts, it's your 2 minutes. Usually there's a fair number of dogs there, I'll go about 3 times. It's got a bit of the trial feel and excitement.

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DogNerd
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby DogNerd » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:59 am

Thank you!! Unfortunatly I live in a small town, the place where we train doesnt have any fun matches as far as I know


You should suggest it to them! Not a match necessarily but run-throughs like Leslie is talking about. It would be a way for them to bring in some more money and it wouldn't have to be complex. One of the schools I train at also does them almost monthly and they sometimes make them into a potluck too. I'll bet if you talked to the folks at the school where you train, they'd consider it.

I forget sometimes how spoiled we are living in the sf bay area!

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addieNmel
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby addieNmel » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:59 pm

DogNerd wrote:
Thank you!! Unfortunatly I live in a small town, the place where we train doesnt have any fun matches as far as I know


You should suggest it to them! Not a match necessarily but run-throughs like Leslie is talking about. It would be a way for them to bring in some more money and it wouldn't have to be complex. One of the schools I train at also does them almost monthly and they sometimes make them into a potluck too. I'll bet if you talked to the folks at the school where you train, they'd consider it.

I forget sometimes how spoiled we are living in the sf bay area!


Ah yes a big city, must be nice! :) I did see run throughs listed on a site of a place I could go to. Good to know what they are, I had no idea. I may look into that.. that way I can see how she'll do without worrying about a trial. I'm not sure if at this point she'd be ready ( im itching to try! ) , but i'm hoping a CPE trial in Sept would be a good shot.

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Leslie H
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby Leslie H » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:06 pm

I've been bringing my puppy to trials since she was little, just to get her used to the environment and experience, like being in the crate in the crating area. There are restrictions as to exactly where she can be at some trials, like no dogs in the front row of indoor seats, and etiquette, like no dogs close to the entrance who aren't actually waiting to enter the ring. But it might be good for you and your dog, if you haven't already, to go visit some trials.

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addieNmel
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby addieNmel » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:11 pm

Addie and I did our first agility trial last weekend! CPE - we got 3rd in Standard & a Q! NT in Colors ( my fault..) and a 2nd NQ in Wildcard. I was very impressed! She did wonderful... no crazy run arounds, and didnt panic in the crate, although a bit concerned. Better than I expected. Its very addicting! We are going to our next in May... another CPE :)

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Nichole
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Re: How long until first agility trial?

Postby Nichole » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:22 pm

addieNmel wrote:Addie and I did our first agility trial last weekend! CPE - we got 3rd in Standard & a Q! NT in Colors ( my fault..) and a 2nd NQ in Wildcard. I was very impressed! She did wonderful... no crazy run arounds, and didnt panic in the crate, although a bit concerned. Better than I expected. Its very addicting! We are going to our next in May... another CPE :)


Good job!
I find myself wondering when we'll do our first trial as well. I expect it'll be 6-12 months. We still have a lot to learn.


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