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Old 03-22-2005, 08:40 AM   #1
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Default Agility Training

I am interested in possibly getting into agility training. My yorkie is a neutered male and heis 6 mos old and a tiny. Is this a ridiculous idea or do small yorkies do agility? He is really fast and I just think it would be a fun way to train and have a great time together. Any advice? I live in San Diego, California and I looked up the agility training clubs in the area, but I haven't called yet.
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Old 03-22-2005, 08:53 AM   #2
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I do agility with all my yorkies. The smallest one that is running (see picture on my Avitar) is Ann at 4 1/2 lbs.

However, the last time I was doing agility in Pensacola, FL there was a lady that ran 2 yorkies. One was 5 lbs and the other about maybe 3 1/2 lbs. And would you believe it but her smaller one did better. She also does obedience with them.
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:08 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. What age should I start? I know that young puppies need to develop and there is some concern about too much serious athletic training during the formative stage, but I think he's out of that now. He will probably stay under for lbs. Do they break them up into size or weight categories when they compete?

How do yorkies do at Flyball or Frisbee?
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:12 AM   #4
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AGILITY
Start with some obedience. A good "come", "sit", "stay", & "down" is very important in agility. I would not recommend formal agility training until they are almost 1 year old. However, I have trained puppies as young as 6 months old in Puppy Agility.

Competiting dogs are divided into groups determined by the jump height(range is determine by the organization you are competiting in) and class( start at the lowest class and move up as you qualify and advance)


*******************************
FLYBALL
Yorkies are harder to train in flyball than some of the other breeds but not impossible. There are 32 yorkies are registered with North American Flyball Club. Twenty of them have points toward a title. Nineteen of them have at least 1 title. Their only limitation is whether they can trigger the box, and small dogs often have to fully jump on it to do so.

The hurdle height is determined by the shoulder height of the smallest dog(height dog) in the team. The jump height is 4“ (10 cm) below the shoulder, to a height of no less than 8”(20.3 cm).

The smallest dog to compete in flyball is Dixie, a Pomeranian is owned by Carol Fatheree of Texas AllStar Express weighs in at 3.5 pounds.

One of my dog competes in flyball. She ranks in the top 10% for Yorkshire Terriers. Took me well over 2 years to train her.

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Frisbee

I know of some yorkies that competes in frisbee but don't know much more about it. I never got into it plus I can't throw

To tell you how bad I'm at throwing anything. Yesterday, in obedience we were training the dogs to jump over a jump to fetch a dumpbell and then bring it back over the jump. All the dogs were having problem except mine. However, I was told by my instructor to put my dog up for the rest of the evening and I was pulled to the side of the class to work on my dumpbell throwing. My instructor told me "Thank God, your dog is smart and will take the jump coming back because your throwing is HORRIBLE".
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:58 AM   #5
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Yorkieagility...

It's ironic that you said something about the lady in Pensacola because at obedience class last night one of the trainers was talking to me about her and her dogs. I live right outside of Pensacola.
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Old 03-22-2005, 01:02 PM   #6
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Hey guys. Don’t know if any of you subscribe to The Yorkshire Terrier Magazine but I’ve written an article on Yorkies in agility which will be coming out in their May issue. You’ll see photos of my dogs and Yorkie pals doing agility too!

Also working with my webdesigner right now on a new page to my site – an interview with MACH4 Desi who took 2nd place at the AKC National Agility Championship in the eight inch division this past year. Desi and his mom were very kind to answer a bunch of questions on getting started in agility and how they got so far in the sport. The interview is not up yet but I hope to have it ready by the end of April.

So-Cal Yorkie ?

Boy are you in luck that you live in Southern California! There are two people who are my most “favorite person’s list” who are in your geographical area who are BIG into Yorkie agility. They teamed up (was it last year?) to write an article on Yorkies in agility for “Top Notch Toys.” I don’t want to type out their names on a message board but I suggest you check out the Yorkshire Terrier Club of Los Angle’s website (hint hint).

Here’s the thing with tiny dogs – some can be very competitive, other definitely not. There are things in agility that are harder for the real teenies: climbing the A-Frame, tipping the seesaw (set at three pounds), pushing through a heavy (esp. if wet) chute. Since agility is a race, the longer it takes for a dog to do these things, the less competitive he will be. However, I have seen “heart” make up for size so many times that I can’t and won’t discount a dog simply because she is small. Some little ones just amaze you at their blazing speed and the way they push through a course!

My trainer runs a little Pomeranian that I think is all of four pounds. She is super fast and consistently so. Her handler is very skilled and runs a number of dogs including Border Collies. So this Pom does win and even has a MACH. However, she also has a “fighting spirit” and never stops moving. She is racy because she wants to be. If you have a more meek or laid back Yorkie, and she is small, there’s a good chance you’re not going to be competitive. (I’m talking temperament not physical ability to be fast (Greyhounds are probably much faster than Border Collies but most GH’s do not run their hearts out without a lure, Border Collies can be all together nuts and are known to be blazing fast on the agility course)

So it comes down to what you want. I have a little girl who does conformation. She is three years old and only four pounds. I could have put her in agility, but I decided not to based on her personality. She is my “baby doll.” She doesn’t like getting her paws wet, she likes to lie in the sun and snooze and looks adorable in a pink dress. Obedience is OK by her but being out on a cold November day and sloshing around in mud, let alone, racing through it, is not her speed. My feeling is, why make her do something she isn’t enjoying? It pains me to watch people who are pleading with their dogs just to jump a single obstacle on course or to watch a dog “trot” around a course (this goes for all sizes of dogs). Someone I trained with once said “at the end of the day, if only one of you had fun, it had better be the dog!” I completely agree. A dog who isn’t out there running and leaping for joy – fast or slow – is probably not having much fun. So what’s the point?

Furthermore, I’m a very competitive person. Just “qing” isn’t’ enough for me. If my dogs couldn’t be competitive in agility, I’d try something else instead. But that’s just me. It doesn’t have to be you. With my seven pound speed demon, I can have those goals, with my show girl I could not. If you are a type B person, and not a neurotic like me, and just want to learn agility, and put some titles on your dog, there is a place for you in agility, regardless of your dogs temperament (but mind what I said about the dog enjoying it!). Unlike conformation, you don’t have to beat out other dogs to qualify – only to win. If winning isn’t important or if you really think your dog has the heart to beat out dogs bigger than her (and many do) than I say, go for it!

Last edited by yorkipower; 03-22-2005 at 01:49 PM.
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