Saturday, October 06, 2007

Agility!

Yes, in case you were wondering, Great Danes CAN do Agility. That is the dog event based on equine jumper courses where the dogs run and jump, crawl through tunnels, and climb over various obstacles.
The obstacles are really sized for medium to large dogs, but the Giant sized dogs seem to enjoy it too. You do have to be careful when training Giant breed puppies to do agility. Since they grow so fast and so much, it is possible to injure them.
Some basic rules are:
  1. Keep jump heights low with a young dog. My rule of thumb is ankle height until 6 months of age, then elbow height until at least 18 months old.

  2. Introduce tunnels while the puppy is still short enough to run through the tunnel without crouching, if possible. Once he gets taller than the tunnel, practice having him go through a tunnel only once a month or so until he's mostly grown. Don't overdo the tunnels even with a mature dog - it can be really tiring.

  3. Be careful teaching weave poles. The back & forth movement can put a strain on the dog's shoulders. You can practice these with young Giant breed dogs, but not to excess. 5 or 10 minutes a week is plenty.

There are lots of other great ideas on the ChromaDane web site.

Here are some pictures (courtesy 2MC Designs) of Kinsey from a recent agility trial - there are more on our web site. I finally updated it!



2 comments:

JayAre said...

Hi! I just found you off of R's page, and I'm so excited! I just love looking at the pictures of your Danes! We have a harlequin that we ADORE. I will definitly be reading you regularly.

Barb said...

Thank you! They are wonderful dogs, aren't they?