Sirius Dog Agility
TRAINING CENTER
Serving the Atlanta Area Since 1997 - Where Your Dog Can Become a "Star"
 
 
  • TO JOIN A CLASS:
    • Email the Class Scheduler.
  • USDAA UPCOMING SHOWS:
    • Show dates will be posted here.
  • Go to the USDAA web site for premiums.
  • NO CLASSES
    • Closed week of 10/23-USDAA
    • Closed week of 11/20-Thanksgiving

 

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    FAQ


    • TO JOIN A CLASS: You MUST email the Class Scheduler before completing form. 
    • CLICK HERE to send email to Class Scheduler:

      Do I need to have taken an obedience class before doing agility?

        • Although you do not need to have attended a formal class you do need some basic skills. Your dog should understand commands for sit, down, stay and come. He need not be 100% reliable but this is a good place to start.  He needs to be able to sit quietly in a crate sometimes while you are learning.  He needs to be housebroken (you will be held responsible to clean up after your dog should he not make it outside - cleaning supplies are in the building).  Much of the beginning agility class is taught on lead. However, it is necessary to have basic control over your dog.

        Will I get a refund or discount I miss a class or can't attend all classes? 

        • NO. We are a school and will miss you if you are unable to attend a class, but do not offer refunds, discounts or make-up classes.  No refunds are issued after your registration and payment are processed.

        Will my dog be off leash? 

        • YES. It is important that your dog has a good “come” command as he may be distracted and want to run over to other dogs. YOU must be more interesting to your dog than all the other dogs in class.  Some of the beginning skills are taught on lead, but you will quickly be taking your dog off.

         What makes me the most interesting thing to my dog? 

        • Now is the time to find out.  Keep a really favorite food just for training e.g. cheese, hot dogs, bologna. Try a favorite toy to tug with. Make really exciting noises. Practice, practice, practice.

         Is agility class about playing with other dogs? 

        • NO. Agility class is for you and your dog to play and learn together. Your dog should feel that YOU are much more exciting than any other dog in the room. This is not a puppy play session.

        Is agility easy? 

        • NO, but learning can be fun. It is not just a question of telling your dog to jump, do you know how to communicate with your dog? Performing each obstacle is not the most difficult thing to learn but how to communicate with your partner is much tougher. Your instructor will teach you how to be a team. Yes, it is difficult at times that is why we use lots of food rewards to help your dog. Yes, it can get frustrating and that is when it is time to stop and go and play with your dog.

        Do I need to practice at home? 

        • The more you can practice what your learn in class, the faster you will improve. Many skills do not require equipment, especially improving your obedience commands. Some things can also be taught using items that you have around the house, your instructor will tell you about this.

        My dog is very nervous, is agility suitable for her? 

        • Agility can be a great way to socialize a dog. It introduces them to a new environment, new dogs and people, different noises and objects. It is very important to only progress at the speed of your dog, this dog will take longer to get it’s confidence. You may even want to repeat the initial beginner class to overcome your dogs fears.

        My dog does not like other dogs, can he do agility? 

        • A class situation is not appropriate. You should seek the services of a qualified behavior specialist to evaluate your dog.

        My dog does not like strangers touching it or coming near them, can he do agility? 

        • In training, the instructor will need to hold your dog to help it learn so it must be friendly to strangers. You should seek the services of a qualified behavior specialist to evaluate your dog.

        How fast will my dog progress? 

        • That depends on many things and will vary from team to team. The speed of your progress does not matter. What is important is learning the fundamental skills at the beginning properly. Once you have trained your dog to make “mistakes”, it is very hard to go back and “fix” them. Remember, your instructor probably made those same “mistakes” with the very first dog they trained so learn from their mistakes!

        How often to you offer Begining agility classes? 

        • Because of the growing interest in agility we can not offer beginning classes every session.  For the best chance of getting into a class call and get your name on a waiting list.

        What type of training methods does your school use? 

        •  We believe in purely motivational training with positive reinforcement.  We also use the clicker to teach many of the skills. 

        I have two dogs may I bring both to one class? 

        • In the beginning classes, we find that it is too difficult to train more than one dog at a time. If you have two dogs, you will need to register both dogs and have another person handle the second dog such as a husband or wife.   If you can't do that, we suggest you start one dog first and start the other in another session.

        May my child/spouse/friend attend class with me?

        • Adult observers and older children are welcome to watch class. (This could assist with the training at home). However, children and adult observers that do attend will need to remain seated throughout the class session. They are also requested not to disturb, distract or cause confusion for the dogs, handlers or instructors. Some of the dogs in the class may not be used to having children or strangers approach them. It is extremely important to all concerned that no dog be approached, touched or fed without the permission of the owner/handler. We strongly suggest that adult and children observers be educated to acceptable behavior around strange dogs.

        May my child work with/handle the dog in class?

        • Children are wonderful handlers and are welcomed to work with/handle their dog during a class. However, an adult responsible for the child must remain as an observer throughout the class session. We strongly suggest that the child be aware that it takes a long time to train a dog and that this is a commitment for them to practice with the dog daily and be responsible, cooperative and focused during class time.

        How old should a dog be before beginning agility classes?

        • We request that dogs in the beginning classes be at least 10 months old depending on the size and maturity of the dog. This is for the safety and health of the dog. Agility is a strenuous sport and we do not want to cause physical stress to a dog that is still growing.

        My dog does not get along with other dogs so my vet suggested an agility class is this a good idea?

        • Although your dog is not required to like everyone, dogs that are aggressive or reactive need to be in an obedience type class to deal with that.  Agility is an off lead sport and dogs must be under control.  Agility is fun and stimulates dogs, so classes are not a good environment for dogs that are overly reactive or aggressive.  Dogs that are aggressive will be asked to leave class.

        How long do I have to train before I can show my dog in competitions?

        • We find that training is a longtime commitment.  It can take over a year to teach the dog all the equipment and to teach you to handle and be the dogs teammate, before you could be ready to go into the ring.

        I just want to play on the equipment, I never want to compete can I still get into class?

        • We train our classes with intention that you will want to compete one-day.  This means we train you slowly and carefully so that you will have all the skills to compete.  Most people who stick with the training end up competing.  So if it is truly your goal to just play, we are not the place for you as you will find it too slow.

        How long is a class session?

        • Class sessions are eight weeks long.  If you want to compete in agility you probably need to be prepared to train for a year before getting in the ring and then for a long time after that to learn the more advanced skills to be successful with your dog.